I think I was in the 5th grade when I first declared I was going to be a writer when I grew up. I had been writing really bad poetry since I was about 7 or 8 and in 5th grade I started reading the work of Maya Angelou. And so I decided I would one day be a famous poet like her.
As I got older the type of writing I did changed, but my love for writing never did. And as I got older I started asking myself a question that 5th grade Javacia didn’t think much about — How will I make money as a writer? This is probably a question you’ve been asking yourself, too. And this is a question I want to help you answer in part four of the Write Like a Boss series. (Be sure to read part 1, part 2, and part 3, if you haven’t already.)
Let’s discuss seven different ways you can make money with your writing skills.
If this has been your motto for marketing your work, you need to stop lying to yourself.
As declared in part one of the “Write Like a Boss” series, to be a writer all you have to do is write. And the more you write the more you’ll get clear on the type of writer you are, as discussed in part two of the series. To be a writer who makes money and makes a difference, you need an audience and to find that audience you’re going to have to do more than just write. You must market your work. People can’t read your writing if they don’t know it exists.
Chances are you hate to hear the words, “Build your brand.” Thinking of yourself as a brand may feel gross or even wrong. But it’s not. Building a personal brand simply means defining and clearly conveying what you’re all about — who you are, what you do, and why you do it.
In part one of the “Write Like a Boss” series, we established that you are a writer. Remember, to be a writer all you have to do is write. But I want you to be a writer who makes money and makes a difference. One thing that will help you do this is building a personal brand.
Last month I took my very first solo weekend writing retreat. The beautiful Hotel Finial in Anniston was the perfect place to get inspired as I set out to start writing the book I hope to publish this year.
On March 4 I’ll be spending the day in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for the first Lean On: Alabama conference. This leadership and lifestyle conference for women seeks to provide attendees with the chance to build relationships with like-minded women while sharing their own experiences and learning from women who are leaders in their communities, in business, and in government.
Last month I hosted the first See Jane Write Virtual Summit featuring live online Q&A sessions with 8 female writers and bloggers with noteworthy accomplishments to their name. During the summit, attendees learned how to build a tribe to support their blog, books, and other writing projects; how to work with brands as a blogger; how to start a freelance writing career; how to market and build buzz for their blog, book, or brand; how to use writing to discover their authentic selves; the art of personal blogging; how to lead a group book project; and how to use their blog to write and publish their first book.
I decided last fall that I wanted to host a virtual summit but it took me several months to finally pull it off because I kept making excuses. I don’t have the time, I told myself. I don’t have the money, I said. But eventually I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “Javacia, you can either make excuses or make a difference. But you can’t do both.”
So I got to work. Still a journalist at heart, I started by asking myself the 5Ws and H.