by Rachel Hauck @RachelHauck
When I began to pursue novel writing as a career, I also had “back pocket options.”
If writing didn’t work out I could learn a trade like hair or nails.
I worked in the corporate software world but wanted some flexibility with my time.
And year-by-year, I watched older, more senior employees get “downsized.”
Eventually that would be me.
But I didn’t really want to do hair and nails, I wanted to write novels.
I wanted the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Pre published, the pot seemed impossible to find.
Not only did I face the challenge of writing a sellable novel, I had to find an agent and/or publisher.
Was it worth it to devote my time and energy in trying to publish when the odds felt astronomical.
If and when I did sell, would I stay published?
Every author journey is different.
Some will write in-between the day job and raising a family.
Others will write a few books, then find they have a new passion and move on.
Then there’s folks like me.
We want to make writing our career. We wear a business hat as well as a creative one.
But with new authors coming along all the time and the publishing landscape changing daily, how do we make a career in this business?
I’m still learning the business side to be honest. But there are some basics career authors need to consider.
I’ve been writing full time almost 11 years, contracted for more than 12, and after observing and learning, here are five of my best tips.
1. Decide what kind of career you want. Even if it unfolds in phases, make a decision. Do you want to be in it for the long haul? Part-time? Decide what a “writing career” means for you.
- If you want to endure in publishing, decide what kind of career you want.
2. Take it one book at a time. Thinking too far ahead can be discouraging and distract you from your current work. Same with looking back… It’s easy to think, “Will I ever make head way?” Or, “I started out so well, what happened?” Life happens. The market happens. Stick with it. One book at a time.
- If you want to endure in publishing, take it one book at a time.
3. Keep learning the craft. Being artist is fun and writing on that energy of discovery is one of the best parts about what we do. But learning the nuts and bolts. Learn the craft. Decide to get better with every book.
- If you want to endure in publishing, keep learning the craft.
4. Trust your voice. I told someone once, “I’m sick of reading me.” Meaning my own work throughout the editing process. But the readers have a different view. They expect to read a “Rachel Hauck” book so it’s up to me to be creative, improving my craft while hanging on to the “magic” and “charm” of my voice that builds a readership.
- If you want to endure in publishing, trust your voice.
5. Be disciplined. Books are not written in a vacuum. Nor by the power of creative inspiration. They are written one word at a time, spending time in front of the blank page even when you don’t feel like it. Even when life is coming at you fast. And then! Roll up your sleeve and rewrite.
- If you want to endure in publishing, become disciplined with your time.
Rachel lives in sunny central Florida.
Her novel, Once Upon A Prince, was a 2014 Christy Award Finalist.
Her third Royal Wedding book, How To Catch A Prince, releases in Feb 24, 2015.