So You Wanna Be a Writer

If you’re running a business, or you’ve done some studies around Business and Management, you would know that you have to be very clear with what your goals are. Define your Purpose (why do we do what we do), Vision (where do we want to go) and Strategy (how do we get there). Based on that, everything you do day in and day out should be aligned with the above and take you one step closer to achieving your organisational goals. Make sense.

However, it’s a bit more complicated when you are trying to start up a business “on the side” because you don’t have the time to allocate all your energy and resources towards your number one goal. Life and work just get in the way, which means not everything you do day in and day out is aligned with your personal goals. You simply don’t have the time for an all-in investment …

At some point, you would have to cut-over and quit your job so you can fully focus on building your own business. However, you can only do that when you have enough cash flow to cover you and your family for a while. Either a real client who pays, financial support, or winning the lottery. Not many of us have those privileges.

What if your new business is becoming a Writer?

So you wanna be a writer, and you’re willing to dedicate whatever time you have to write your own special blog, the manuscript you had in the back of your mind since forever, or the novel which would be your first real breakthrough. How do you do that while juggling family, kids, work and everything else in your super busy life?

There are quite a few pieces of advice online and in proper literature for writers-to-be, so I’m not going to pretend giving a sophisticated advice to anyone as I struggle to find the magical way. Yet, here are a few things I did learn on the go so far:

  • Pick the relevant advise. Any recommendations describing how you should write throughout the day, from early morning to late afternoon, are only relevant for established writers. Ignore them, even if they come from world famous writers. We don’t have the privilege to sit all day and write… not yet anyway.
  • Word Count is a common way to force yourself to sit down and spill out the words on paper. It might work for deadline-driven human beings. Give it a go. Start with 200 words per day, 5 days a week. You know what, start with 3 days a week, and stick to it… (easier said than done)
  • Find your routine. This is actually where I struggle the most. I’m not a morning person, but I try to wake up early and kick in a few lines every morning while the house is still silent, over my first cup of coffee. I am, however, more of a late night owl, though sometimes I’m just too exausted after a long day at work, to sit and focus late at night for a long and consistent stretch of days.
  • Make time for writing. With your busy schedule, there are quite a few opportunities along the day that you could (and should) use to fill in the gaps: commute time, kids’ drop offs to any activities (stop being social and chat to other parents to kill time, instead sit with your phone or notepad and write write write).
  • Read a lot, every day. You can’t make your own music if you don’t listen and play other people’s music. Same with writing. Read and learn from other writers, their style and their mistakes. Expend your exposure to literature. Learn every day.

Hope this helps. Let me know what you think in the comments below. BTW, a great book I read a while back and I warmly recommend is:

Big Magic

 

 

3 Comments

  1. I’ve learned through endeavoring to become a Hip Hop Producer and some years later, an independent CPA that the “sit down everyday and do something towards your goal” bromide is pretty useless. I’ve come to believe there is no rhyme or reason to any of this and that only a few things help you in life: graduating from a good university, our network, being white, being male, being already rich/wealthy, using sexual advantage (as a woman) or a male willing to engage with a gay male. Outside of those, which are no guarantee, it’s all a toss up in the matrix. Being black and male and graduating from a sucky university (but with no debt: student loan nor otherwise) has landed me NOWHERE but sleeping in my car on Los Angeles streets at night, driving postmates during the day and evening to make money for food, clothing etc. but definitely not rent money. My accounting career went nowhere; especially tanked after receiving CPA License. My music career in NY went nowhere, so with this writing thing or whatever other pursuits I dabble in, I HAVE NO HOPES, NO DREAMS, NO EXPECTATIONS; I’ll just let it be.

    I say all that to say, YOU CAN’T FORCE IT (ANYTHING). So do it whenever inspiration strikes. I say that because I tried to: glad-hand, network, work long-hard hours at my last crafts, prayed, hoped, dreamed; as I said, IT ONLY LANDED ME LIVING IN MY CAR!

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    1. Hey brother, thank you for your feedback. I can only imagine the music industry is hard to thrive in with so much competition. I know how it is in IT where for every 1 success story there are thousands of failures who go bankrupt. However, I really think that you are better than many others- because you gave it a real go. If you never try you’ll never know. And you did. Wish you all the best and good luck in the near future. Success will come, don’t lose hope.

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      1. Why do you address me as “brother”? I honestly HATE THAT! Oh, because I said I’m “Black and Male”! STOP THAT SHIT! IT’S SO CORNY, may I say, RACIST AND SEPARATING! Me stating I’m “Black and Male” IS NOT A CRY FOR ANYONE TO CALL ME BROTHER! Caveat: I HATE WHEN BLACK PEOPLE CALL ME BROTHER AS WELL! You DON’T FUCKING KNOW ME, and even the people who know me, DON’T CALL ME “BROTHER!”

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