Writing: moving from hobby to small business

Reading all the information on well meaning friends and family who try to get you to adjust your sails left an impression. I didn’t think I was sore. this week I was proven wrong.

The word obsessed was used to describe my devoted time to writing development. After saying ouch, I went into defense mode. It took a good ten or fifteen minutes before I was able to react without any real trace of hurt. Sort of. But one clear sentence in my response stuck out. “Writing is a small business to me, it’s not just an obsession or a hobby”.

The discussion centered around how devoted I was to writing, I’ll stick with that word it feels lots better.

During the pouting and grumbling that followed I had to consider it from the outside. How someone sees writing and time devoted to writing when you’re basically just starting. But that one sentence became clear.

It’s a small business for me. It’s my escape. It’s my hobby. It’s my business venture. Like many others I’ve spent a considerable amount of time learning the steps to writing and all that goes with it. And there is much more to learn. Not to mention the “resources” we’ve poured into it 😭

As I’ve begun to venture down the learning curve of marketing books and making phone calls to do so, it kind of blew my mind. How many of us must go through the moments where we start feeling a way when people use words to describe our profession.

Piece by piece we’ve put our platform however small, together with the same care we do our nine to five without even realizing it. More importantly we seem to spend a lot of time justifying our time devoted to writing rather than calling it what it is, well, I did anyway; my small business.

And as I began testing and implementing the SEM portion (tinkering till July), I realized, along with those words a friend dropped on me, I was starting to treat writing like a business. Currently, slowly, crafting a business and Marketing plan, testing different marketing tactics, placement in 3 stores out of the 10 venues I want them in, finding a venues that seem like the books will get eyes on them in the environment I place them, making sure they get categorized correctly  (Scifi or Scifi-thriller – not just African American Urban fiction), more SEM tweaking, more phone calls for events I can do, planning a website relaunch for July 20. I realized, though I may seem obsessed to someone looking in, this is my business. I recall when I published my very first, Into the Vein, I put a 5 year timetable. I also realized I’m working on the tail end.

Those words, it’s my small business, opened me up to the reality of what I’d been dancing around. It made me want to reach out and ask each author I come across; when did you accept that writing was a small business for you? What was your first reaction? How did you deal with it?

The one thing that branded me more than anything about the conversation was the fact that I claimed my small business and I am looking forward to seeing as many readers as I can reach sitting in a sofa or their favorite place to read with my books in hand. I get a euphoric joy from that. And I am looking forward to my next two years with my small business to see how far I can elevate both quality and effort.

How about you fellow author? When did you accept that it was a small business?

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