WHAT’S YOUR WRITING CAREER STRATEGY BY DAMARIS IRUNGU OCHIENG’
Every business needs a strategy on how it plans to move from point A to Z. It’s sad however, that many artists don’t consider themselves businesses, they go with the flow, believe they’re victims of circumstances, and accept the leftovers at the table.
We are creators, without us the creative economy would be down the toilet, why then do creators sometimes believe the lie that they’re not important in the food chain?
I’m a strong believer that real artists don’t starve. Real artists work hard and smart on their craft and business to get ahead of their game and stay at the top of it.
Do you have a writing career strategy? How does it look like? When did you last review it? Who are the friends you hang out with? Who are the people who inspire you? If you and your friends are always throwing pity poverty parties, then as Wacheke Nduati of Centonomy would say ‘Ditch your poverty support group.’
If you don’t have a strategy, I suggest you take a few days to careful consider where you’re going and how you plan to get there.
Dreams are goals with deadlines. I love dreaming, but then there comes a time when you have to stop dreaming and flex those muscles, as painful as it might get, that’s the only way to move your dreams from just dreams into reality.
I share below a few tips on how you could go about your career strategy.
- Read some business books/articles etc: You need to start thinking like a business. What are the things that make businesses succeed? What are the things that make businesses fail? Apply that knowledge to yourself as a business and see how you fair.
- Renew your thinking: It’s been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you’re doing the same things, over and over again and getting the same results, why keep doing it? Change strategy, change your thinking, renew your mind and see where that leads you.
- Stay consistent: Consistency makes things easier overtime. The more you show up every day, do what needs to be done and repeat over and over again, the easier it gets (to some extent) and the more productive you become. More productivity for a writer means a potentially successful career. Stay consistent and see how your sacrifice will reward you in the long run.
- Invest in yourself: I’m amazed at how many writers will blow up money on food and drinks but the thought of paying for a short course on writing or buying a book on writing gets so much resistance. What kind of a writer do you want to be? One who only operates on instinct or one who has both instinct and skill? When you have a strategy in place, then your priorities shift and you start investing in your career. Nothing comes without sacrifice.
- Find a mentor: It doesn’t have to be in the old fashioned sense of someone mentoring you directly, it could be a podcast that you listen to that inspires you, a showrunner or writer you admire and follow. Find someone who fits close to where you’re going as an individual and follow them keenly to see how exactly they got to where they are.
- Believe in yourself: One of the most important gifts you can give your dreams is believing in yourself. There will come times in your journey as a writer that the only thing that will save you, is the fact that you believe in yourself. Self-doubt is part of the creative journey, but the ability to shut down the self-doubt volume and increase the belief in self-volume will make sure you’re still working on your craft years from now. Don’t wait for anyone’s permission. Don’t wait to be invited to the table. Bring your own table and own your hustle.
I hope these pointers have inspired you to work on your writing career strategy.
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