Smell that? Yeah. Hearsay. Myths. Or as I like to call it, gibberish. Light a candle, quick! It reeks.
Unfortunately, myths about writing are a thing. And for full-time writers like yours truly, the old urban legends tend to peep their ugly noggin out from behind the sofa every now and again.
Don’t let them put you off!
Let it be known, as a warning; the sad truth is, there will always be some writing myth out there that will attempt to kick the ladder from under your feet. Things like needing a stack of startup cash and a wealth of qualifications, having to be a member of the “grammar police” or a workaholic, and always having to seek paid work to start a writing career.
I quit my office job in 2015 to become a full-time writer, and I’m here to tell you that writing for a living is very possible, given you side-step the myths, hearsay, and speculative jargon I’m about to tell you about.
The writing gods from the future sent me to warn you about these threats … I kid you not!
Come on, I’ve got you.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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?Continue reading
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?Continue reading