This should be obvious to anyone trying to build a writing career. To build implies that you are making something new, that has not been made before. You are stretching yourself. To be successful, you must constantly stretch out of the zone you’re comfortable in and push yourself to try new things.
There are more examples of this than I can possibly mention. But here goes.
Maybe you’ve always outlined stories, hunting down and organizing every detail before setting the pen to the page. Maybe by now it feels like drudgery to reach the point where you can WRITE. Let me tell you, if any part of this journey you’re taking on for the joy feels like drudgery, you’re doing it wrong. Or at least, you need to try something new. Set aside the outline and just start writing. Or, if you can’t do it with the project you’re now over-attached to, daydream for a day and then attack a whole new story. Do it fast, in a glorious rush. Whatever you’ve done before, try the opposite.
What do you have to lose?
Or suppose you already have books for sale, but only on Amazon, because you’re worried that managing all of the sites will be too much. At this point, I encourage you to think over everything you’ve learned and become comfortable with so far. You climbed a mountain reaching the point where you could publish fiction. Do you really believe you’ll be stumped by retailer sites that want you to sell more books? Take it on. You can do this.
Again what do you have to lose?
Maybe you’ve never networked with other writers, because the idea of calling yourself a writer in public freaks you out to the marrow of your bones (I felt that way, once upon a time). Don’t cave to fear. You will miss out on so much! Every other writer on the planet has dealt with fear. If you know their names, it’s because they didn’t let that stop them. I don’t know many uncool writers, by the way. Most are quite friendly, and encouraging of writers newer to the craft. The best writers know that they, too, still have plenty to learn, and they continue to learn all of the time. That takes networking, so stretch out of the comfort zone and 1) Join a writer discussion group on any number of social media outlets; 2) Join a goal-setting writers group, like Round of Words in 80 Days (I met some of my best writer friends through that group!); and 3) network in person at writers events. Many major cities have writers organizations, and they can be a great way to get to know what’s going on writer-wise in your town.
You have nothing to lose, except that fear I mentioned.
All of the innovations we see in the book market today were once someone’s dreams. When they tried something new, we all benefited. When you try something new, you might stumble on the next great thing. At the very least, you’ll have some fun and stop taking everything so seriously. Is that why you’re here, to stress and moan over how hard it is to learn?
No. You’re here because you’re a natural at learning. Because you love it.
If you’re anything like me, part of why you’re interested in a writing career is the ability to always be charting new territory. So do it. Chart your way into the future — YOUR WAY.
Be the creator you’re meant to be. Your writing career will be one of a kind. I can’t wait to see what you make of it.
For a full list of Own Your Writing Career posts in the order they were written, visit my Writers page. I’ll be back with another Own Your Writing Career post next Thursday. Until then, happy writing!!
“Own Your Writing Career: To Stretch Thy Wings, Thou Must Try New Things” copyright © 2015 by J.R. Pearse Nelson