It turns out there's a lot more to being a writer than simply writing. We all know it takes an understanding of plot, voice, dialogue, character, etc. But wait, there's more. Once you've written something - be it the great American novel or a three-inch column on growing daisies - you have to take off that writer's cap and act like a big girl. A big girl who means business.
First, you have to pitch what you wrote (or will write, depending on your project). That can be a long phase, and it's best to keep writing while you're doing this part. But even once you've had your piece accepted, your work has only begun.
There's the promotional phase. This is where you have to set aside time, and some money, to promote yourself as an author. Some writers focus on their websites, some on author bios, or generating reviews. Some will pay for advertisements in book catalogs. And of course you'll need to attend readings, and facilitate writing workshops or book clubs. This is all still a lot of fun, just not writing.
Finally, there's this little thing called taxes. Yup, writers have to pay them, too. You have to track your expenses, your mileage, your giveaways. Plus, for those of us lucky enough to actually make money, you have to track your sales and profits. The spreadsheet will become your new best friend. (I know, hard to believe, but even writers can learn to love a good spreadsheet.)
Oh yeah, and you're supposed to be writing, too! With more and more writers turning to self-publishing, understand the business of writing is incredibly important. It can be the difference between packing away a never-read novel (I like to use plastic storage containers for my "archiving") and quitting your job to become a full-time author. Let's take a moment to sigh over that thought.
OK, moment's over. Now - get down to business.