The mind is a limitless place to wander in your own thoughts. The number of stories, scenarios, and amount of information that your brain has absorbed is practically endless. NOW is the time to write the stories, to write your thoughts, to inform others of your knowledge and experiences, and to share your imagination.
Of all the things to choose to make money… why writing? What makes it the most invaluable skill asset you’ll ever have? Why is writing becoming so popular now?
Self Publishing is IN.
For one, self-publishing is at an all-time high, but only few succeed in making their book a smashing success. What is going to separate you from everyone else? Getting the book finished and authenticity.
Self-publishing takes out the need for traditional publishing contracts, the risk of not being paid what you’re owed, and other requirements a traditional publishing company may have. Self-publishing is incredibly easy, too, once you get your first book under your belt. What I love about self-publishing is that it’s a race against your self. A self-imposed challenge.
Royalties are collected generally once a month. I receive my royalties from Amazon without fail every 29th of the month from the month ending 60 days prior. So for January book sales, I get paid on March 29, for example.
I also love that I get to choose my editors, or simply self-edit. You have the full control over your writing projects! You can freelance, you can write for hire, write on contract, write books, or simply write an expert blog. There are a multitude of ways to earn money as a writer.
Pandemic-Proof Any Business
When the pandemic hit, book sales went down. So why on earth am I recommending you get into writing?
Well, the one thing that people pursued in the pandemic days was education. Opportunities. Reading material that was accessible. Learning new skills. We craved learning new things because of 1) boredom 2) fear of losing income 3) replacing career income with work-from-home income.
Maybe you lost your job. Perhaps your job changed. Maybe you’re just plain tired of working for other people. Whatever the reason, writing is a skill that can be learned, honed, and mastered with time and practice.
Writing is the one form of communication we all rely on. It can be translated into braille or another language, made into audio, converted into visuals, and expressed in so many different forms of file types. It’s the one thing that allows us all to connect, whatever the language.
How to Get Started Writing
Stop procrastinating. Begin by writing. Take it in small increments, work in small sessions of 20 minutes, and see how many words you can conjure up to create your first masterpiece. YOU can do this. I know you can.
Allie Pleiter, who has published over 40 books in her writing career, is an amazing resource on productivity and getting the writing done. She serves as a coach to many writers, who may be struggling with different aspects of getting the writing done.
So I recommend working with Allie if you’re struggling. Because those who get the books written, the content developed, and the courses created are the ones who win. You can’t sell a draft or an unwritten book.
Start with a Blog
I have an entire page dedicated to starting a blog. Blogging is a great way to introduce yourself to disciplined writing to the market. If you don’t have your own website yet, start by reading my page about starting a blog first and then get started within about 20 minutes! It’s super easy to start a blog.
Once you start blogging, you’ll start developing a rhythm to your writing. You’ll discover your voice, your style, and the topics you most like to talk about. ‘The blog format generally allows bloggers to be less formal and more brief than traditional essayists. There are many different formats and publishing sources for blogs including Tumblr and WordPress, but I recommend self-hosting through GoDaddy and install WordPress as the primary application.
Try Writing Essays
Essays are short non-fiction pieces recounting personal experiences or offering analysis and opinion on an issue or story. Essays can be published in many different places and types of publications and are a great starting point for new writers.
Poetry Your Thing?
Poetry is more for emotionally driven writers who like exploring a form with many avenues to play with form and structure. Many non-fiction writers and traditional fiction writers like writing poetry to supplement their other work as it allows them a different creative outlet than their other writing.
Try Short Stories
Short stories for new fiction writers is a good format to use as a starting point. Short stories have a lower word count than traditional novels and are a great place to start learning the principles of fiction writing. Is there a market for short stories? Absolutely!
Write a Whole Novel
Writing a novel is for when you feel you’ve got the basics down. Novels give you the space and length to dig into complex characters or plot out complex storylines. Novels can be shopped around to lit agents for representation and can also be sold through self-publishing.
Audio is Hot
Audiobooks and podcasts are a non-traditional avenue for writers to explore. Writing for an audio medium presents a different sort of challenge for writers. This is an emerging hot market for writers, and not one to be ignored!
Get Over the Anxiety of Writing
Starting out as a writer can be equal parts exciting and discouraging. Learning a new skill and accepting constructive criticism can be daunting, while exploring a new medium and exercising your creativity can be exhilarating. Exploring different types of writing and finding a niche are important steps for any writer just starting out.
Finding Time to Write
Writing requires a bit of discipline. Carving out time in your day to do writing requires effort and sacrifice to an extent. But believe me, it’s worth it! Try to write in 15-20 minute stints. It’s easier for your brain to work hard, relax and get a breather, and then come back to your piece with fresh eyes and a newfound perspective while you take a break.
I recommend trying to write anywhere between 2-3 hours a day. It challenges your brain and over time you’ll help remove that barrier from the brain to the fingertips on your keyboard.
Focus on Word Count
Why does word count matter? Well, your words actually have to ‘amount’ to something of substance. A book is not comprised of less than 5000 words. A ranking Google blog post requires much more than just 300 words. In fact, the recommended blog post length is anywhere between 1200-3000 words. My longest one is 16,000+ words!
Want to learn more about writing and how to make money by staying busy – writing? Try my Art of Blogging Masterclass which includes three courses: Pinterest Marketing Amplification, Email Marketing Magic, and Copy Cocktail, where you’ll learn how to get blog traffic, email and use sales funnels, and how to write copy that resonates and converts.
Or, you can check out my book, How to Make Money with Your Writing. It covers all sorts of self-publishing advice and ways you can generate an income just through writing.
There is a writer in all of us. You have a story to share, too, and we want to hear it. Why not make a living from it, as well?! NOW is the time to write!
Also published on Medium.