A professional writer has to be one of the most creative people in the world, not only in their craft but in their business skills.
As both a writer and book publisher, I can’t tell you how often I heard someone say, “I’m going to write a book one day.” As I watched their progress as a “professional writer,” I found they spent so much time talking about writing and their project, that the work never got done. All of their energies went into talking about it. Sad.
In the real world, very few people actually make their living from writing. It is a very tough business, and rarely does a published book make its money back. There are, however, ways that you can make money as a professional writer, if you set yourself up properly.
As a Professional Writer:
Take Yourself Seriously
First and foremost, you must take yourself seriously as a writer.
That doesn’t mean announcing your new profession to the world. It means that you devote time every single day to writing. Sometimes, you will produce an article or blog, while other times, you may be writing that novel that has bounced around inside your head for years.
Don’t call yourself a writer until you produce something. Then people will take you seriously.
Secondly, you must hone writing skills. There are so many great storytellers around, but give them a sheet of paper and say write it, and you will find they cannot.
Know how sentences are formed, how dialogue sounds, how different types of articles and blogs are constructed, and how books (both fiction and non-fiction) are built.
Benefit from an Editor
Third, get a super editor who has the ability to communicate with you, and then listen to them.
A good editor will point out when you have problems within your manuscript. They know punctuation rules and when to leave a sentence fragment alone. They will work with you to make your manuscript shine.
I don’t tell you this just because I am an editor; I am also a reader and bad editing destroys anything else good in a book.
How many times have you read a review, particularly for an eBook, and the readers complain about the lack of editing within the book. An editor will make you look like a professional writer.
Put those words on a page!
Kathy’s Note: Actually, I got carried away with this topic and wrote a really long blog about the business of writing. When posting it on the website, I realized that I had two different blogs. If you want to read the “second half” of this blog, see Making Money from Writing.