A SWOT Analysis of Yourself As A Professional Writer By Damaris Irungu Ochieng’

 A SWOT analysis is mostly used by corporations to check if their business plan or idea is going in the right direction. If you’re a writer making your money from writing, it is important to do the same to check if you are heading in the right direction and if not, how to get your writing career back on track. Read on for my thoughts on how to do a SWOT analysis of your writing career.

S – Strengths: What are your strengths as a creative? Do you even know what your strengths are or are you comparing yourself to those around you? I love this famous saying that ‘if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will grow up knowing it’s stupid’ Do you feel like you’re a bad writer because perhaps you wrote in a genre that is not you? Perhaps you didn’t put enough time into the work? And that has made you feel inadequate? Work on stories that let your light shine through, what are those stories that make you come alive? What genres do you love most and can shine through them? Tiger Woods didn’t win numerous records by focusing on his weaknesses? He focused on perfecting his strengths. Perfect your strengths as a writer so that you may shine through.

W- Weaknesses:  What are your weaknesses? A person who is not able to look at themselves sincerely and point out their weakness won’t go far in life. Spend time examining yourself as an individual and find any weaknesses that could be stopping you from reaching your fullest potential. Are you a glass half-empty person? I’ve worked with writers who give half of their zeal on projects because it’s not their original idea, this lack of passion in turn ends up hurting the prospects of them being called for other gigs. Let’s take time to look inward at our weaknesses and find ways to create a balance.

O- Opportunities: Sometimes we miss out on great opportunities because we let fear of the unknown control us. ‘What If I fail? What if (insert your fear). Listen, a lot of us are doing it afraid, so go for it, don’t let opportunities pass you by because you’re afraid of what others will think of you if you fail.

Look around you, what opportunities can you see in the market place around you and globally, how can you leverage that for your win? How can you synergize with others for a win, in the spirit of Ubuntu? I am only because you are?  An African wise saying goes ‘If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.’

T- Threats: What are the threats that could render you irrelevant as a writer and bring an end to your career? How are you approaching the threats to make sure they don’t end your career? Is the threat imaginary or is it really a threat? What can you do about it? Do you have friends or acquaintances who can help you overcome the threat? Do you have mentors who you follow to stay inspired and to see how they are handling the threats that come their way? Remember the reaction to the threat is what will determine your outcome. Threats will always be there, so how will you react to them?

Hope this article has helped with you some tips on how to navigate your career as a writer.

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Happy Creating!

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