Workshops for Writers: Career Planning for Writers

This workshop will be slightly different from the previous ones as you won’t be sharing or writing stories but instead working on thinking about yourself, your craft, and the career you want to make out of your writing.

Too often, writers aren’t guided or taught how to think about their careers like other professions. They are either told to teach, pursue another path, or write novels and try to reach best-seller lists, but actual professional authors live much more varied and diverse lives than those two paths.

Many best-selling authors hold down multiple jobs and gigs and steer their careers the way they see fit and what they can manage. And the successful or at least happy ones, focus less on what’s going to sell their work and more on what they want to be doing with their career and professional time.

In this workshop, you’ll focus on getting clarity on what you want you your career. But more than that, you can start building a roadmap to how to get there. If you want to be a teacher, you’ll need to go to some sort of graduate school or university to get the accreditation and experience to do that. It’s not an overnight feat and takes time, planning, and dedication.

All things that make a great, talented writer.

Exercise and Discussion/Notes

If you’re doing this exercise alone, simply journal, meditate, or even discuss these questions, your thoughts, fears, and wishes with a friend. Take your time honestly evaluating what you want. Don’t be held back by the fear of what you think you’re capable of but focus on what you want out of your writing career.

If you’re doing this exercise in a group, use these questions as discussion points where everyone shares and provides support for the other writers.

  • What authors or writers do you admire for their careers?
  • Where do you envision yourself in the future as an author?
  • What things are important to you as a writer?
  • What are your dreams and goals as a writer?
  • What publishers, markets, or mags do you hope to see yourself in someday?

Once you’ve done discussing the questions and have some sense of what your hopes, fears, and aspirations are, perform these exercises in your journal:

  • Write a one-page bio of our dream writing selves
  • Find 1–2 authors whose careers you admire or wish you had
  • Create a 1–5 year plan

The plans and bios you write aren’t concrete. They don’t have to determine where you must go, but are ways for you to see how you visualize and want your life to go.


Author Bios and Careers

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