Categories
Create Journal

Have a Vision for Your Writing Career

When people ask me how I manage to make a living doing what I do, I give them one piece of advice: Know the problem you’re solving for. You need to have a vision for your writing career. Once you’re clear about what you want to accomplish, things will begin to fall into place.

If your goal is simply to write a book, you can take the necessary steps to do that. Set aside time every day to lay down word count. Attend workshops, read books, and do writing exercises that will help you develop the skills you need. When your goal is to self-publish, you’ll focus your attention on the business side of things, and learn all about editing, layout, cover design, and distribution. Should your goal be to win awards, you might do research on the sorts of books that win or insinuate yourself into the right cliques (I have a low opinion on most awards; a post on this topic is forthcoming).

That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. But when you have a vision for your writing career, you at least have some direction. You know what success will look like. This acts as a filter for opportunities. If something will bring you closer to fulfilling your vision, do it. If it seems like a tangent, and not a step forward on your intended journey, pass it up.

Have a Vision for Your Writing Career

If you enjoyed this post, you can buy me a coffee. Consider subscribing below, so you can read my daily ramblings about the writer’s life, minimalist, being a spoonie, and the intersection of all of those things.

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

About Berin Kinsman

Berin Kinsman is a writer, game designer, and owner/publisher at Dancing Lights Press. An American by accident of birth, he currently lives in Finland with his wife, artist Katie Kinsman.

Categories
Journal Thrive

Use Clarity of Vision to Make Change

I was reading a blog post by Michael Hyatt that essentially said you need to know the problem you’re solving for before you can try to solve it. He framed it as “vision first, strategy second”. This ought to be common sense, but it’s not. Use clarity of vision to make change.

If you’re taking a trip, the first step is deciding where you’re going. That’s the vision. Then you figure out how you’re going to get there. That’s the strategy. When you know the problem you’re solving for, then you’ll focus your resources on that.

Where most of us run into trouble is when we lose sight of the vision. We forget where we’re going. We lost sight of the mission. The world is full of distractions, and it’s too easy to succumb to them.

A lot of people never had a vision to begin with. They ramble along day-to-day, and work with whatever they stumble across by accident. The current situation in the world has forced a lot of people to set aside their vision for a while, or abandon it completely, in order to adapt.

It’s time to think about what we can do with current reality. We need to start considering what comes next. Then we can figure out how to work with what we have, where we are, in whatever way we can, to begin that new journey.

Use Clarity of Vision to Make Change

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Categories
Create Journal Thrive

One Wish Granted Today

Would you rather have one wish granted today, or three wishes granted in 10 years? I’m pushing 60 years old. I’ll take the one wish today, thank you. Hopefully my age brings wisdom, so one well-placed wish will suffice.

One Wish Granted Today

All I really want is some financial stability. There are no problems in my life that could not be solved by the proper application of money. A comfortable house, a dog or two, a steady business. Travel, when that becomes a possibility again, to visit great museums, zoos, and restaurants. Health care, a new wardrobe, and a wall full of books. Just hit me with enough money that, after taxes, I can live a modest life without having to worry about financial hardship.


The Merry Writer is a writer’s game on Twitter run by Ari Meghlen (@arimeghlen) and Rachel Poli (@RPoli3). Each day there’s a new question, and each month there’s a new theme. In these posts I expand upon the answers that I’ve posted on my Twitter.

A Request

If you get anything out of these blog posts, consider buying me a coffee. The money goes toward rent and groceries, to offset the time spent blogging instead of doing paying writing work. And please, leave comments, share with other people on social media, and help to spread the world.

Categories
Journal

A Big Movie Deal

Would you rather get a big movie deal for one book, or be on the bestseller list several times? I think I’d rather have the one big book. Here’s my reasoning on this:

A movie deal presumably means money. Likely more money than I’d make off of several best sellers. At the very least, the kind of money that would render me financially stable enough that I could keep writing things that will only sell moderately. I’m a frugal person, and a minimalist. A movie deal could set me up to write what I want to write, without having to sweat the what the market wants.

Unlike best selling books, a movie wouldn’t require me to do interviews. When’s the last time you saw an author doing press for an adaptation of their book? I mean, an author that wasn’t already famous? I hate being in the spotlight. To get to best seller status would likely mean coming out of my hole to do interviews, and then achieving best seller status would require even more. Nope.

One good movie can also create fans. I don’t need every book to be in the Top 10 on the New York Time or Amazon. Having the access point of a film will get people to seek out the book it’s based on. That will lead a handful of people to find my other works. I’d rather have that small-but-stable fan base.


The Merry Writer is a writer’s game on Twitter run by Ari Meghlen (@arimeghlen) and Rachel Poli (@RPoli3). Each day there’s a new question, and each month there’s a new theme. In these posts I expand upon the answers that I’ve posted on my Twitter.

Categories
Create Journal

What Writing Goal Do You Want to Accomplish in 2020?

Lately I’ve talked a lot about my writing goal. Rather than repeating the same answer, let me break it down further, to an emotional level. People beyond my current publishing niche will recognize me as a writer  by the end of the coming year . Whether or not I sell a novel or end up with a successful blog, I want perceptions of me to have changed. It’s not even that I want people to think that I’m brilliant, or to amass fame and fortune. I simply want to be taken seriously.

This is not to disparage the writing that I currently do for a living. I’m not looking to insult the people who read it and enjoy it. I wouldn’t be in the field if I didn’t harbor a love for it. I’m capable of more than that particular niche, however. That category has limitations, both creatively and financially. That form, that market, and that audience don’t support some of the things I want to write. Making a living in that category is possible, as I’ve proven, but it isn’t easy or particularly fun.

I’m not trying to be pretentious. I don’t think I’m better that I actually am, and acknowledge my own limitations. That doesn’t mean that I can’t strive to be a better writer, or to do things beyond what I’ve already done. It certainly doesn’t mean that I can’t explore other interest, or try things beyond the field I’m most familiar with. I have been tired of being typecast as one thing for the past decade. The difference is that now, I have a plan to do something about it.

What Writing Goal Do You Want to Accomplish in 2020?

Okay reader, let’s hear about your writing goals for next year. You don’t have to be a participant in The Merry Writer game to play along here!


The Merry Writer is a writer’s game on Twitter run by Ari Meghlen (@arimeghlen) and Rachel Poli (@RPoli3). Each day there’s a new question, and each month there’s a new theme. In these posts I expand upon the answers that I’ve posted on my Twitter.