The problem with all these questions is that they sap creativity, pleasure, and willpower. At least for me they do. But I do need to answer these questions for financial reasons. Self-publishing costs money, and neither of my short story collections have recouped their investment yet. They are selling well, especially since I re-vamped the covers, but there's a long way to go until their cost is paid off. So, my next publication needs to be well thought out. I need to consider more than just what I want to write.
It's time I made a business plan.
I'll be honest - I hate thinking of my writing as a business. It's an alien concept that baffles me. Yet if I'm to achieve my dream of supporting myself solely through my writing, I need to think of it in that way. At least when I make the big decisions - like what should my next publication be? Once the decisions are made, I can launch myself into the chosen project confident I've made the right choices. At least that's the plan.
So, over the next couple of weeks that's exactly what I'm going to do. I'm going to lock myself away in my writing cave and answer those horrid questions. The creative side of my brain will likely protest, so I'll have to trick it into thinking this is another fun project by drawing a few mind maps and charts. But I'm determined to have a long-term plan in place.
How about you? Do you have a business plan? If so, what advice can you offer me or anyone else considering making one? For those of you earning a living through writing, how much importance do you place on writing for the market? Does it really matter if you're writing what you love, because in the end your passion will shine through and create prose people want to read?
As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts.