"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Friday, November 25, 2011

Barriers to a Profitable Writing Career

(OR 5 Negative mindsets that keep you from making money)

If you study or read about the lives of many accomplished writers, inventors, or industry icons, you’ll find one thing in common.
Before they became successful, they had to overcome doubts and adopt a positive mindset to prepare them to prosper and achieve great heights.

Consider the words of motivational great, Zig Ziglar, who tells us, “You can if you think you can!” Or the writings of best selling author, Napoleon Hill, instructing us to “Think and Grow Rich.”

Of course, hard work has its place. But without the proper principles to support your efforts, you may be unknowingly sabotaging your own success.

With this is mind, here are five negative mindsets that keep most writers from making money, and how you can overcome them.

1. The Starving Artist mentality.
Okay, let’s be honest. How many of us love to write, but have college degrees in everything but writing, because we bought into the belief that writing was not “a real job”? Sure, we all know of poets that died in poverty, back in the day. However, in today’s publishing world, it’s possible to generate a pretty penny by penning words. Whether it’s through fictional works like Harry Potter, or tell-all bios by athletes and actresses, there is money to be made. Why not by you?

2. If I charge more, I’ll get fewer clients.
Not necessarily, unless you only get assignments through bidding sites. Writing is a service, much like a dentist, or a mechanic, or a counselor, or a chef. It’s important for you to recognize your value before others will. And by discounting your fees, ultimately you’ll feel overworked and underappreciated.

3. I’ll probably get rejected.
Newsflash: it comes with the territory! As someone who has written hundreds of articles and earned thousands of dollars, I can assure you that rejection never ends. Never. I still get them. But, keep in mind that a rejection is not to be personalized, as it is not a death sentence for one’s career, nor should it define you. Learn from it, then become better, not bitter.

4. I can never seem to find the time to write.
Time, like money, must be budgeted properly for the best results. Famous authors like John Grisham and Terry McMillan combined very demanding careers and the rigors of life, and managed to launch and maintain very profitable writing careers while moonlighting. And you can too. Keep in mind that prioritization and discipline are crucial. In fact, you might be surprised to discover how much more productivity you can out of your day with fewer hours devoted to TV, and a little less socializing on the Net.

5. I’m not as good as---------- (fill in the blank).
There you go again, with negative self-talk that compares your abilities with that of others. Truth is, there will always be competition, and we each have our unique talents, strengths, and gifts. Use yours to continue to hone your craft and to being the best you that you can be.

Pay attention to what you tell yourself as you pursue your creative career. Because your core beliefs today will shape tomorrow’s success. “As a man thinketh, so it is.”

Thoughts? Any pertain to you and your career?

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  2. Great post Jennifer. I think I have bought into some of these myths as well, especially #2 or #5. We can become our own worst enemy as writers, and it's easy to forget how much opportunity there is out there. Thanks for keeping me straight. :)

  3. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 26, 2011 at 7:26 AM

    Thanks, Bryan! I'm guilty of # 2 as well. :-)

    You're right--opps are abundant.

  4. Jennifer, all of those messages can cripple a new writer. They also become roadblocks to established writers. I like your coment, get better not bitter. You can;t win if you don't play. Thanks again for an inspiring post.

  5. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 27, 2011 at 4:21 AM


    ...And thank you for continuing to inspire me!
    Also, a big thanks for your vote for my Blog @ Write to Done. :-)

  6. Thanks, Jen, for helping us stay focused and positive!

  7. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 28, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    My pleasure! Thanks for weighing in today.

  8. Jennifer, thanks a lot, for giving examples of
    John Grisham and Terry McMillan

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  9. Jennifer Brown BanksDecember 1, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Ruby Claire,

    Welcome! Glad you approved.

  10. Thanks for writing this, I'm usually stopping myself with #4 as an excuse. It does take time, and you're right, it really does need to be budgeted.