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If you want to make a living writing and you want to build a living wage with your words then you have to treat it like a job. It IS a job. It can be a serious hobby, or something just for fun, but if I want it to be serious then I have to treat it serious.
When I launched into a full-time writing career over a decade back, it was a job. I found clients and wrote the words for them – on deadline and to their specifics. I want to continue to have the income and success with my words.
Nothing has changed – except the client.
When I first started out, I built up my income on the commitment from clients. After less than two years, I had created a foundation of clients that provided a living wage hefty enough to cover all the needs of our house.
That was 2008.
In 2009, EVERYTHING changes. It had started changing at the end of 2008, when the online world seemed to combust to some degree. It had started changing when my husband left his full-time job to pursue his dream because I was drawing in enough income to cover all our needs. It took a HUGE turn for different when I determined that I could build up success for my own websites the way I was doing for my clients.
Looking around, it appears my circumstances have changed and caused the upheaval. When I examine the situation it turns out that the circumstance may have shifted, but I am the one that changed.
I stopped putting the client first – because the client was just me. I could wait and I did wait. It turns out that when I put off doing what needs to be done until tomorrow then tomorrow will never show up.
I can build a living on my words, in my way, and down my unique path. I still have to treat it professionally and I still have to consider it a job. That is the only way it will ever get done.
Learning to Treat Writing Like a Job to Make Money
1. Have a plan. Before launching into a new business or endeavor, experts recommend creating a business plan. It should include a mission, a vision, a budget, and a market analysis – just to name a few of the components. Building a writing business is an entrepreneurial endeavor. Create a business plan focused on your writing.
2. Keep in mind that a budget is not just about money (although money does need to be budgeted). Working from home often means that time has to be more closely monitored than money. Have a set schedule for work activities and home activities.
3. Work the plan. The best-laid plan is just a bunch of words and numbers unless there are actions to fulfill the plans. I have to take the business plan and work it out with persistent focus and daily consistency.
4. Keep a record for the client. When I worked for others I kept up with the hours spent on the words. I kept a record of the words crafted and the projects completed. My new client deserves the same detailed attention.
5. Create a work zone. My office may be in the middle of the kitchen (and it was at one time) but it is my workspace. When I am in my workspace then I am working. My family has learned to expect that and I even act different when I am in that “work place.”
6. Dress for success. Yes, one of the benefits of working from home is that you don’t have to invest in office attire. Yes, one of the benefits of being self-employed is that the office uniform may be pajamas on some days. However, if I would change clothes to go to the grocery story then I can change clothes to go to work. It will change your work habit and your behavior while “at work.”
It is a job. I have to treat it like a job. I can have some creative license in how I define different elements, but it comes down to this – if I want to be a professional writer then I have to treat my writing professionally. I can make a living writing and I can earn an income with my words when I begin to give my words the respect they need to build my profession.
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