Turning Pro

professional-620x400Yep, that’s right, my football ability has finally been recognised and I’ll be signing a professional contract real soon. So, screw this writing game, I’m off to do some keepy-ups on the beach.

What’s wrong with me? It’s not even April 1st. No, I’m not becoming a professional footballer. I was offered it but they told me that I wasn’t allowed to continue with this blog, so I told them to find some other puppet for their games. What I’m actually talking about, when I get around to it, is turning pro as a writer. I’ve been a full-time writer now for a couple of years and I’ve even produced novels but, to me, there’s still a difference. Let me explain.

When I started writing it was a real leap of faith. I left my career as an accountant for a corporate organisation to live the dream. I moved my whole family to an island and we now live near the beach and I watch boats sailing past my window. It’s idyllic, but something’s been missing.

I now feel as though I’ve woken up from the dream. If I was a year, I’d be 1971. (just after the dream of the 60’s had run out) This doesn’t mean that I’m disillusioned with writing, far from it, I feel happier with what I’m doing than I ever have, but I’m also fully awake to the fact that this has to be a business to be sustainable.

When I started I wasn’t sure if I could even write words down which made sense to other people. But, it turned out I could and over the past few years I’ve become better at expressing myself. I have no doubt that writing is what I’ve been put on this planet for.

I’ve been writing my books, sharing my lessons on here and generally keeping my head down and absorbing the whole world of self-publishing from afar. But now, I’m coming out.

In order for this career to support me, and my family, I have to be a professional. The literary world is changing. I’ve written hundreds of posts on why it’s changing, how it’s changing and what it’s changing to, but my daily tasks haven’t changed. I’m still just writing books. That’s not enough anymore.

Everyone I listen to, read about, get inspired by, and model are changing and adapting to how they exist in this new world of self-publishing. It’s time for me to do the same. I have the skills to pay the bills (as someone once said) by pure coincidence from absorbing all of this stuff for years. When I think of what I can offer, what value I can provide, the answer’s obvious. I’ve somehow become and expert in self-publishing.

Of course, there are those who are more expert than me but that doesn’t mean that I’m not. By doing all of this for myself, by sharing it on here and by learning and adapting, I’m now in a position to help others. But, I have to eat.

There are going to be a few additional services that I’ll be implementing quite soon.

  1. Courses on self-publishing (face-to-face)
  2. Self-publishing webinars
  3. A self-publishing service where I just do it all for you instead
  4. Produce a comprehensive how-to guide which will be for sale
  5. Monetise this blog with (hopefully subtle) advertising
  6. Freelance writing for websites and magazines

I feel like this is a natural progression for me and plays into the whole writer-entrepreneur role which seems unavoidable nowadays. Obviously, I’ll still be writing books and creating things at the same time. Let me know what you think because this is going to be a big shift for me and I trust all of your judgement. Do you think I have the kahunas for it? Am I selling out? Have any of you taken a similar sidestep? I’d be interested to know.

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12 responses to “Turning Pro

  1. I have no doubt that writing is what I’ve been put on this planet for. — Truly for me.

    And like you, I’ve come to the same conclusion that nowadays you definitely need to be an entrepreneur and good marketer, not just a good writer, to make a living if you choose to go without publisher.

    As you’re sure know what you do, you will succeed here. Good luck on that modern writer way! 🙂

    P.S. I hope someday in near future I can brag here in the comments about my own success, not only on Russian market, but on world-wide one as well.

  2. By the way, I still haven’t got your guide on self-publishing. But I subscribed to your blog a few months ago. Can you send it to me, please?

  3. Accountant. In the corporate rat-race. Starting to write fiction. Want a simpler, less-consuming life. We’re following the same path. I’m a few years behind you, and am enjoying your blog posts. Please keep them up.

  4. OK……this is all diversification, which is fine, but just think through carefully how you’re going to block time for actual writing which, as we’ve agreed before, is the hard part of creativity. Whilst your diversification ideas are all sound they seem to be too be more concrete than the difficulty associated with the dreaming up the stories and therefore potentially easier. Watch out that this diversification doesn’t build up and become a huge distraction. You must learn to”stick to the knitting!”

    • Thanks. If I could exist simply by sitting in my garret dreaming up stories then I would but diversification is unavoidable. The challenge will be, as you say, to make enough room to continue creating my mediocrely amazing stories but, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t bite off more than I could chew. My illustrator seems to be in Bali at the moment, I’m hoping he returns and doesn’t stay there forever.

  5. As a relative newcomer to your blog, I’d certainly say you have the requisite background, understanding and communication style to make a go of it. The only part of your Global Domination Agenda which I’d be wary of is the doing-it-all-for-you offering. There are so many horror stories out there of charlatans ripping off unsuspecting newbies that whenever I see anyone offering this option, it immediately makes me wary. Maybe that’s something you could keep un-advertised, but offer it, when appropriate, to folks using your other services? Either way, best of luck with the venture!

    • Thanks for the comment. I know what you mean but I also think that this type of service may be helpful to those who just can’t be bothered to do it themselves. I think I need to be upfront and transparent about it all and careful with the pricing so that it’s not ripping anyone off. Being very clear about exactly what someone can expect from the service will also be important.

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