Treating Writing as a Business

I’ve been following my favorite author on her Facebook page, and one of the things that really impresses me (other than her amazing books and genuine care for her fans) is that she treats her writing like a business.

It’s not a nine to five – she gets up in the afternoon and works until early morning. She types ridiculously fast (220 wpm!), so she pushes out a minimum of 10,000 words a day before she gets to do anything fun. A good day, she writes over 20,000 words. This is her job, and she puts the time in to get the writing done. Now, she does have a husband willing to do all the house upkeep and cooking, but those hours are her writing hours. Period.

This is impressive, believe me. A fabulous day for me is one where I put out 4,000 words. I type 65wpm, which is not slow but seems so compared to her, and I only put an hour or two a few times a week into writing right now because of how much stress work involves right now. Mostly I’m revising.

Then, in the evening, late at night, she takes some time to talk to her fans on her Facebook page, maybe do some advertising, and generally charms her fans. We feel like we have a connection with her, like she cares about us, and we adore her. She also establishes firm personal and professional boundaries so that we don’t bowl her over and eat up all of her time. She’s gracious, genuinely nice, and works hard.

She also has the whole process of writing and publishing set up like a business.

Her finances are run separately than her personal budget, and she pays herself out of the business before reinvesting money in covers, editing, revision, proof reading, employees, the works.

She has multiple people she has hired including two charming personal assistants and various editors and cover designers. They get a wage, just like she does. Her personal assistants help her with whatever she needs help with, and they monitor her Facebook page, answering questions, keeping conversations polite, and making sure we don’t run entirely off the rails whether that be with personal posts or politics/religion and other topics that aren’t appropriate. The group has a NO BULLYING rule and her personal assistants enforce that – no bashing on authors, other fans, reviews, anyone.

She has trusted people who read her rough draft everyday as she writes it, and they give her on the spot feedback on how things are going in the draft. They also help her brainstorm and even give feedback on her plots for upcoming books.

She sends her book to editors for further feed back, and a proof editor to clean up the final copy.

So much of what she does delegates responsibility and tasks to other people. She focuses on what only she can do – the writing. Then she passes off all the things someone else can do for her to others.

She handles her own hiring and firing, which is something I’ve never learned to do and fills me with anxiety at just the thought of doing it.

The biggest thing of all is that she is open with how she does all of this, she answers questions on writing and publishing, and she encourages everyone in the group to be the best they can be. She has boundaries – you can’t just camp and pick her mind. But if she has time, she answers questions.

All in all, this author is an inspiration to me, and I’m paying close attention to how she does things!

Do you have anyone who you look up to in your business/hobby of choice? Who would that be, and why? Inquiring minds want to know!

2 thoughts on “Treating Writing as a Business

  1. 10,000 word-a-day average? Wow! And here I thought I was a superstar for passing the 1,000 daily mark. She really is inspiring indeed, because as a writer myself, all I do is write, and that’s terrible when it comes to other administrative duties. Ditto marketing and stuff, ugh. I think I need to get my crap together. Thanks for lighting a new spark in me, Renee!

  2. I love that she’s open about how she runs everything so that others can benefit from what she’s learned. But those word counts… just wow.

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