Like nearly every other black woman in the United States of America, I kicked off my weekend by going to see Girls Trip with one of my best friends. The movie follows four college BFFs as they reunite for a long overdue girls trip to New Orleans for ESSENCE Festival.
I have a confession: I started See Jane Write for selfish reasons.
In 2009 I left my job as a newspaper reporter in Louisville, Kentucky and returned to my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama to teach English at a local high school for kids gifted in the fine arts and math and science. Though I was fond of my new colleagues I missed the group of female writers I was surrounded by in my newsroom.
I searched for a women’s writing group that would welcome poets, authors, journalists, and bloggers – all hats I’d worn at one point in my writing life – but I couldn’t find one. So I decided to start an organization of my own.
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.
Whether you like it or not, to be a successful writer you must also be an entrepreneur. You must market your book, your blog, or your brand as a freelancer as if it is a business because that’s exactly what it is.
It’s time to get serious. It’s time to write like a boss. My hope is that this new blog series will help you do exactly that.