“There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love; there's only a scarcity of resolve to make it happen.” Wayne W. Dyer
I know, it’s easy for someone like Wayne Dyer to talk about how it’s only a “scarcity of resolve” that is keeping us underfunded, so to speak. I mean, we are working hard, aren’t we? We are sending out pitches, cold-calling clients, making time to work on our books, essays, poetry—right? While that may be the case, there is also the possibility that we are keeping ourselves so busy that we haven’t actually stopped long enough to evaluate what we are doing and why we are doing it. And if the way we are doing it is the right way.
Here’s the thing: no matter what business you are in (and unless you are independently wealthy or have another source of income, writing has to also be thought of as a business), you have to have a plan. And sometimes the plan you created last year or the year before isn’t the plan you need to have now.
The economy changes, the market (lord knows!) changes and we as writers change, too. Whatever you were writing before may not be what you want to write about now. Whom you wrote for before may not be whom you want to write for now. The form, the flavor, the focus of your writing may have changed—and if you don’t recognize that change and honor it, you will lose your impetus for working.
And when that happens, your resolve goes out the window, taking with it your passion and potential for success in any form.
At the end of last year, I spent some time looking at what I've been doing as a professional writer and what I want to do. And I realized while a majority of my time must be focused on income-producing activities, I needed to continue making time to write fiction and market it.
As for the "work writing," I jettisoned some of the areas that I found less than satisfying and focused on those types of projects that I am not only good at but that I enjoy doing. Instead of "throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks," I reserved my energy and time for those assignments that were a good match. And since that's what I wanted to do, that's where I put my marketing time.
And knowing that things change, I will revisit my plan at the end of every month, to see where it needs some fine-tuning.
Take some time to look at your writing plans: what you want to do, how you want to do it, whom you want to do it for. Then compare it to what you are actually doing. If there’s a dichotomy, then it’s time for a revised strategy.