Oct 012009
 

Entrepreneurs – whether they’re successful writers or just launching a freelance career – need to invest financially in their business. Here are the best ways to invest in a writing career, ranging from getting organized to buying a Mac (but I’m not sold on Macs yet!).

“Sometimes, you have to spend money to make money,” says publication coach (and loyal Mac user) Daphne Gray-Grant. “The key is not to waste it on fancy stuff (like expensive letterhead) but to determine the areas in which it will really pay off for you.”

One of the best ways to invest in your writing career is to stop wasting time looking for lost passwords, expense slips, invoices sent, or misplaced e-mail addresses. Organized writers are effective writers because they have more time to invest in writing – not looking for lost stuff! If you’re a disorganized writer, learn a few ways to stay organized by clicking on My Ultimate Organizer (you don’t have to buy the product to learn a few organizational tips!). And, read on for a few best ways to invest in your writing career…

The Best Ways to Invest in Your Writing Career

Invest in getting and staying organized. I have to continue my “organized writers are successful writers” rant because I believe that disorganization drains your time, money, energy, and creativity. Few things infuriate me more than looking for things that I should have at my fingertips. To invest in your writing career, spend money on whatever will get and keep you organized: an organizational coach (or a super organized friend) to sort out your office, a software program or app that helps you keep track of your expenses for tax time, or an Excel spreadsheet that tracks your article pitches if you’re a freelance writer.




Invest money in equipment that supports your writing career. Here’s what Gray-Grant says about Macs versus PC’s: “Two years ago, I bought a Mac. Before, I’d had a PC, and had always required a technician ($75/hour!) at least twice a year to help with various computer problems. And once I’d made the ill-advised move to Vista, I needed his care more like six times per year.” Gray-Grant explains that she lost valuable time with computer crashes and waiting for the tech to finish his job so she could get back to writing. “So, after six months, I gave my brand spanking new computer to my daughter and went and bought an expensive Mac,” she says. “Best decision I’ve ever made. In two years, it’s required zero tech assistance. I’ve not only saved myself plenty of time, I’ve actually saved money by spending some!” 

Figure out your best investment. I love my Toshiba laptop, and have never had problems – even when I poured coffee into the power button a couple days ago. I’m not ready to consider a Mac, but Mac users are determinedly loyal. The actual product you invest in to further your writing career isn’t as important as learning to treat your writing career like a business. You need to determine what your best investments are — because different writers need different types of investments.

Invest in experts to help build your writing career. “I’ve always given my taxes to an accountant, but last year, for the first time, I hired a bookkeeper,” says Gray-Grant (who, by the way, recently contributed 5 Essential Tips for Better Writing to Quips & Tips for Successful Writers!). “This has taken a big load off me and freed up my time to write and edit – stuff that I’m good at and that pays me well.” She also explains that she spent a considerable amount of money hiring a professional copy editor and an experienced book designer to help with her writing guide – and she says, “The book has been so popular that the extra expense paid for itself in the first three months.”

Invest in a solid web hosting company. If you have a writing blog or website, you need to make sure that the host company is almost never down, the technicians constantly available (and I mean 24/7), and you have unlimited disk space and bandwidth. My blogs are hosted by HostGator, and they’ve always been available and efficient at helping me solve my problems. The last thing I want is to waste time and energy trying to get my blog back up again if it crashed or if there’s a minor glitch. Investing in a reputable web host provider is crucial to a successful writing and blogging career!

Consider hiring a website technician or content writer. I’m not at this point with my blogs yet, but I’m visualizing the day I start outsourcing some of my work to experts. This, as Gray-Grant says, will free my time to do what only I can do…and let the experts do what they do best. But the trick is figuring out what I need to let go and what I need to keep doing — and that comes with trial and error!

What do you think, fellow scribes – what are your tips for investing in a successful writing career? I welcome your thoughts below…




 

  10 Responses to “The Best Ways to Invest in Your Writing Career”

  1. Hi Melanie,

    Interesting — I hadn’t thought about the idea that Macs can empower creativity. That’s one of the best reasons I’ve ever heard for using a Mac!

    I need to take a Mac for a “test drive” for a few days. That seems to me to be a great way to figure out if it’s a good investment in one’s writing career.

    Anyone got a Mac I can borrow? ;-)

    Laurie
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..Example of a Query Letter for Unpublished Writers =-.

  2. Laurie, I too just found your blog, and while I’m somewhat saddened that you are not a Mac-using writer, I am encouraged by the credence you give to Gray-Grant’s Mac conversion experience! In addition to saving time and money on repairs and IT help, I truly believe Macs empower creativity. They are designed for people who want to express themselves, and they make expression fun. I love writing, and I love my Mac, and the two work together beautifully!

  3. WOW, great info.
    i love getting informed and expanding my knowledge on writing and getting published.
    im subscribing, please keep the info coming…
    thanks

  4. Thanks, Laurie, I’d love to guest write a post about Harvest for you!

  5. Laurie,

    Invest in your writing. What I mean by that is that the more you write, the more experience you get, the harder it is to give up the ghost.

    When you write often, especially in something like a blog, you have the evidence of your investment right at your fingertips. It’s as easy as looking at your archive.

    George
    .-= George Angus´s last blog post ..Here’s Your Chance to be a Writer For a Day! =-.

  6. Thanks for the tips. I have to get more organized.

  7. Teena, Welcome to Quips & Tips! I’m glad you found me — and I totally agree that decluttering will help you build a strong, successful writing career. Clutter blocks energy, my friend.

    Karen, thanks for the Harvest tip. I hadn’t heard of that way to track time and stay focused! If you want to write about it here on Quips & Tips, I’d be happy to have you as a guest writer :-)

    Mary — congratulations on coming out of the closet as a real writer! That’s so important — and I think it’s a continal process. Sometimes I don’t feel like a real writer…and I have to remind myself of how far I’ve come in my writing career. Hold on to your accomplishments, no matter how small.

    Thanks for all your comments,
    Laurie
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..The Best Ways to Invest in Your Writing Career =-.

  8. Yesterday I joined Problogger.com. I felt like it was telling myself and the world I have made a commitment and believe in myself as a writer.

  9. Good tips, Laurie.

    For the past few months, I have been using Harvest to track my time. It is an inexpensive service that has helped me to stay organized and focused with multiple copywriting projects and clients.

  10. I don’t even remember what led me to your blog, but I’m so glad I found it. I’ve been reading through your tips, links and articles and have found so much useful information in just this last hour.

    I’m in the first phases of starting a writing career and have finally realized that organizing my home office is going to be essential to my success. The days of embracing my inner pack rat must come to an end.

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