Guest Blog Post: Why You Shouldn’t Expect to Earn a Living From Writing Day One

Guest Blog Post: Why You Shouldn’t Expect to Earn a Living From Writing Day One

writing

Image By Athena

You’re a budding writer. You’ve just landed your first writing job and you are thinking “finally, I’m going to make the big bucks!” Right?

Wrong!

Don’t be fooled when looking at the likes of J.K Rowling and Stephenie Meyer – we can’t all make a massive fortune like them! In fact, most writers don’t make a lot of money at all. You shouldn’t expect to earn a living from writing from day one. And here’s why…

No Proof, No Pay-Check!

When you’re trying to bag your first writing job, you can’t expect to get it based solely on your A in GCSE English! Anyone can get a qualification, but publishers are looking for people with experience and talent.

And you can’t expect a wage for your writing if you don’t have any examples of your talent! How do employers know that you’re any good? They don’t. So don’t expect to get employed as a writer if you have no real proof that you can write.

So how do I do that? You ask? Well, it’s simple really – as long as you aren’t expecting a pay check!

If you write fiction, sign up to websites such as Writer’sCafe.com, or Movellas.com, where you can publish your work for free and build up a fan base. This will show potential employers how popular your writing is, based on reviews and feedback given by others. If you’re an aspiring journalist, what better to kick-start your career than by having a blog? If you join voluntary schemes such as GKBC’s Writer Academy, you can build up a huge portfolio of published work on the net.

Now, I know that if you’re still reading this then you really want to make a career out of writing. But unless you spend a good while following the tips I gave above, don’t expect to make a fortune! And even then, there’s always competition….

Competition, Competition, Competition

Even if you follow these handy guidelines, you still shouldn’t expect a mass of banknotes to come flooding in – especially if you’re a new writer – because the odds are, there’s always going to be someone better than you. Maybe they’ve had more work published. Or perhaps they’re simply more talented. Either way, you can’t anticipate a huge salary when you’re compared to those who have been in the industry a lot longer.

At the beginning of your career, you’ll spend most of your time sitting on the sidelines and watching others achieve all the glory. You’ll try your best, and sometimes even then you may not succeed.

You might not like it. You might not even understand it. But you’ve got to accept it. Because if you’ve made it to the end of this post, and still want to be a writer, then I guarantee that you will succeed. Because real writers aren’t in it for the money; they’re in it simply for their love of writing and willingness to succeed.

Featured images:

Mikhaila Friel is a budding writer and a devoted blogger. She writes for GKBCinc and she recommends their Writers’ Academy to other aspiring writers.

The Madness of Pre-Release Marketing…Again

The Madness of Pre-Release Marketing…Again

Emily the Strange #1, Dark Horse Comics (Augus...
Emily the Strange #1, Dark Horse Comics (August 2005) I feel just like this. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My fiancé and I did some thorough research on this SEO optimization thing, only to come to one conclusion: that I have no time to manage the maintenance of my own wordpress.org website and certainly don’t have the money to hire someone to do it. I keep reading articles that mention people shy away from SEO because of its complexities, but I’m shying away from it because of its power to be time-consuming. I have to work my part-time job, for my  health I need to do ballet, for my book I need to keep on top of social media and blogging, and for my writing career, I need to keep writing. I’ll also be starting school up in the fall where I will have to drop some of my work hours, so where can managing my own .org database fall into this? It can’t. It’s simply impossible. I barely even have any time to read. I need to get to reading a proof from an author looking for pre-release quotes. I’ll probably end up doing that during work today instead of checking my traffic results.

So instead of stressing about this SEO plugin, I’m just going to have to start using Google AdWords to choose the strongest keywords that will yield more search engine results to my website while expecting WordPress to deal with all the maintenance and junk. I also need to buy my own domain simply because it looks better.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep doing weekly book giveaways. I might have to hold off on doing one for one week simply because my fiancé wants me to buy IMAX tickets for Superman (I also said I would anyway), and that’s pricey. But I do want to keep doing this because not only is it the best way to bring in an audience, but it’s a way for me to thank my followers because I don’t always have the time to return the favor by visiting their websites, even though I do my best to read the posts that I find in the Reader. I also try to visit the websites of frequent visitors to mine, but I think books for now are the best way of showing that appreciation.

I am still trying to crack the code of how to use Tumblr as a viable form of social media. I just think the best way to do this is make very visual blog posts and talk about my writing life. Since Tumblr is filled with aspiring teen writers, they think it’s amazing when you land a book deal, so talking about that is likely to get me more attention than talking about it on, say, Twitter, where authors often frequent anyway and getting a book deal to them anymore is like eating a Skittle. Skittles still taste great, but you can’t have just one.

For Twitter, I’m going to do my best to attend scheduled chats that relate to blogging or writing or both. I also need to take my author’s page on Facebook seriously, but, half the time, I never know what to do with it, so more research is necessary for that.

Also, if my contract manager can’t afford to (because she will be spending some money on marketing, something you don’t find at a lot of houses), I’m going to take the leap and buy an ad on BookBub. I’m going to do more research though to see how effective this really is because the ads are pricey. It’s lucky I’m doing young adult because YA ads are $200.00. But I have crazy dreams and I don’t stop until I’ve achieved them, even with monetary risk.

 

Depressive Episodes Won’t Daunt Me

Depressive Episodes Won’t Daunt Me

Looking upon 2013 so far makes me realize what an amazing year it has been. And this is in spite of the moments I’d cry by myself, wishing I were dead, or laying in bed for hours believing I wouldn’t be able to do anything that I loved without screwing it up. I know it’s insane to say 2013 is great when I spend a good deal of my time depressed, irritable, sometimes hopeless, sometimes sad. How is it possible for me to be able to look back upon all of this and go, “Well, this year has, in fact, been pretty incredible.”

I’ll tell you why: not only have I changed my thinking, about the way I view my depression, but I’m learning to let the good things outweigh the bad.

For some reason most of us want the bad to outweigh the good. We look at one tragedy caused by one or two people and are sickened by the human race. But we don’t look at the countless scores of people reaching out and helping in the midst of tragedy. This is the kind of thinking I’m changing. Tragedies are tragedies and are heartrending and make me wonder how another human being could do that to someone (because, by my nature, I love people), but then there are so many people doing so many good things each and every day.

In any case, why am I no longer letting my depression rule me? Is it because I am no longer depressed? Not necessarily. I still have problems with irritability, but I’m giving myself reasons to wake up so I don’t find myself trapped in bed until 12: mainly this blog, thinking of strong content to pound out, and advancing my writing career. These are phenomenal reasons for me to wake up earlier than I usually do. I’ve been waking up at 9 when I normally wake up at 12. And that’s good, because before I let depression drown me, 8 or 9 o’clock was my wake-up time. I couldn’t physically sleep in any later until depression struck.

So what are some of the good things that have happened to me this year that are keeping me from drowning?

This is Wind, my favorite role in the recital I participated in. It will also be my author photo.
This is Wind, my favorite role in the recital I participated in. It will also be my author photo.

I was chosen to dance in Columbia County’s ‘Roar of Love.’ I was stunned. I hadn’t been there in almost two months due to psychiatric visits and my health, and here I was being asked to perform three roles, two of which were en pointe, one of which is for girls above my level. Not only was I overjoyed, but it was a compliment to my skills to put me in three roles when I wasn’t present for a good bit of the first part of the ballet school year. I mean, I came back after all the hospitalizations and hadn’t lost anything, not my strength or technique, and I was so worried about those two things.

But dancing in a recital was  a dream come true, especially because there is no true adult ballet program in my area and so I have to dance with kids–but I love the girls I dance with and wouldn’t leave them for any adult ballet program. Even though I was still trapped in the web of depression, going to ballet helped immensely with my mood, and I always left chipper and with a renewed sense of self-esteem. And even though I woke up the next day, and the day after that, and so on and so forth, wondering how ballet could help my dark mood, it always did.

What else is great about 2013?

Shush!

Well, that is a secret. But I can tell you I’m proud of myself for getting back into writing, being able to blog as much as I am, getting back into my literary magazine; I freaking registered for fall classes, I’m going to pick up more hours at work, and I’m going to do a ballet summer intensive among other *hush*surpsingthings*hush*. Now if my depression starts flaring doing all these things, I’ll slow down. I mean, frankly, I’m writing all of this in the heat of excitement. Even depressed people experience situational joy from time to time. But I’m going to keep up the positive thinking even when I feel like crap. As I’ve said before, I can’t change the way I feel, but I can change the way I think.

I can’t wait to tell you all what this surprise is though!