When You Write, Think Long-Term
Most of us know what we want to write about this week or month. But what about next year? Or five years from now?
Thinking long-term is important when you write. You won’t be able to predict exactly what will happen in the future, of course, but making plans can help you stay on track.
To maximize your writing effort, write down a business plan. What projects are you working on? Do you want to write a book? Get into a certain publication? Write that down. Then write down how you plan to get there.
Writing down your goals makes it much more likely that you’ll achieve them.
As you progress, you’ll see that writing, both your ability and profit, can have a snowball effect. Early on, when you don’t have a lot of readers, it’s hard to find your niche and make money.
But the more you write, the better you can get, and more readers you can attract. Done correctly, many pieces of writing can have a long tail of profitability.
For example, I still make money from blog posts I wrote a year ago. I even make money from books I wrote under a pen name seven years ago.
Granted, it’s not a lot of money. I stopped before I gained momentum. But I don’t plan on stopping again.
On the road to success, there are no shortcuts. Writing is something that can take a lot of time to pay off — a fact that frustrates many new writers. But it can pay off.
When I pick up an extra shift at my job, I can make $200 in one night. But a book or other writing projects can earn you money for years to come, through royalties.
I’ve also written before about ways to diversify your writing business. By keeping multiple writing avenues open, you maximize your chance of success. As the saying goes: Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket. (Or if you do keep them all in one, it better be one heck of a basket.)
I’ve always kept lists of my current projects: one for articles, one for novels, and one for miscellaneous pieces like guest blog posts or social media posts. It helps me stay organized and diversify.
Recently, I was putting together a collection of my most popular articles, and I noticed that several of them were written last November. What was so significant about that month?
That was when I decided to publish more, almost every day. The great posts weren’t an anomaly; I was writing frequently, I was attracting more readers and submitting to publications, and therefore, I had more chances of success.
On top of that, I had some pieces I worked on a little bit every day, revising, adding more research, until I thought they were really, really good. The extra effort paid off, because those pieces are still making me money.
I once went to a presentation where a planner said he had a proposal for a road project, but it needed funding. He might never get the project funded, but he would certainly not get it funded if he didn’t have a proposal (which took months to years of planning) ready to go if funding appeared.
Writing can be similar. You might need to put in the work and get a dash of luck to make it. It won’t happen overnight. But by writing now, you can reap the benefits in years to come.