I started my writing journey almost a decade ago when I wrote my first novel manuscript. When I tried to get it published, I realized how many other writing opportunities exist in the world. I wanted to know as much as possible about writing and publishing, so I dove in and tried a little bit of everything. By diversifying, I learned quite a bit, and that will come in quite handy later. Here’s what I learned:
Hard news – chasing down leads, calling people at work/home/cell, being yelled at and accused of taking sides. Ick.
Local government news – planning commission meetings, zoning board of appeals, village and township boards. I appreciate how important these decision are to my everyday life, but when there’s not much happening in a small town, office supply selection can become news, even thought it really isn’t.
Websites – a necessity, but not anything I want to worry about. I know several people who’ve created their own websites, but that doesn’t work for me. I’m happy to hire out the work.
Copywriting – promotional fliers, web pages (not to be confused with websites), mailers, biographies: anything a business publishes is considered copywriting, and I love it! Turns out my fiction-writing background definitely helps.
Fiction coaching – I like editing, but I prefer coaching, when I can share my expertise and advice from the beginning. Instead of making notes and hoping the writer understands, I get to work with the writer to teach him/her how to identify problem areas and work through them.
Feature stories – kind of like writing short stories for the paper, I’m all about the fluff piece – a personal story that the major news outlets don’t necessarily care about. Those are my favorites.
Teaching – I was a substitute teacher for many years, and I loved it. I have no desire to teach full time, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find a few opportunities to teach. This October I’ll be presenting a 4-week intro to fiction class at the local library. Now I can combine teaching AND fiction writing!
I’ve never written a memoir or devotionals. I could try a how-to book
or a digital book. Regardless of whether or not I enjoy any of these, I at least want to try. Why? Because knowing how to write in a variety of fields makes you a strong writer, and it also opens more financial doors. I know very few writers who make their living writing and selling books – almost all of them teach classes, edit, write for other publications, etc.
The more I write, the more I learn, the better I become, and all of that translates into more opportunities. I could have stuck with novels only, but I’ve discovered so many other forms of writing that I love. Diversification – not just for financial advisers!