Can’t believe the year is almost over. We’re about to embark upon a new year, and it’s an exciting time. It’s when many of us evaluate where we are and where we want to be, then take steps to better align with our goals. It’s also a time to see how we’ve grown in our writing, to review the lessons we’ve learned from our experiences, and to celebrate our successes, both great and small.
As you navigate into a new year with a sea of possibilities swimming before you, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Make Time To Write. You produce the written word. In order to get more of your “product” out there, you must make time to create your product. I know many of you are incredibly busy with jobs, classes, taking care of kids, and a host of other activities that need to get done. But don’t skimp on writing. Make it a priority. Write while your children nap. Write just before you go to bed. Write during your lunch break. Make it happen.
2. Pick Up Business Skills. As an independent writer, you’re also a businessperson, so it’s always beneficial to pick up a new business skill or two. Read up on writing contracts, collecting payments, paying taxes, marketing your work, and finding clients. The Internet and your neighborhood library are great resources; use them.
3. Give Yourself A Raise. Don’t over-think this one, folks. Just do it. Raise your rates by 5% to 10%. It’s time.
4. Get Yourself Out There. Advertise your services as a ghostwriter. You don’t need to invest in expensive ads; use every free avenue you can think of. Create a free blog on WordPress. Make a page for yourself on Facebook. Utilize Craigslist. Send your resume to self-publishing houses and ghostwriting agencies, and be sure to follow up. Talk to people and ask if they know anybody who needs writing services. Now is not the time to be shy.
5. Learn A New Computer Skill. So in Tip #4, I mention WordPress, Facebook, and Craigslist. Perhaps you’re new to these, which means it will take time to learn how to leverage them. How do you create a blog? How do you find people who’ll read it? How do you post a free ad in Craigslist’s services section? Don’t be afraid to poke around and figure it out. The Internet is becoming more and more accessible to everyone, even those who are challenged by technology. Dive in and learn a skill that will ultimately help you run your ghostwriting business better.
6. Respond To More Ads. Do you hold back from responding to ghostwriting posts because you feel you’re not qualified? Reply anyway. You’re probably more qualified than you think. You don’t need to be an expert on a topic to ghostwrite about it. You just need solid skills in writing, researching, and interviewing. I’m certain you’ve got a good foundation. You get better with practice.
7. Enjoy What You Do. Ghostwriting is work but it’s also fun. Get passionate about it. Enjoy the process. If every step becomes a burden, it’s time to move on to another career. But if you like what you’re doing and you want to make it work, remember to focus on that which brings you joy, whether it’s the writing process itself or interviewing fascinating people, or running your business from home … or all of the above!
One of my goals this year is to get more information out to writers and other audiences via eBooks. I’ve been wanting to do this for years but haven’t made the time to complete and release these books. Wish me luck in my endeavors!
And I wish you all the best in your writing and your life in 2014.
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