Even though I don’t know your name (though you can always introduce yourself), I can guess something about you.
I bet you DREAM of being a bestselling author.
In fact, I bet you already ARE a pretty darn good writer.
The kind of person with notebooks full of scribblings – or a laptop overflowing with Word documents. 😉
I’m that kind of writer, too.
I’ve got a huge box of journals I’ve kept since I was in 4th grade. You could probably say I write obsessively. If I go for too long without writing, I get antsy. The best analogy I can think of is (squeamish folks, skip this part) when you’ve got to take a dump. The pressure is unbearable. Then, once “it” is all out, you breathe a HUGE sigh of relief.
I started my journey as a writer two decades ago, sitting over coffee with my girlfriend Jen.
It was she who convinced me that being a writer allowed you to be “flaky.” Writers could justify international travel, sitting for hours in cafes people-watching, and working mundane jobs that allowed them to subsist while pursuing their creative passions. Her description of the writing life was enough for me. I graduated from university with a plan: to travel the world, work on farms, and write about the people and places I discovered.
Now, many MANY years later, writing books is a piece of cake. I’ve done it many times. My work has been featured in over a dozen books and online courses, in addition to hundreds of articles and newsletters.
But my books aren’t about traveling or meeting people or having adventures, as I’d expected. They’re self-help books about dating and relationships, certainly NOT the type of books I thought I’d ever be associated with.
Oh, and there’s another other catch.
They’re actually not “published” in the traditional sense of the term.
They’re ebooks. I still have a publisher who commissions my books, but “publishing” involves graphic designing the manuscript, generating a PDF, and uploading it to the internet.
I’m at the forefront of a sea change in publishing.
This new breed of authors doesn’t have agents, contracts, or book signings. We don’t need to submit our manuscript to all the major publishers and experience rejection over and over again. Instead, we simply write about what we know, in the simplest language possible, and upload it to a website or social media channel. No stress, no mess.
Steven Pressfield talks about the difference between being an amateur, a dilettante, and “going pro.”
This website is for writers who want to go pro.
I’m serious about writing. I’m serious about making a living from it.
I hate watching new writers waste years of their lives learning from academics who specialize in the kind of academic writing no one reads.
Maybe I’m biased, but I think writing advice that comes from people who’ve never made a full-time living from their words isn’t going to get you the career you dream of.
(Most teachers have NEVER made a full-time living from writing alone.)
But I have made a full-time living from my writing. For many, many years.
Given the choice between teaching writing and actually writing, I’d rather be on my laptop.
But I feel a responsibility at this stage in my life to pass down what I have learned.
To mentor new and promising writers.
To correct all the BS writers have been taught by people who write stuff no one reads.
The amateur writes to express his/her thoughts and feelings.
The pro writes to earn a living.
Are YOU read to go pro?