Thursday, July 16, 2009
Career-Minded: What Does it really mean?
I might ruffle a few feathers, but that's okay. I'm a rebel at heart. "Career-minded" If you haven't been under a rock for the past eight months you've read this term in the RWR's Letter from the President. You've seen or heard a few authors head explode when it's mentioned. The President has her own definition for this that I won't get into. I'd rather give it my own spin, because I need to watch my blood pressure.
Overall, the meaning, for me, is that there are two kinds of authors:
1. An author who wants to make writing a career. They make a goal each year to complete a certain number of manuscripts. (Could just be one. Could be 18 months to finish one, but the goal is there.) They study the market. They study the craft. They network. They are in this business for the long-run. They know that once they are published none of the above stops. It only gets harder. It only makes the next level more important. Be it, writing more books a year. Teaching classes. Enrolling in more workshops dedicated to the industry or craft. Getting a support group to help through those tough times.
2. An author who enjoys writing just because it allows them to express themselves creatively.
Note: One type of author isn't better than the other.
The important point is to know which one you are. If you are not falling under the one you prefer then you need to re-evaluate what you can change. I have to admit even after my first book sold, I was still number two. I didn't think past the first sell. I'm a craft junkie so signing up for workshops or being a part of a craft-based forum wasn't a hardship.
But, you had to put a gun to my head to read about the industry. For me, writing was a creative activity and I didn't want to dirty the experience by learning too much about the industry. But then I started to look at the successful authors around me. I came up with five things...
I'm going to break this post up into two parts. I'll be back tomorrow. Tell me what you think so far. What are five things you believe every successful authors has? Do you think of qualities? Do you think it's a mindset? Or do you think it's something they do?