In the fall of the year 2012, I ‘packed my bags’ in.
I simply gave up on job seeking and aimed all out to create jobs. I was going nuts, people told me. And in some way, I tried to convince myself that I was truly nuts. So, I told very few people (two persons actually).
I figured: In launching a dream, do not be surprised the most people who’ll talk you down will be those you least expect.
I had spent five years studying a course I knew next to nothing about (but passed well anyway). And the few frustrating years in the college had taught me a couple lessons:
1. Love what you do and do what you love. Or you’ll just be frustrated and die young.
2. Learn all you can while you still got the chance.
3. Curiosity is the bedrock of all successes as it incites inquisitiveness and question-asking that helps further your cause.
I had something I wanted to live for (everyone does). It was a bug that clung unwaveringly to my heart. I so read a lot lecture time was reading time for me. (I know, doing the right thing at the wrong time, right? But it’s better than just watching the lecturers rant about what I just didn’t get). I got names from classmates for voracious reading (and occasionally scribbling). Boring names, really.
I was frustrated, uncomfortable, and simply living below what I was called to do.
I wanted to write. Really write.
And so I made up my mind at my graduation that year. I decided I would be a writer. I would write all the books, articles, novels, tv soaps, I could, and I would not only be a national figure, but an international figure.
I decided I would be a blessing, make impact.
I was crazy.
I was dreaming.
WHERE IT STARTED HURTING
But I had fears. I’d read lots of stories about broke writers. It just didn’t work to be a writer alone. And so while my faith shook, I went a voyage to allay those fears. And soon I discovered….
Gone are the days of broke writers.
With the advent of the internet, the proliferation of more technological means of marketing (especially books and web contents), I soon learned writers have got all the chances they want.
Websites are constantly being created. And all these sites need contents, right? Who’s going to get them the contents?
Big organisations now understand the need to go blogging now, right? So they’ll call for experts who’ll continually deliver high quality contents that will beef up their Google rank. Who’s going to get this done for them?
Magazines, newspapers, ezines, monthly publications, etc need contents, right? And they know how important good contents are (or they’ll be out on the streets soon), right? Who gets the job done?
Traditional publishers can stop throwing their shoulders around. Self-publishing now rock. Self-publishing affords you the opportunity to market your own books without throwing so much money around (except money for a sound editor, and maybe good book designer).
My point: gone are the days of ‘broke writers!’
Writers now rock.
Having allayed your fears (if you’re that scared writer), here are six steps to help you launch a successful writing career. If you’ll prefer part-time to full-time, all good. Just do what you love and ditch the fear of ‘not being able to eke out a living from writing.’
1. Decide To do it.
You’re a writer. No one is going to decide for you. You’ve got to decide for yourself if this is a road you’re willing to ply. And you had better not be swayed by the financial benefits I highlighted above (though good), writing has got it’s challenges too. And you have to be willing to meet the odds. The Resistance is constantly fighting.
2. Love 5am.
Show up always. If the desk doesn’t find you at it when you’ve decided to, you’re most definitely on your way out. If you’ve got a regular writing time (and you’ve got to have one), so much better. I’ve got a writing time I stick with (3am) but I still scribble some during the day.
3. Dress For success
I didn’t start writing seriously until a year ago. Then I began to take my works out of the lockers and to throw them out to be read, critiqued and murdered (if need be. (I just didn’t care anymore). I started treating my writing career like business. I created a business card, designed a letterhead, listed out my writing services, continually bought internet data bundles, planned a business plan, worked on a vision/mission statement, created goals/plans, began freelance writing, studied other blogs, and successfully launched a blog. Writing is business. Treat it that way.
4. Have a solid bio
Can you write about yourself in just five sentences such that I’ll be tempted to click your ‘Hire Me’ page? A solid bio tells prospects (clients, readers, etc) about who you are. It should educate, entertain and give straightforward detail about you. Who are you? Why should prospects trust you enough to buy your services? Don’t just write that you’re a freelance writer. Write, “I’m a magazine freelance writer.” That way prospects know what you’re specialized in.
5. Run a blog.
This is fast becoming an overflogged gist. But it’s still important. Now, anyone can build a platform and start selling whatsoever. As a writer, a good way to sell your services is a blog. Much as it takes diligence and dedication to run one, the benefits are overwhelming. This works best when you’re an expert at what you do and readers can rest assured of quality contents. And the best of all is: your readers can trust you enough to ‘kill’ you if you’ve got nothing to sell.
6. Throw yourself out.
While a blog affords you the chance to build a platform, you’ll need something much more to call in the traffic. You’ll need marketing. And here’s where it rocks! You don’t have to ‘talk’ here. The social media will be your best friend in marketing yourself (for starters). I use Google+, twitter, facebook and LinkedIn. You could decide to add others (but sticking with these four is just okay. Too many social media can kill your work). Guestblogging is a more preferred option for some, and should be an essential part in your marketing archive. Comment intelligently on other blogs and be sure to leave your URL.
These are concise points intended to help you launch a writing career. Whether part-time or full-time, you can make the craft worthy entreprenuerially only through practise. So what are your practice plans?
Have you launched a writing career? What are yours challenges? What’s holding you back from launching out? Share your comments below.
Yusuff Busayo is a Writer, Blogger, Enterpreneur, and Speaker who’s got unflinching love for books and book-making. Here, I blog about Writing, Creativity, and Making Impact. Check out the “Let’s Write Daily” page (coming soon) to discover how I and other writers alike can help you achieve your authorship dream.
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.