Word count: 376 Reading time: 1-2 minutes
When I qualified as a Certified General Accountant I knew my education didn’t stop with the parchment handed out at the graduation ceremony. Being a member of the CGA Association meant that in addition to the usual long work week, I was expected to complete defined courses of professional development every year to keep my skills relevant. Then I chucked it all to become a writer.
My second career evolved slowly because there was no clear route to what ensures success as a writer. After a lot of time invested and an enormous amount of trial & error, the only thing I know for sure is that a writer needs, at some point, do some or all of the following:
- Read extensively
- Go back to school
- Find a trusted writing partner or two and share your work with them
- Give generously of your time to other writers who need help and encouragement
- Polish the revision
- Submit and track your submissions
- Repeat steps 1-10 – stick with it
- Join at least one writers’ group
- Attend writers’ talks (local library, university, writers’ festival – wherever)
- Build an online profile
- Build a profile in your local community
- Stay healthy
- Play; renew the energy that brings freshness to your writing
- Track related income (if you’re lucky) and expenses for your tax return
- Repeat any or all of the above as required.
Once my first novel is released, what then? Well I expect there’ll be a whole 'nother list that comes along. I’ll post it later, when I have a better sense of all that's involved.
When I did the mind map for this blog (thank you Daphne Gray-Grant), I was astonished at the commitment of time and resources involved in writing. My CGA training pales in comparison to what it takes to be a writer, but this is so much easier. You know why, don’t you? Because pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. Aristotle said that and he knew a thing or two.
What's on your list and what's missing from mine? Is there something I should be doing that I’m not?
Photo by: Uschi Hering