Coach’s Corner: Conquering Diversification

My experience this summer.

Photo Credit: Geralt

If you’re anything like me, it can often feel like no matter how much I write, it is never enough. Thanks to the instantaneous consumerism of the internet, there is so much pressure to be more and more prolific to stay relevant to our readers.

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 build an audience. A book a year is no longer considered adequate to do so. Should we be releasing books every six months? Every 3-4 months? Even then, publishing books alone isn’t enough.

To gain readership, and income, authors need to diversify their income. This means not only writing novels and short stories, but other media projects such as video games, television, movies, the stage, in addition to finding speaking engagements and writing news articles.

I think diversification is fantastic. For most of us, it isn’t something we have the time or the skill set to achieve, at least not early in our career. With so much of the marketing advice promoting diversification, we are desperate to try anything and everything to get our names out there, build a readership, and earn enough to write full-time. In trying to do it all too soon and too quickly, we don’t take the time to master the  skills for the one or two areas where we can truly excel.

At the same time, the options and the demands on our time can be so overwhelming, that we become paralyzed and do nothing.

Free yourself from the paralysis. You control your writing career. It your choice if you want to add additional streams of income or not. There is no rule that says you have to. If you want to diversify, decide on one or two areas you want to master.

As you decide, think about the following:.

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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? How will you choose to diversify?

1 Comment

  • J.L. Gribble September 15, 2017 at 8:19 am

    I feel constant guilt that I’m not churning out and continuously submitting short stories. I do only write and publish one novel a year, but that’s literally all I can handle on top of a full-time job and maintaining personal relationships.

    Once this main series is done, I’ll reconsider my trajectory. But for now, I have to be content with what I can manage.


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