Samantha graduated from her writing program several years ago. With high marks and big dreams, she found herself working a department store instead. On some nights she compensated by setting plots to paper, but, in truth, her writing aspirations never took off. Procrastination settled in and, with that, a major loss in time and enthusiasm.
Writers like Samantha usually diagnose the problem as a lack of creativity. Little do they know that dreams aren’t always fueled by imagination. Sometimes you need to work the business angle before the writing one. A business plan is a good place to start.
Creative writers often overlook the value of a business plan. They believe it’s all about money and don’t want to get involved with the facts and figures of it. They shy away from financial planning because it’s considered too left-brained for the artist. But even the simplest career layout will do. Not all big dreams have to start with dramatic origins.
Basic preparation can make a big difference. With a little time and effort, small, but specific plans can transform writing ambiguity into a clearer sense of success. Good planning will mitigate self-doubt which, in turn, could minimize distractions. Setback won’t turn into months of procrastination. A handy overview, such as a business plan, keeps a writer on track and financially stable in the long run.
Here are four specific examples to show how the elements of a simple business plan could help Samantha – and writers like her – move towards success:
(1) A business plan enhances self-image. Every business plan contains an executive summary which defines the endeavor. Writers could use this statement to define a sharper self-image which will bolster self-confidence and enthusiasm. By knowing their “about section”, they can feel more confident in decision-making and time management. This definiteness of purpose also sends the signal that she is the real thing because she’s got a real plan of action to back her up.
(2) A business plan encourages social connections. A good plan helps determine how you will market to potential mentors and publications alike. It defines your social circle too. A writer isn’t born overnight and certainly not alone. Support is essential for success. A business plan challenges the writer to define which influences and niche excites her the most as well as where to focus her work.
(3) A business plan doubles as a funding manual. A writing aspiration needs real money to back it up. It is a sign of commitment and self-trust. A writer willing to budget for dreams will show that she’s willing to walk the walk and talk the talk. Whether it be for contests, paper clips or new software, writers stand a better chance when they have money to spend. It not only makes sense for the pocketbook, it keeps the writer’s ego alive and healthy too.
(4) A business plan marks important dates and deadlines. A writer is nothing without her deadlines. Procrastination runs rampant in the community and following up on one’s goals is crucial to success. A business plan gives a bird’s-eye view of what needs to be done and at what time. A writer in control is a strong writer; she will be focused during tough times and wiser during good ones.
Creative writers, like Samantha, aren’t always the first to admit they’re in business. But the art needs to be supported by a real commitment and what better commitment than to invest real time and money into the dream. A business plan blends resources, time and faith into one document that’s handy to read and change as the journey unfolds. It is the writer’s career bible, so to speak, a clear guide towards writing happiness.
Samantha doesn’t have to waste time any more. She can set down a simple business plan which will transform her attitude and goals towards a real path towards success. Without doubt, opportunities await her prepared mind.
Michael Falcone is a professional writer and creative life coach living in Ottawa, Canada. He specializes in writing online content for topics such as self-help, entertainment and spirituality. His life coaching practice focuses on realizing fulfillment through a mindfulness and self-compassion approach.
Michael Falcone, Creative Life Coach: