If your goal is to make a living writing romance then ideally, you’re looking to position yourself as a full time romance writer – it’s going to be your day job. Here are a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself, and answer honestly.
#1 Are you ready to market yourself? Writing is only half the job. The other half is making sure to get
the word out. That means blogging and/or having an author website. Attending book signings, writer’s appearances, conferences and workshops and of course writing articles, doing interviews, and blatant self-promotion. Many publishers are looking for writers who know that they’ll sell more books if they are willing to promote themselves. Understanding marketing and a willingness to promote yourself are an extra edge when you’re seeking publication.
#2 Do you have a financial back-up plan? Because writing pays sporadically and book royalties typically take several months to a year to start arriving in your mailbox, it’s important to have a savings you can live off. Some experts recommend working part time or finding one of those amazing jobs that leave you plenty of time to write while on the job, like a midnight security guard. You can also supplement your romance writing income by freelance writing or editing.
#3 Do you have a proper set-up? If writing is your career, then you need to treat it with the respect it deserves. That means creating a regular writing schedule and creating an organized and productive writing space. When I started, my writing space was the kitchen table and with two babies running around it wasn’t the best place to write. I quickly converted a guest bedroom into a writing room, complete with a futon, an aquarium and all the comforts and writing tools within reach. Today, in a smaller house, albeit a better location, I have a large office in our finished basement. Regardless of the size of your home, a writing space is a must. It should be a space that inspires you, eliminates distractions and helps you stick to a writing schedule.
#4 Commit yourself to further education. Embracing your writing career is a lifelong commitment. Attending romance writing courses and workshops and staying on top of the writing industry is a must. Starting off on the right foot with quality writing resources will help you skip ahead to the good stuff. You’ll skip those years of learning the hard way, the way I learned, and get right to making money and living the life you want.
The transition to a full time writer can be both exhilarating and frightening. As you would with any job change, make sure you’re ready, have a back-up plan and some financial stability and then dive in and enjoy the challenge. Making a living writing romance is an extremely fulfilling and enjoyable way to live!