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Approaching Writing With
Discipline and Focus

Roy A Barnes - All Rights Reserved

 

 

The cares of this world like family, job, household, and shopping obligations often bog down writing to where it’s harder for writers to be effective in this craft. Writing is a difficult endeavor to be involved with, especially when people want to make money at it. Without discipline and focus, the chances at success in this field are drastically cut. Here are some things to keep in mind in order to pursue writing with more discipline and focus:

Discipline Yourself to Set Aside Time

Whether it’s a determined period daily or weekly, if you want to build up your writing career, time needs to be set aside to research material, create articles, and find markets. People often complain about the lack of time in a day, but 24 hours in a day is sufficient. The reason is that it puts us into the position to where we have to prioritize our time for work, play, sleep, and taking care of our basic needs. Many wannabe writers who claim there isn’t enough time to write can miraculously find several hours a week to watch mindless television shows or type nonstop drivel in internet chat rooms! Did you know that many writers and editors are parents and spouses who are attentive to their families, but manage to build successful writing careers? If they can find time to write while raising children, which is the toughest job in the world to do effectively, then very few people have a valid excuse to not discipline themselves to find some time during the week to complete the tasks that go with writing for money, even if that means sacrificing an activity or activities!

Focus Your Writing as a Business

Writing a piece via drafting and re-drafting is only the first step in the process of growing as a writer. Think about a successful non-writing business. How did it get that way? Well, for starters, successful businesses have the discipline to be open regularly and provide good customer service consistently. These are attributes that have to be ongoing for many hours and for several days per week. Then supporting those two main attributes are the tasks of bookkeeping, maintenance, continual training, and much more.

Well, writing for money has to be looked at in the same way, even if you are just getting your feet wet on a part-time basis to begin with. Writing isn’t just "typing stuff" and hoping that publication will magically appear for lots of money. Once the work has been written, the focus has to include the pitching of works and queries to the appropriate markets – submitting to them, and dealing with rejections and acceptances. Then there are the business expenses and sales that accumulate which need to be followed closely. If business savvy isn’t something that comes naturally to you, then it’s time to get educated via business courses and materials which are readily available in the information age we live in. If you want to write, but are having trouble finding inspiration, there’s also tons of advice and ideas on how to break writer’s block. The more you approach writing as a business, the more you’ll have the focus and discipline to make money from it.

Focus Your Writing As Investments

Another thing that writers may lose site of is that their works are really like investments. Once you’ve submitted your work, it’s important to keep track of it like you would a brokerage investment. Most people who are invested in the stock market or in mutual funds check their investments regularly via online or when the statements arrive in their mailbox. Well, a writer’s works need to be approached the same way; that is, follow up with the editors per their guidelines and/or within a reasonable period of time if you don’t hear back from them to make sure they got your work and are still considering it if you haven’t heard from them. This way, your works aren’t futilely sitting around gathering dust when they could be submitted elsewhere if the editor(s) you’ve submitted to have no interest in publishing what you wrote.

And if you are fortunate enough to make a sale with your work and still retain the rights to re-sell your work, do so. A writer’s work isn’t necessarily something that can only make money once unless you’ve sold all your rights away via that first sale. Given that many travel, literary and other publications consider reprints, achieving multiples sales from your works is like getting extra "stock" price upswings and/or dividends from the time spent crafting your works, even if that means taking some extra time re-editing them somewhat before submitting them to other markets.

There are no free lunches in life, especially in writing. Everything we as writers do is done at a cost of giving up something, whether that be time, mental and typing effort, tv watching, etc. The key to a successful life is being in the position to do what you want to as much as possible. You see, there is also a cost for not implementing discipline and focus: it’s being stuck in a rut and wondering what could have been!

 

Biography: Roy A. Barnes writes from southeastern Wyoming. Besides Writer2Writer, his writing-themed works have appeared at The Willamette Writer, Writing for DOLLARS, Writers Weekly, The Fabulist Flash, The Dabbling Mum, and others. His travel- and literary-themed works have been published by such mediums like Transitions Abroad, The Goblin Reader, The First Line, Northwest Prime Time, The Traveler, The Kids’ Ark, and Poesia.