The Importance of a Career Plan for an Independent Writer
By Natasha Simmons
Deciding to become a professional writer can be a daunting decision. This career path doesn’t come with a clear-cut ladder to climb. Writers must carve out their own paths that often include lots of risks, rejection, and notoriously low pay with no guarantee that you’ll be successful. However, you shouldn’t let this deter you. You can be successful as a writer, you just have to get creative while remembering that this is your job, so you must treat it as such. You can take many pragmatic steps to turn your dream into a reality. One of the first things you should do is create a career plan.
Here’s What Writers get out of a Career Plan:
With all of the options available to aspiring writers, a career plan is especially beneficial for deciding what you hope to get out of your career and how you can get there. Do you wish to publish a book, a blog, write for a newspaper? There are so many possibilities. Do you envision self-publishing or signing a deal with a publisher? Do you want the help of a literary agent or do you prefer to represent yourself? Each of these paths looks vastly different from each other. If you don’t know what your goal is, you may find yourself making strides that lead in a different direction. You don’t want to put your time and effort into something that won’t lead you to the future you envision. Knowing what you want ahead of time will help you decide what steps to take to get there.
Here are a few things to remember:
Now, you also don’t want to get too hung up on the biggest goal. Knowing what you want is important, but it’s going to take some time to reach that goal and being too hyper focused on it could leave you feeling discouraged. It takes a lot of work to publish a book. But that work can be broken down into smaller steps that are less daunting. By making a career plan, you can better see those smaller steps you need to take to reach your goal. It’ll also allow you to see the progress you’re making, even when it seems like you’re not reaching all the major milestones you want to hit as quickly as you wish you could.
Some Final Thoughts:
Most importantly, creating a career plan gives you more control over your work and career. By deciding what you want, you will have a better idea as to how to reach these goals and make this career path work for you. In a field where many factors are out of your control, this is one way you can take back some of that power and realize you can make this happen if you follow the steps you laid out for yourself. You’ll be better able to celebrate the smaller successes as they come, and you will one day find yourself reaching those bigger goals and better able to appreciate all the hard work you did to get there.
About Natasha Simmons:
Natasha’s love of adventure and mystery has led her to explore the enchanting, horrible, and incredible sides of humanity through stories.
Frustrated by the restraints of the real world, she creates new worlds on the page. After getting a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and English at Southern New Hampshire University, she snagged an awesome literary agent, Erica Christensen at Metamorphosis Literary Agency, and signed with Red Adept Publishing. Aside from reading and writing, she enjoys traveling, especially to different countries, and watching murder documentaries. Both are great forms of inspiration.