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Category Archives for Entrepreneurship

5 Useful Habits You Need as a Professional Writer

Now that your business has grown and more money is coming in, there’s one thing that may be giving you a headache as a professional writer:

How to cope with a workload that’s growing and expanding on a daily basis at an alarming rate.

Not only do you have to respond to emails, pay bills, maintain your website, manage your social media accounts, resolve technical issues, keep your books, and manage your taxes, you also need to write regularly.

Gone are the days of having lots of time for your family and friends because you now work very long hours every day, including weekends. To make matters worse, you also sleep a lot less and are mentally and physically tired most of the time.

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pen name

Pros and Cons of Using a Pen Name

Using a pen name (also known as a pseudonym, literary double, or nom de plume) is a writing tradition that is both old and widespread. Many of the classic authors we are familiar with wrote and published using a pen name—Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) being one characteristic example.

The reasons behind using a pen name can vary. Sometimes, one’s real name might be considered too long or too difficult to pronounce. “Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum” would’ve been a challenge for a publisher (and a nightmare for a cover designer), so “Ayn Rand” was preferred. 

Moreover, some famous female authors have opted for a pen name to hide their gender, in order to be taken more seriously. Examples include George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Currer and Ellis Bell (Charlotte and Emily Brontë), and James Tiptree Jr. (Alice Bradley Sheldon).

Using a pen name can have some important benefits regarding marketing and publishing. Plus, using a pen name can help your writing—for reasons you might not readily appreciate, as I’ll explain later in the post.

However, here’s a crucial question: Can using a pen name also hurt your writing?

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The 3 Short-Term Challenges Writers Should Consider

Most authors, like myself, have had grand ambitions about their writing. Let me see if I can guess yours correctly.

You’ve always had long-term ambitions of being published by well-respected publications around the globe, getting your name “out there,” and nailing down some highly valued clients in the process. 

Did I guess right?

While I’ve personally milestoned many of these ambitions to date by working for some high-profile search engine optimization (SEO) companies, agencies, and publications in the past and present, I am in no way satisfied by just sitting on my hands or sleeping on a win—I want them all on my resume. 

Now who said being ambitious was a crime, eh? 

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One Way To Abandon Your 9-to-5 Job and Become a Full-Time Writer

Some writers discover their calling early in life; others might be late bloomers. There is no universal right or wrong, but understanding (and adapting to) your individual circumstances can be pivotal in evolving as a writer.

I knew what I wanted to do for some time; right from the beginning of my early 20s (I’m 31 now), and that was to write!

Balancing my full-time, 9-to-5 office job with writing drafts, practicing, and pitching to local editors in the evenings (until the early hours of the morning) was admittedly a tough grind—and it took some getting used to. 

But, hey, that was OK with me. I was prepared to walk that extra mile on glass barefooted to get there. 

I wanted to become a writer, full time; desperately. And in the process, I wanted to leave that dreadful 9-to-5 admin job in a puff of dust behind me. Five long years. It just wasn’t me, that job. I was better than that. 

“Make your own pissing cup of coffee; answer your own friggin’ telephones, and post your own God darned letters,” I’d think to myself, often. 

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