Start Writing Now Synchroblog

I’m asking you to share tips on how to start writing now through Thursday the 24th.

As a full time writer and published author of three books, I know what it takes to get published.

I also know that I didn’t get to be published without the help of writing mentors, encouraging family members, and online friends. I’ve also had the privilege of launching new and promising writers myself. Some old. Some new.

My favorite part about being in the writing and publishing business is being able to pass along wisdom.

Because no writer is an island.

This is where you come in! I am looking for YOUR writing tips.

+Maybe you have a cure all for writers block, but need help building your tribe.
+Maybe you’re a good sales & marketer, but need help writing articles.
+Maybe you’re a blogger looking to publish a book, but need help growing your platform.
+Maybe you have an idea for an eBook, but need help with self-publishing.
+Maybe you’re a long time author, but need a new challenge.
+Maybe you want to set up your writing as a business, but need help with your taxes.

Start Writing Now Synchroblog Details

During the next thirty days:

Write a blog post sharing practical tips on how to start writing now. This could include success stories on how you grew your platform, published an article, sold your first manuscript–or whatever you feel would be most beneficial to spur others forward in the writing process.

+Link to the synchroblog landing page at the end of your post: http://www.devotionaldiva.com/2013/01/start-writing-now-synchroblog.
+Post your link at Start Writing Now Synchroblog during the next 30 days.
+Tweet and Facebook your post with the #StartWritingNow tag.
+Include this image with your post: 545 pixels or 250 pixels width.

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I was going to originally post 10 generic tips below, and THEN I was immediately put to the test with my car.

My car that has faithfully lasted me for the past 7+ years.

My car that is already paid off.

The car that Marc and I weren’t expecting to trade in for at least another year.

After boldly declaring on social media last week that tax time is my favorite time of the year–we heard it. That ugly sound that tells you something is once again wrong with your car. The car that you thought would last forever.

The verse I believe God gave me as a promise for 2013 is Isaiah 45:3 that says,

“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places,so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”

And then on the 2nd of January I read this in my new devotional, The Quiet Places with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

 Untold Riches

…that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being.–Ephesians 3:16

Deep inside the earth are vast riches still waiting to be found. Some expects estimate that six billion dollars’ worth of sunken treasure lies undiscovered, scattered across the darkened ocean depths of the globe…Yet God’s riches go deeper still. The Bible talks about the “riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience” (Rom. 2:4), the “riches of his glory” (9:23), and the “riches of grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight” (Eph. 1:7-8). Yet unlike the riches on the ocean’s floor…the gold in God’s mine can never be emptied. It is limitless. Inexhaustable.

Whatever your need, whatever the deficit, the riches of God are always more than what’s required.

imageMeet “Treasure” my new car. I STILL believe that even after real life, setbacks, and money issues being put to the test–God provides through his secret storehouse.

It may not happen right away.

It may feel like you’re being set back, but God is always there to supply your every need.

Without further ado, I give you 15 tips that I not only recommend, BUT HAVE LIVED PERSONALLY for the past three years as a full time author.

May you truly be encouraged to start your own writing business NOW!

15 Tips To Start Your Own Writing Business

start your own writing businessThis is your year to start your own writing business. I can feel it.

How do I know?

If you don’t–someone else will.

Never in a million years did I think I would become a writer–and a full time one at that.

Add profitable and business in the same sentence as writer and I may start screaming.

“IT IS POSSIBLE to become a great writer and make money. I know this because I have done it.”

See, I told you I’d yell.

So how does one go about combining passion for writing with making money? Here are 15 tips to start your own writing business now!

1. Open A P.O. Box – This is the first thing I did. It only cost me $40/per year and it was the best decision I ever made.

2. Get a Writing Mentor or Three – This may not be the easiest thing to do, but with social media there are always more seasoned writers than you who would be willing to share what they know with you.

3. Perfect Your Book Proposal – For those of you wanting to write a book, it’s important to have a P.O. Box so when you ask those including mentors, editors, or whomever–can ship it back to you with edits.

4. Start an E-mail List – Publishers want to know you have a fan base of thousands who are willing to buy what you’re writing. In my opinion, the best way to start is with Mail Chimp because it’s free and easy to use for beginners. Plus they require a P.O. Box. See how starting a writing business starts with the little things?

5. Launch your website – This goes without saying. If you want to become a profitable writer you HAVE to have a website and/or blog. I recommend Bluhost.com and no, I don’t get paid to say that either.

6. Open a Fictitious Business Name – Also called a “dba” or doing business as–mine is Devotional Diva and it only cost me $40 to register with the county clerk’s office.

7. File Your Trademark – It costs around $500-$1,000 or so. I decided to make Devotional Diva my registered trademark because I didn’t anyone else infringing on my brand name. Also, the best decision I ever made because I’ve already had to enforce it!

8. Open a Business Checking/Savings/Credit card – Take the certified piece of paper with your fictitious business name and open your first business checking account with your bank of choice. If you choose to use your name then skip #5 and just open a business checking under your name.

9. Keep Good Records – I use Microsoft Excel to track my income from articles, speaking engagements, book royalties, book advances, and consulting gigs. I thoroughly recommend finding what works for you and be consistent.

10. Start Writing Stuff Off – Tax time is now my favorite time of the year. Why? Because as a self-employed person I get to write a ton of stuff off like new books from Amazon, gas to events, traveling to conferences like Story Chicago, a new Mac products like my iPad and iMac I bought and have written all three books on it. AND I’m not done yet. Although I’m NOT a tax professional, I go to one. Things I also write off include: a portion of our mortgage for rent for my “office” including a portion of ALL utilities, my car, insurance, giving to charities, advertising, website, legal & professional services, office expenses, supplies, travel, meals & entertainment, promotion, research, dues, and my phone. Circle and star this one. This will come in handy every year.

11. Hire a Tax Guy or Girl – I have an amazing tax guy I see every year to help me maximize my write offs, and because I trust him I know my business is in good hands. It’s worth it to pay a little extra come tax time to make sure you’re setting up your business correctly!

12. Get a Sellers Permit – If you do have a book or books to sell–or will someday–you’ll need to register for a sellers permit. Every year you will pay taxes on the books you sell separately from filing your taxes (see #7 and #9).

13. Get a Free Square – If you have an iPhone or Android (Smart Phone), it’s a great tool to sell books. They only take a small percentage each transaction versus carrying or paying a monthly balance. People never carry cash so if you’re going to be speaking or doing events you need this to help grow your platform.

14. Track the Books you Sell – I’ll say this again–it pays to keep good records. At the end of the year it might be a hassle to put everything together, but it’s WORTH IT–trust me.

If this list seems scary to you or too easy–it’s both.

I feel like I just gave away all my secrets, but really I just combined all the past jobs I’ve had from working at a collections agency and helping them with record keeping. Also from being home schooled and a self starter.

Last but not least…

15. Profit Takes Time – It took me two years to become a profitable business. I had a LOT to learn and I thank God every year I do taxes for another year of ministry. Profitable or not–setting up your own writing business takes time.

BONUS TIP – Join Massage Envy because the moment you quit your job you’re going to have all kinds of emotional problems to work out wondering if you made the right decision. I know I did. Plus it will help when you sit incorrectly hunched over your computer all day hoping to make a name for yourself. Just trust me and ask God to provide. I joined 3 years ago and it’s helped me tremendously!

After reading this list–I now declare that you have no more excuses. Start your own writing business now!

[Photo: KisforCalligraphy, Flickr]

Thanks for joining–and let’s encourage one another how to start writing now!

[Photo: BobLoco, Creative Commons]


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Comments

  1. Sarah says

    I started my own business in late 2012 (there I said it publicly). I asked my cousin tons of questions. Most of them were about points you’ve already listed. He’s my tax guy so the first thing he told me was to take good records, not my best God given gift. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Lindsay says

    Thanks for sharing these great tips, friend. They may come in handy if I ever decide to get serious about this whole writing thing. ;)

  3. Tonya says

    Do you think the same goes for fiction? I want to be a novelist. Most agents wi tell you the odds are against you to make a full time living as an agent. So does it take you more than your three books? I do dream of being an author one day and am rewriting
    my first book! Thanks for the tips

  4. says

    I really love this post and it might’ve encouraged me to go in a direction I have always been curious to go but have been to afraid to venture out into. I am going to pin this so more people can see it and also so more importantly I can continue to read it over and over to inspire me to actually DO something more than just “wonder” if I can really do this. :) Thanks for this wonderfully written post!

  5. says

    No matter what you decide to write: nonfiction, fiction, poetry, screenplays, etc–the same rules of business apply. You just never know how God will bless you either so don’t count Him out :)

  6. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this, very helpful. Questions: I hear you about Mail Chimp, but why use a P.O. Box vs. your home address? Did you go the LLC route? Do you copyright your blog as well or is that included in your trademark?

    I’m finally serious about my writing and creating a better internal story to tell myself so I can accomplish my dreams (the only thing that has held me back is the self-demoralizing story I tell myself).

  7. says

    I don’t want everyone and their mother knowing my home address if you know what I mean. No I did the “dba” or fictitious business name. My blog is copyrighted and I believe that is included in my trademark.

    GO FOR IT!

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