I've created a lot of content on this blog, my stories have been featured in three book anthologies, and my first book is releasing in January 2023. And there's plenty more where that came from. , and I have a few more in the works. I'm not saying that I'm THE expert above all others, but I am pretty successful as I define success. I didn't have "actual" experience when I started. Writing and business aren't what I went to college and got student loan debt for.
But I'm now a full-time writer and content creator. I make money with my words as a freelancer, and author, and sharing things online to help other women in corporate go creative. Even if they're introverts, and marketing is confusing, and they haven't done this before.
If you want to be successful as a writer with a readership, then there is one essential skill you need.
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What's the First Step to Becoming a Successful Author
In his book, Stephen Covey talks about starting with the end in mind.* You need to know what your vision is, what you're working toward, before you start anything. Otherwise, you'll lose focus and end up following someone else's roadmap and end up doing or getting things you don't want. Or you'll just give up.
I have a similar system that I use to plan out my life goals. I refer to it as VGPT: Vision, Goals, Projects, and Tasks.
You need a Vision that you're working toward and that you already believe and accept as true. The only thing that separates you now and you then is time, energy, and action. When you live in alignment with that Vision, believe it, and feel it, then it's basically yours.
Some people call that manifestation the reticular activation system, and I call it faith. All of the above.
One way that helps me focus on that Vision is journaling, and I wrote about how you can use journaling to help you achieve your dreams. If your vision is like mine, then you are a successful writer who earns a full-time income from writing articles and books, sharing content, and freelancing. Yours might not look exactly like that or maybe it does. You might think your next goal is to write a book, and that's a very important goal. I don't think it's the first thing you should do.
The Number One Skill
Learn how to market and build your audience.
I see a common problem with authors online and the ones that I've worked with. They don't know how to market. They haven't identified their perfect readers and don't know how to attract them. Most writers have a vision of selling their books to a hungry audience, retiring from their day jobs, and living a carefree life.
That doesn't happen without solid marketing that needs to start weeks, if not months, before a book releases. When they don't see the success they expected, they're discouraged from their dreams of becoming an author.
They stop writing. They stop dreaming. They don't believe they have what it takes to write good stories.
And it doesn't have to be like that at all.
You can release your book to an audience that wants your words, that becomes a part of your community, and that helps you build a sustainable, successful career as a writer.
It starts with a Vision. It happens through marketing and strategy. I help indie authors and freelancers strategize their custom content plans so they can attract their perfect readers. You can go here to learn more about working with me. And I have a quick freebie for you, 20 Social Media Prompts right in your inbox -- go here to grab those.