Erika Wassall, The Jersey Farm Scribe here with…
Your Writing is Your Investment
Plainly put, as writers, we’re all entrepreneurs. Someone who organizes and operates a business, taking on financial risk and all responsibility.
And there is great power in that word.
It gives us freedom. And weighs us with liability.
It encourages us with pride. And saddles us with fear.
Because it’s all you baby. There is no one else to blame, no fingers to point, no boss to whine about. It’s not over until we throw in the towel.
Phew. That’s kinda heavy.
And it is. But it’s also what has drawn us in, allowing our creative spirits the luxury of (sometimes) waiting on inspiration, connection. It’s our job to be sure that what it doesn’t do, is allow us to feel like we’re not REALLY accountable.
It’s just been a hobby. I haven’t made any REAL financial investment. And we let it slide.
Well, (the very real financial costs we do incur as writers aside), ask any entrepreneur and they’ll tell you… TIME IS MONEY. In fact, in many cases, it’s MORE valuable than money, because it’s why we all work anyway, to ultimately have the TIME to do what we really want to do.
Think of all the hours you’ve put into your skill. The reading, the writing, the editing, the scouring over agent websites and resources like Kathy’s site here. How many years have you been working on your projects? How many old projects have made you a better writer over time?
This is our INVESTMENT. And the more we can see it this way, the more likely we are to hold ourselves accountable to follow through.
I have a secret to tell you.
Lately, I haven’t been writing much. I’m deep in my third trimester with my first child, and between that, financial responsibilities and the entire house remodel, I haven’t been doing much else that isn’t baby-related.
But there is ALWAYS an excuse. And I refuse to let this derail me entirely from a big part of who I am, and what I’ve worked for. My manuscript WILL continue to be written. I’ve made big strides in the past year. My writing has improved. I’ve gained writing clients who encourage my development. I had my first book published and gained valuable insight into the process of working with editors. I’ve made real progress on my first YA Novel.
Those are all huge investments, in myself, and in my future as an author.
My world will soon be turned upside down in ways I cannot even fathom. I cannot expect myself to write as frequently (if at all) with a newborn (from what I hear, it’s more just about survival at first, heheh). I have to be realistic about my expectations and goals, or else I’m likely to write things off to “failure” too easily.
But, if I had just made a big investment in a more tangible business, it wouldn’t just fade from view. value. I’m taking steps now to ensure that doesn’t happen, and reminding myself of the value of what I have already accomplished.
In the past few months, I’ve really seen the benefits of assessing my writing as a business, as an investment. And it has helped me solidify what I want to do and how I can set myself up to be able to follow through… long term.
I encourage you all to do the same. Constantly remind yourself that your time spent writing, spent working on your craft, hours spent outlining plot and developing characters, this is your investment. This is your business venture. The more you can see it that way, the more you find yourself more naturally being accountable for your long term goals.
And your manuscripts, are worth it.
Erika Wassall is a writer, a farmer and a liver of life. She is a member of SCBWI and a proud Mad Scientist, bringing science experiments right into children’s classrooms, and hearts. She has a small farm in New Jersey with sheep, chickens, pigs and vegetables. Check out her new website at www.TheJerseyFarmScribe.com where as a first generation farmer, she often takes the long way, learning the tricks of the trade on The Farm. On her website is also The Shop page with tips and a free Q/A from her husband’s mechanic shop, and The Writer page where she shares stories, experiences and characters from the heart. Follow her on Twitter at @NJFarmScribe. She’d love to hear from you!
Thank you Erika for another great post. Congratulations on the wonderful baby news! Wishing you all the happiness a little bundle of joy brings. Please keep us updated.