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How To Establish Yourself As A Writer

By Patricia L. Fry

People often ask me, “How can I break into the writing profession?” Here’s what I tell them:

Make a commitment.

Write every chance you get. You’ll soon learn whether or not you’re a self-starter and if you have organizational and time management skills.

Establish a schedule and stick to it.

If you can’t find the time to write every day, make some changes in your lifestyle. Give up watching television or get up an hour earlier for example.

Create a place to write.

Don’t try to launch a writing career on the kitchen table. Set up permanent office space in a spare room or a corner of your bedroom.

Learn self-discipline.

Set strict hours. To help, find a writing buddy—another writer with whom you can connect for support and encouragement. Reward yourself. Say, for example, “Once I finish this chapter, I’ll take a 30-minute walk.” Or “As soon as I complete this brochure, I’ll call a friend to chat for 10 minutes.” Train friends and family to honor your working hours.

Become familiar with the markets.

Spend time each week studying potential markets

Be a bold promoter.

In order to make a living as a writer, it’s generally necessary to go after the assignments.

Write, Write, Write.

Keep your mind and your fingers nimble by writing every single day.

Many people fail each year in their attempt to start a writing business.

Who is most likely to fail?

Those of little faith who don’t even try.

Those who refuse to make sacrifices.

Those who are attached to what they want to write.

Those who can’t step outside their comfort zone.

—Patricia Fry is a full-time freelance writer. She is also the author of A Writer’s Guide to Magazine Articles for Book Promotion and Profit (Matilija Press, 2000).



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