Do you have a passion that you want to pursue? A dream that you want to make real? We all have that piece of us, big or small, that wants to take that dream and make it happen, make it part of your life or your livelihood.
Odds are, if you’re reading this, then you love to write. I have that same love that you do, and I’ve been on a journey to make that dream a reality for a few years now. That road has had many ups and downs, twists and turns, but has ultimately led to me publishing my debut novel in less than two months from this going live, starting my own business, and generally being happier than I ever was.
I’m calling this the journey of the writerpreneur and, over the course of the next few months, I am going to be sharing the best lessons of that journey with you. First we have to start with the basics, though.
What is a writerpreneur? Let’s define it.
A writerpreneur is someone who takes their passion for writing and treats it with the drive and smarts of an entrepreneur.
Now I know what you’re thinking: Doug, I don’t want to treat my writing like a business. I want to do it for fun!
And I get it. I’ve been there, as have had most writers who really chased their dream. If you just want to pursue your writing for you, as a hobby or just for fun, then you don’t need to be a writerpreneur. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
But if you have any intention of making writing your full-time or part-time income, then you must embrace the writerpreneur mindset. This writing could be any kind: writing novels, short stories, screenplays, poems, blogs, or social media content. Regardless of the type of writing, you need to think like a writing entrepreneur… a writerpreneur!
This first blog in the Writerpreneur Series will go over what is coming next and the high-level ideas that a writerpreneur needs to think of. Throughout the course of this blog series, we will dive deeper into each of these parts. First, we have to establish an overview of the writerpreneur mindset.
Let’s start with maybe the hardest one. A lot of my writer friends (and those writers who I haven’t met yet) are introverts. Writing can be a very solitary profession, so that’s understandable. But, in this day and age, effective use social media is a must.
There are a whole host of different social media platforms out there, so you can really pick your poison on what you think is best. In this series of blogs, we will specifically look at Twitter and Facebook, but other platforms will also make appearances.
I have to say, though, that if you haven’t started a professional writing Twitter account, that should be your first step. Right now.
The writing community on there is going to be one of the best ones you can be a part of. Especially lately, #WritingCommunity has been very active. It is a great place to get started.
Website and Blog
To get your writerpreneur journey started, you should also get a website and blog up and running. As effective as your social media is (or will become), you will want to start getting a following that recognizes you and loves what you create.
Your website can host your short stories, photos, contests, and anything else you think is relevant to who you are as a writer. Your blog should focus on either your journey or your niche. Your niche is whatever you are particularly talented at.
If you love making stories out of old black and white photos, blog about that. If you like to draw pictures inspired by your story, blog about that. The possibilities for your blog are nearly endless, so figure out what your niche is and start writing.
You might love the idea of blogging or you might hate me for even mentioning it. The truth is, blogging is the most effective marketing tool a writerpreneur has, but it doesn’t even feel like marketing. In time, I guarantee you will find it to be fun.
As for a website, don’t let that idea intimidate you. There are services like Wordpress and Wix that make it easy to create your own website. My personal favourite—and the one that I use for this website and Big Red Pen—is Squarespace. Try them out and figure out which works best for you.
Learn, Learn, Learn
There are some immutable tenants of entrepreneurship that every successful entrepreneur will tell you. One of those tenants is to never stop learning.
That may sound cheesy, but it’s the truth. While you branch out into the writing community, you will start finding blogs that you enjoy or YouTube channels that teach you something new. Don’t just skim through a single article or video! Subscribe to them or join their newsletter. Bookmark them and follow them on Twitter or Facebook.
Find ways to learn something new as much as you can. Make that something relevant to your writing or your other passions and set a goal. Start by trying to learn something new at least once a week. Keep track of what you learn for a month. Then learn something new a couple times a week. When you do that for a month, try learning something new every day.
Knowledge is the foundation of a great writerpreneur, so don’t starve yourself of it.
The part that we all started this journey for. Take it from my own experience…it is very easy to get caught up in the entrepreneur side of being a writerpreneur. It is new, it is exciting, and it can be way less scary than putting your writing out in front of people.
You need to write. If you want to be a writerpreneur, you need to recognize that the writer comes before the entrepreneur. But that doesn’t mean the entrepreneur can’t help the writer.
When it comes to your writing, embrace another entrepreneurial tenant: planning.
If you are like me, you absolutely hate planning. And if you are like me, then you still see the value in it, even if you don’t want to do it.
Without planning or scheduling, you will probably get your book finished. But it might take two or three years. With proper planning and scheduling, you can take a book from idea to market in a year. That is the effectiveness of a writerpreneur.
More than anything else, though, have fun with your writing. You write because you love it. You are a writerpreneur because you want to take that love and do it instead of your 9-5.
As I mentioned before, this blog is just the first in my series of writerpreneur blogs. Each of the sections that we just went through will be broken down even further so that we can break down exactly what it takes to be a writerpreneur.
Each new blog will go up biweekly. Be sure to give me a follow on Twitter to get all the latest updates on it and my writing. If you want to keep up to date on the writerpreneur series, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter down below.
Thanks for coming around writers and future writerpreneurs. Leave a comment down below about what you want to see in the writerpreneur journey, or leave a story about your own journey so far!