I sent this email to my newsletter a few weeks ago and the response has been great, so I’m re-posting it here:
Is it possible to make a living writing online?
Is it possible to make a quick living writing online?
Depending on what “quick” means to you, the answer is YES. You probably won’t start your writing business today and start making money immediately, but you can establish the foundation for a reliably successful writing business in just a few months. In my book, that’s quick.
However, while it’s possible to make money writing, most writers WON’T. They don’t have the missing piece needed.
I know, as a subscriber to this newsletter this is the last thing you’d want to hear but I won’t sugarcoat things.
Based on my interaction with a lot of writers lately, I’ve been noticing a common trend; most writers know that it’s possible to make a living writing. They strongly believe that they can do it and they often have the training required to make a living writing – but they never do.
That’s because they lack something really important.
They lack HARD WORK. Most people are already sold on the idea that it’s possible to make a quick living online, without having to really do anything and as a result believe that it’ll be all right once their website is set up. No, it won’t.
Being optimistic is both the most powerful and the most dangerous weapon you can have as a writer. I could go on and on about why being too optimistic (and not being realistic) is the number one reason why writers fail online but I think my point will be better expressed by sharing the story of Admiral James Stockdale who spent 8 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. When asked by a reporter how he survived 8 years as a prisoner in a war camp, here was his response:
“I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that we would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event in my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”
The same reporter then asked him who were those who didn’t make it out of the prisoner of war camp. Here was his answer:
“ Oh, that’s easy, the optimists. They were the ones who said, “We’re going to be out by Christmas.” And Christmas would come and go. Then they’d say, “We’re going to be out by Easter.” And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”
I think this summarizes why most writers fail, why they lack the missing piece required to succeed as a writer online. Not only are they too optimistic but they’re also unwilling to face the reality of what it takes to succeed as a writer.
Being successful online as a writer requires you to be both optimistic and realistic.
Success as a writer takes real hard work, not…
- Creating a website and hoping some client will find you suddenly
- Sitting in front of your computer all day chatting on Facebook and checking your inbox to see if there’s a new client email
- Chatting endlessly with other “fellow writers” in the name of “networking”. That’s not networking, it’s called whiling away your time doing nothing
- Buying the latest course, eBook, coaching, training program, toolkit, action package, masterclass or whatever fancy name it’s called. No amount of information will help you if you’re unwilling to put in the work
You need to sit down, write and market the heck out of yourself; you probably won’t like to hear this but it will take tens of hours of real work every week. Depending on your situation, this might even be 10+ hours every day for a while.
Of course, our realities are different and how much time you need to spend doing real hard work will depend on what you want to achieve, but real success comes only through hard work.
Now, don’t just close this and go back to doing the same thing you’ve been doing. In fact, don’t bother to read the content again or think about it. Just work hard… real hard and success will come.
There’ll be some exciting changes soon…
There’ll be some exciting changes over at WritersinCharge in the coming weeks and months. I’m planning a total relaunch to better communicate the message I want to extend on the blog. In order that a lot of people don’t feel lost, I’ll be making the changes slowly. I’ll start by changing the domain name in a week or two from now and you’ll start to see things change from there.
I’ll keep you updated about this and share more details soon.