This is one of several Archive posts after losing 3 years of content a little while back (you can read that here).
Are you complicating your writing life?
- Treat writing like a hobby,
- Spend more time on social media than writing,
- Have more WIPs than completed Manuscripts, and
- Focus on publishing versus building a portfolio..
Then you might want to simplify your writing life by incorporating the 3 Fs into your writing philosophy.
The first step to simplifying your writer life is to reassess your role as a writer and adjust your FOCUS…
In the 21st Century, writers are expected to do a lot more than write. They must learn and master social media and marketing. They must build platforms. They must network. They must submit their writing to publishers. They must make graphics for aforementioned social media…The list goes on.
Yes, writers are expected to do a lot more than write.
However, it is easy to allow these writer-add-ons (if you will) to complicate your writing life and even hinder you from the primary task of writing.
If your main job is to write, edit and finish projects, then writing must be your primary focus.
If you want to simplify your writing life, it is crucial to adjust your focus. When writing is your primary focus, you dedicate time to it everyday. You fit it into your daily routine. You are consistent. You don’t make excuses.
Anything other than writing, including the writer-add-ons, are secondary. However, this does not mean that your secondary focus is less important or superfluous, it simply means that it needs to be managed effectively. Add-ons are like website plug-ins. Your website is less effective and functional without plug-ins. They are in the background, but they are indispensable and they add value. SEO plug-ins help you optimise your posts and pages, Anti-spam plug-ins save you a lot of time and hassle by filtering spammers. Writer add-ons are much the same; they are necessary components to your writing career, but they don’t need to be your primary focus – they can be updated when necessary and managed according to your individual needs…
If you mismanage the add-ons, 1 of 2 things will happen:-
1) They will dominate your time and complicate your writing life, or
2) They will fall by the wayside and ultimately hinder your writing progress.
The second step to simplifying your writer life is to identify your objective and commit to finishing what you’ve started…
It might make sense for writers to identify Publishing as their primary objective. However, when you think about it, publishing is impossible without a body of work. Let’s face it – is a publisher going to offer you a contract based on your great ideas and WIPs or completed manuscripts?
Unless you’re Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, we can all agree that publishers are only interested in completed manuscripts – yes? Yes!
It makes sense, then, that your primary objective should be to build a writing portfolio.
However, a writing portfolio is only built when you write, edit and finish your projects. A backlog of incomplete WIPs will mean no completed projects to submit for publication, and no new projects to get excited about. When you make a habit of starting and not finishing, you will encounter creative blocks, suffer at the hands of procrastination, and ultimately complicate your writing life.
Keep it simple, and Focus on Writing, Editing and Finishing!
The third step to simplifying your writer life is to acknowledge that your progress as a writer is gradual…
I don’t know why, but many writers are impatient to progress, and they fail to see that making progress as a writer is no different to making progress in any other career.
If your impatience is complicating your writing life, then it might help to consider the 5 mandatory components of any career progression:-
1 Time commitment
2 Learning and development
3 Gaining hands-on Experience
4 Setting Targets and Goals
Building a career is not an overnight achievement. It takes time, dedication and commitment. Publishers are no different to Employers – they want to recruit the best person for the job. They also want to hire someone reliable, someone who has proven themselves, someone who has made every effort to progress in their chosen career. If you have no experience, no portfolio, no references, and you’re not committed to your career, then you will not be taken seriously by the professionals and you will be overlooked.
Uncomplicate your writing life by taking one strategic step at a time.
FOCUS – Your primary role as a writer is to write, edit and finish projects.
2. FINISH – Your primary objective as a writer is to build a writing portfolio.
3. FORWARD – Your progression as a writer (i.e. your publishing opportunities) is dependent on your writing portfolio (Completed works, Current WIPs, Future WIPs) and your level of professionalism in your chosen career.
Thank you for reading. Do let me know if you found this at all helpful 🙂