Are You in this for the Long Haul?
I have a lot of conversations with clients about their writing careers. Usually they say to me, “I want to be in this for the long haul.” It’s given me the opportunity to have some great discussions about what helps a writer accomplish this goal – and what can sabotage their efforts.
It’s an important topic for consideration, because sometimes we have to make difficult decisions on a day-to-day basis, and we don’t always know which way to go. But if we’re always looking at those decisions in light of the long haul, it’s easier to know what to do.
This doesn’t just apply to writers, it can be a good way for anyone to look at their situation. I want to be in publishing for the duration, so I came up with a bunch of questions and answers to help me stay focused on a long-term approach to my work. I’ll share just a few of them:
What can I do to increase my chances of being in this for the long haul?
→ Establish and maintain a good reputation in the industry.
→ Keep a positive attitude despite the constantly changing and challenging business environment.
→ Always be looking ahead to new ways of doing business and new technologies, and be open to changing my business model as needed.
What would sabotage my ability to stay in it for the long haul?
→ Pay too much attention to critics, allowing them to discourage me.
→ Fail to learn from mistakes.
→ Treat people badly or disrespectfully.
As I’ve spoken with my clients about this topic, we’ve identified some things that could help them develop “long haul” writing careers:
→ Pay attention to where their passion and artistic integrity intersect with the market.
→ Keep refining their appeal to their readers by developing and maintaining a uniquely compelling voice.
→ Develop their ability to write page-turning books that readers can’t help talking about.
→ Keep a positive attitude about the business.
→ Be the kind of author agents and editors love to work with.
→ Be open to new technologies and new ways of getting your work out there to readers.
What are some things that can help YOU be in this for the long haul? What are some things that could sabotage your career?