Tips on writing and productivity in blogging
These sources of income may be divided into two categories:
B) blog- or platform-related since I am only able to make money from those other income sources because I have built up a following on TheCreativePenn.com via podcasts and article writing over the last six years.
These two key routes are examined separately in this book. But before you continue reading, there are a few key ideas to bear in mind.
Before we get into the specifics of the book, there are a few crucial basic concepts to take into account. These will serve as the backdrop for the chapters that follow.
(1) Visualize yourself as a business owner
I am aware that the word “entrepreneur,” which seems like a Silicon Valley term that is strangely unrelated to producing art, causes difficulty for many authors. But take a different perspective.
Entrepreneurs turn ideas into valuable assets.
If you concur, then writers are the ideal businesspeople because we take our ideas and transform them into print books, ebooks, audiobooks, scripts, and a variety of other products that add value to words. Giving them amusement, knowledge, or inspiration might be a part of that value.
Additionally, it generates cash for you as the developer.
You will find it much simpler to comprehend some of the concepts in this book after you redefine your own identity as an entrepreneur. You will undoubtedly need to pick up new abilities, but that is true for anything in life, and entrepreneurs love a challenge.
(2) Concentrate on generating sustainable revenue
In the majority of typical day jobs, you put in a specific amount of hours and get compensated for them. If you don’t work, you either don’t get paid or eventually get fired for breaking the terms of your contract. Since you only get paid once for the hours you labor, your job is not scaleable. And you will never have that time again.
With scalable revenue, you just need to develop once and sell it again.
Consider that you devote a year’s worth of your weekends and nights to writing a book. Although that time is only invested once, the book may sell one copy, 100 copies, 1000 copies, or even a million copies.
Additionally, it may be sold for your benefit for as long as the author is alive and for an additional 70 years after his or her death. Your time is only used once, but the revenue it generates may last for many years.
We’re talking about developing intellectual property assets that will provide you ongoing financial security. It can start off as a modest trickle each month, but as you add more to your portfolio, it will eventually grow.
Start considering changing your revenue sources such that you get compensated for scalable assets rather than being paid by the hour. Most people require a balance at first because they need quick cash to pay your expenses, but remember that every time you sit down to work, your time is valuable. Can you scale what you’re doing?
I adjusted the balance over a period of time. I had a day job when I first began publishing books in 2007, therefore my scalable income was 0%. I wrote for over four years while doing my regular job, progressively increasing the number of books and goods I produced and changing my % split as I went along. My scalable income in 2015 is now at around 80%.
I still engage in non-scalable activities like professional speaking and consulting, which provide immediate cash flow (which we all want! ), but I aim to devote the majority of my time to developing scalable assets.
(3) Create many different sources of revenue
Let’s go back to 2008, when I was employed by a large IT division of an Australian mining firm. 400 of us lost our jobs in a single day when the financial crisis struck. When our boss came in to say farewell, he gave each of us a bundle of paperwork and told us to go look for new jobs.
My employment was the only source of money I had at the time, and it was all taken away from me in that single day. I made the immediate decision to never again depend entirely on one source of income. Corporations are the least stable of all things.
Back in 2008, a lot of folks realized something similar. It served as a reminder to diversify your income streams and stop depending on your work or employer to take care of you. However, the same idea applies to earning a livelihood via your writing.
You should make sure you have many sources of incoming money. You will eventually run into problems if you are dependent on only one publisher, one self-publishing distributor, one customer, one product, or one book.
Think globally, digitally, and wirelessly.
Many authors prioritize selling locally, either through a local bookshop or by contributing to publications that their friends and acquaintances have heard of. However, because to technology, we are now able to sell and promote to individuals all over the globe. The worldwide internet penetration rate is rising every month.
Expand your horizons if you want to earn a livelihood as a writer since the rest of the world is more likely to provide you with revenue in the future than your neighborhood bookshop.
Abundance: The Future is Better than you Think by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler is a book that will alter your perspective on this.
(5) Choose how you will define success.
The topic of this book is how to support yourself as a writer. However, the concept of living will vary greatly based on your circumstances and what you need to cover your monthly expenses. Think about the following.
How much money do you now make as a family?
How much do you spend each month on home expenses?
What are you prepared to alter or give up in order to improve your circumstances?
How much money do you really need to survive? For instance, many authors downsize by relocating to a less expensive city.
How long will you wait before making the change?
It’s crucial to think about these issues because, without knowing what success means to you, you won’t be able to assess your progress or choose how to get there.
Write down your concept of a livelihood as well as the amount you want to make from writing during the next year and the following five years.
Try pushing yourself!
Since we’ll be talking specifically about books, you’ll also need to make a decision about what you want from your writing career since it will affect what you write, how you publish it, and what marketing activities you engage in.
The spectrum of literary achievement has two extremes. With Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James is at one end and earned $95 million in a single year from book deals, movies, and other thrilling stuff. Although hardly many people would consider Fifty Shades of Grey to be excellent writing, fans like the series and sales are strong.
On the opposite extreme is the desire to win literary awards like the Man Booker Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, or other awards where the goal is recognition and accolades rather than financial gain. You do, of course, get compensation.
The winner of the Man Booker Prize receives £50,00. To some, it may seem like a lot, but it’s nothing compared to E.L. James’ $95 million, and if it took you five years to write the book, it’s not much of an annual income either.
You must thus think about these two extremes for yourself: Literary success against economic success, and customers purchasing your works in large quantities versus literary recognition.
The majority of individuals will declare their desire to fall someplace in the center. They want to produce a truly excellent book that will succeed both critically and commercially. But that’s really difficult to achieve, and that’s where many writers with modest salaries sit.
Although genre literature often sells far better than literary fiction, it is unlikely to earn you an award, at least not in the major literary areas. It truly comes down to thinking about what’s important to you and how you’re going to evaluate success.
Writing and productivity advice
Although this is not a book on writing techniques, it is crucial to discuss productivity since this is the key to the whole thing. If you aren’t genuinely writing, you can’t support yourself as a writer. Even while it might be enjoyable at times and seems simple to some people, writing is really a lot of labor. It’s undoubtedly not for everyone, but in my opinion, it’s the finest job in the world (for me).
Here are some advice I have for finishing the words.
(1) Arrange your daily schedule and writing practices.
While each writer is unique, all professional writers follow some kind of process to get their thoughts onto paper. You may refer to this as discipline if you like, but habit is a better way to describe it. Habits are actions you do without thinking about whether you should. Like when you wash your teeth, which you probably do at the same time every day and would miss if you didn’t.
I worked as an IT consultant for four years while concurrently writing books and maintaining a blog. I would wake up at 5am and write before going to work and also set aside a larger chunk of time to write on the weekends since I was exhausted by the end of the day. Working on my website, blog, podcast, and social media during the nights allowed me to network with other writers and develop my online profile.
I used this method to write my first three novels as well as numerous nonfiction publications.
In many respects, writing is simpler when you work a regular job. You must maximize the time you have since it is limited, and you are motivated to do as much as you can within that time. There is less stress on you since the money aspect is also taken care of. Of course, the reason you’re reading this is that you want to change!
In September 2011, I made the leap to becoming a full-time author entrepreneur, and the first year was really difficult to establish a routine. The transition to working alone from home was challenging after 13 years of commuting and office work. In order to work “office hours” and have breaks with other author pals, most of whom I found on Twitter, I joined a library, rode the train into town with my husband, and did so.
The following is what I’ve discovered for my personal regimen, but you’ll need to experiment to see what works for you:
Being a morning person, I must write fiction in the morning before working on marketing and running the company around 2:00 p.m. In the afternoon, I can also write nonfiction or blog entries or essays, but in the evening, I wind down. Find out when you are most creative and utilize that time to write your initial drafts.
It is exhausting to make stuff. Spending adequate time in bed is essential since writing fiction, in particular, can be quite draining. After a long writing day, I often sleep for 8 hours at night, although there are instances when I’ll sleep for 10. Because our brains make our living, we must take care of them.
Since I also use my home workstation for podcasting, bookkeeping, and other tasks, I need to write new terms there. So I always put in my headphones, play the Rain and Thunder CD repeatedly, pump up the volume, and start writing at libraries or cafés.
Schedule time in your diary to write like you would any other appointment.
If you don’t believe you have enough time, consider what you can cut out to free up some time. If you truly want to write, you’ll figure out a way. It all depends on where you decide to direct your energy. What you concentrate on, you receive.
(2) Buy the proper equipment for the work.
Being writers, we are really fortunate to just need a small number of inexpensive equipment compared to other enterprises. I formerly had a scuba diving company in New Zealand. In addition to a boat and plenty of dive gear, we also had to pay for gasoline, insurance, salaries, and other expenses. All I need now is a laptop and access to the internet!
I use my MacBook Pro to write, as well as to create movies, podcasts, emails, and other things. Although professional writer Dean Wesley Smith advises having a separate computer for writing so you can concentrate without interruptions, I’ve been able to do this simply switching locations.
However, if you find it unable to resist the internet’s compulsive draw during writing sessions, you could want to obtain something simple to work on and turn off the internet on that.
I also wouldn’t be without the Scrivener writing program. I use it to write, arrange, and manage my novels as well as plan and (roughly) outline them. I also make my ebook files for Kindle and ePub formats using the Compile option.
It’s really strong software, and I suggest taking the Learn Scrivener Fast training course if you want to get the most out of it. You may also watch a 36-minute video on this page in which I go over some writing advice and demonstrate how I use Scrivener for both fiction and non-fiction.
(3) Recognize the differences between editing and rewriting the first draft.
A writer does not automatically produce words that are flawlessly arranged and exactly the same as what will appear in the final manuscript. Typically, writers will produce a first draft—a flurry of words and concepts—that will CERTAINLY NOT be read by anyone else. They will next devote time to revising, editing, and polishing the text until it is acceptable for publication. This holds true for articles and blog posts just as it does for novels, I’ve discovered.
Yes, there are a few exceptions, but realizing this gave me the freedom I needed to create novels. You should read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott to learn more about the proverb “Write horrible first drafts.” Next, tidy them up!
Remember that blank pages cannot be edited. Get black on white instead, and make changes afterwards. Here are some pointers for finishing the first draft.
(4) Invest in your creativity and then believe in emergence.
You need to have a steady flow of ideas that you can employ in whatever you’re writing next if you want to earn a livelihood as a writer. I can still recall my first doubts, but once the flow begins, coming up with ideas becomes effortless. The challenge will be putting those thoughts into words and creating the final results.
So how do you begin to generate ideas?
Research is important to me; it may be done in books or online, but I also want to travel, immerse myself in new situations, and give synchronicity a chance. I often discover items in museums that wind up in my arcles, or I receive ideas at events, or I watch TV or a movie and something comes to me.
For instance, while I watched a video on sharks, I began to consider how biohacking may be used to make human skin more like that of a shark. I just record that. I don’t need to do anything with it right now; I can just log it and I have faith that I will return to it later. It doesn’t matter whether you do or not. However, just being used to the act of observing thoughts and recording them will start the process.
Trust your instincts, then capture them on paper.
I have a dedicated folder for ideas where I just jot down one or two lines for each concept using the Things app on my iPhone, which syncs to my Mac. Have a means to write things down, whether it be in a notepad or another app.
When I write, ideas typically come from something I witnessed or experienced years before and come up from my subconscious. I ended up writing about Safed, a little village in Israel that I visited back in 1990, in my most recent book, Gates of Hell. It somehow surfaced in the narrative, and thanks to Google, of course, my memories of it returned!
I reject the notion of writer’s block. It seems like a sign that you’ve let your creative well to run dry. Fill it up, get fired up about things once again, and then return to the page.
(5) Write often to develop your voice.
Here is a query for you to think about.
Which of ten novels, if any, will be the best? Which comes first, 1 or 10?
Because practice and experience make things better, I hope the answer is clear.
But so many authors get fixated on the first book that they neglect to write, edit, and polish subsequent ones for years.
We all experience self-doubt, the anxiety of failing, and the dread of being judged. According to what I’ve heard, even the most seasoned writers continue to do it.
The wisest course of action is to write that book, followed by another, another, and still another. On each book, collaborate with a qualified editor and gain knowledge from their expertise.
Reading a ton will help you learn from other authors. The books I think are particularly helpful are listed below. As you write, refine your method by concentrating on certain elements for each book.
Enjoy it and relax in it as well. I used to take myself so seriously, but now I try to inject some humor into what I write. It is not a time of conflict and peace. Except in your tales, nobody will perish.
Just write more and concentrate on inspiring, informing, or amusing your audience.