Is Treating Writing Like a Business Holding You Back?

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Shape Your Ideal Author Career workshop with Sandy Vaile

You may have heard over and over again that you need to treat your fiction writing like a business or you’ll never be a successful author, but what you don’t often hear is that doing that could be the very thing holding you back.

Say what?

If you haven’t had your first book published yet, then I believe focusing on the business of writing is wasting writing time, and we all know what a precious resource time is.

Building a platform, blogging and posting on social media regularly, getting your branding right, having professional headshots taken and more. Not to mention your day job, family commitments, etc. It’s exhausting just thinking about it all!

And when are you supposed to find time to write?

Don’t get me wrong, it is important to take any business seriously, but a creative pursuit isn’t the same as a regular business venture. Writing a novel is a labour of love and there isn’t a totally right or wrong way to do it. There isn’t a checklist of what to include that will automatically result in a best-seller. The whole process is more complicated than that.

I feel that the assumption you can build a creative business the same way you would for other products or services, leads to a lot of heartache. Sure, in the end you hope to have a book that sells and make money from it, but a regular business venture isn’t founded in the hopes and dreams of the creative arts. It is grounded in measurable goals, trackable data and profitable results right from the start.

“But people make money out of writing books”, I hear you cry. They sure do, but by that stage you will usually find one of two things has happened.

  1. They are prolific enough to produce books regularly, so as to keep up with algorithms and reader appetites; and/or  
  2. They have diversified and book sales are only a portion of their income.

Now, I’m not suggesting you don’t need to think about the business of writing, but at the optimum time. There isn’t any point wasting precious writing time doing stuff you don’t enjoy or that takes you away from the whole point of this journey, BEFORE YOU ARE EVEN PUBLISHED.

The very best thing you can do for your author career when you first start out is WRITE BOOKS.

Indulge your creativity, spend time fantasising about plot scenarios and chatting to imaginary characters. Read articles, do courses, attend webinars and talk to like-minded souls. Learn the craft by writing your way into it … all the way to the end of your first novel.

By all means, if you enjoy blogging, do it. If you love interacting on Instagram, go for it. But if you have limited time and/or aren’t totally confident in your writing technique yet, take a step back and focus on what’s really important right now: storytelling.

Get published … THEN spend time developing an author platform, a readership, marketing and business plans.

If you haven’t written a publishable novel, then you are better off focusing your efforts on mastering the craft and creating an unputdownable story. After all, it’s the very foundation of your author career. You need to complete this first step so you have something solid to build a business on.

Where to next?

If you’re ready to stop feeling overwhelmed by the publishing industry and map a realistic route to your publication dreams, join Sandy Vaile in the Shape Your Ideal Author Career workshop, starting on 4th October. Gain a solid understanding of how the publishing industry works and what your place in it is.

About the Course

A course for aspiring authors who want to stop feeling overwhelmed by the publishing industry and map the most efficient route to their publication dreams.

This workshop will transform the way you approach your author career, whether you are still writing that first manuscript or are published and want help to plan a viable career.

Do these sound familiar?

  • Feeling overwhelmed by all the things you’re supposed to do to succeed and all of the conflicting information out there.
  • Doubting you’ll ever have what it takes to make it in this industry.
  • Not knowing what information is relevant to you at which stage of your career.
  • Lacking confidence to put your work out there. Then you’re not alone.

I have walked in your shoes and understand what you’re going through, and I’m going to share the things I’ve learnt during a decade-long journey of trial, error and scraped knees.

Go from wishing for publication, to having a practical plan to achieve it.

This workshop will give you the skills to:

  • Demystify the publishing process, terminology and concepts.
  • Clarify what you really want from an author career.
  • Show you how to embrace the resilience mindset.
  • Appreciate the pros and cons of various publication pathways.
  • Develop a personalised author career plan.

Pre-course preparation

This workshop suits all fiction writers from absolute beginners to published authors, who want to understand the publishing industry and figure out the most efficient route to their publication dreams.

Course type

Mindset / Publishing

Suited to

Aspiring authors; Emerging authors; Established authors

Hours of commitment

5 – 10 hours/week

Booking Link:


Author and Presenter Sandy Vaile

Sandy Vaile is a motorbike-riding daredevil who isn’t content with a story unless there’s a courageous heroine and a dead body. When she’s not writing fast-paced suspense for Simon and Schuster US, she empowers aspiring fiction writers across the globe to thrive and reach their full potential.

Sandy is an experienced course presenter with a decade of experience in the fiction industry, who prides herself on providing a nurturing learning environment that enables participants to truly absorb the material and apply it to their own work.

In her spare time, Sandy composes procedures for high-risk industrial processes, judges competitions, runs The Fearless Novelist Facebook group and provides personalised coaching services. Don’t miss out on future blogs and writing resources from Sandy Vaile, subscribe here.

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