I am a writer. This I've known all my life. What I only recently realized is that I am also an entrepreneur.
When I’m not writing or taking care of Daniel, I work with my dad, supporting his financial services business. At our office, new financial reps start each month; some of them make it, many don’t. It’s a job that requires initiative, persistence, and belief in what you’re doing. While telling my dad about the Philadelphia Writers Conference that I attended this month, he remarked that I was like the new reps, starting a business, but without the structure and support they have. I felt that internal click of a realization: I am an entrepreneur. I hadn’t thought about writing that way before. I enjoy the art of writing, but if I want this to be my career, it behooves me to think about it like a business also.
Before the conference, I had been looking for something to help my writing, I just wasn’t sure what. As I sat in the opening session, listening to bestselling author Jonathan Maberry describe how much writers benefit from supporting each other, I almost cried, realizing how lonely I had felt in my writing life. With my dad’s observation that I was like a new rep, I realized that it made perfect sense that I needed guidance, help, training, mentoring. Any newbie would. And if I can find those things, I have a much better chance of staying in the game long enough to succeed.
Realizations are nice and all, but now I need to put some things in place. At the conference I learned about monthly networking meetings for writers, and I plan on attending those. I discovered an active local listserv, and signed up for that. Those feel like two steps in the right direction. I also loved Maberry’s suggestion of using a timer, spending 10 minutes doing social networking for every 50 minutes of writing. These were the kind of specific suggestions I took away with me.
How do you connect with people in your chosen field? Any entrepreneurs out there? What are your support systems? How do you create support, find encouragement and learn about your field? This newbie appreciates your suggestions.