Writers Really Need To Understand Business To Make Money

Doug Green
Oct 2 · 2 min read
Image courtesy at Pixabay

There are 2 inescapable parts to being a successful writer and it pains me to point them out to you.

  • The first is the glorious struggle, often to the death, with words. This is what we think of when we think “writing”. We imagine a lonely garret, fingerless gloves, sharpening quills and high towers on the moor edges. The slowly engulfing fog is kept at bay by cheerful fires fed by willing servants. Oh how we imagine towers and turrets!
  • The second is the more modern and practical series of small business courses you’ll force yourself to take. To understand bookkeeping and project management is as important as grammar. To fathom the depths of marketing and sales and to set goals and evaluate taxation standards is the daily life of turning a profit with your words.

These things are the skeletal system of a business plan for your creative life. Boring. Deadly.

But oh so necessary in a modern writer’s arsenal!

In the real world you will spend half your time struggling over words and half time struggling to market and understand the business of writing. This is a sad fact but true. The habits of success learned in a small business course are as important for success as the habits with which you use your word processor.

The days of simply writing and giving those words to an agent and publishing company to deal with are gone for all but a few writers.

It was glorious when my agent did all that stuff but now…

If you want to succeed, you’ll have to add the skills of running a small business to your toolbox.

Where To Start?

Your local Chamber of Commerce or college will have resources to get you started finding the right level of information. (Basic bookkeeping is a good place to start btw. It allows you to effectively communicate with your tax accountant.)

Let me apologize for pointing this business reality out and taking the fun out of your dream of being a successful writer.

Doug Green

Written by

Former nurseryman, now writer and curious about what’s over the next hill and how to get there in either my Triumph Spitfire or sailboat.

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