The instantaneous consumerism of the internet is overloading authors with pressure to be more and more prolific. It is no longer considered prolific to be publishing a book a year.
The rapidly changing publishing industry is creating havoc. Traditionally published authors aren’t certain they’ll have a future in it, and indie authors are scrambling to produce enough to find and sustain an audience. One of the buzzwords that authors talk about is “diversification.” This means not only writing novels and short stories, but writing for video games, other new media projects, television, movies, the stage, finding speaking engagements, and writing news articles.
I think diversification is great, if you can do it. But what happens if you try to do it all? I’m reminded of a saying, that someone trying to do it all is a “Jack of all trades, master of none.” My interpretation of that saying is that in trying to do it all, you are spreading yourself too thin, and not mastering the one or two areas where you can truly polish your skills and excel at it.
Become a master.
- Think about what kind of writing career you truly want. Do you want a long-lasting career? Or do you want to make a bucket-load of money right now? Where do you want to be in 20 years from now?
- What is the fundamental value behind that career choice? Is it pride in self and your work? Is it acceptance? Is it leaving a financial legacy for your family?
- Look at all the potential projects on your desk that you think you need to do to diversify and make some money. Which of those projects speak to what you value about your writing career? Which ones show off your greatest skills and talent as a writer?
- Pick the one or two other projects that will advance your career and your legacy.
Once you set these projects as your writing priorities, you will have more energy, motivation, and focus on what you need to do. And when you have that energy and focus, you will become a master of your writing career.
What do you want your writing career to be? What projects are getting in the way?