Remember what a big deal “special sauce” was to McDonalds in the 80’s? Competition between the Golden Arches, Burger King and other fast food places was fierce. Smart marketers knew the importance of setting McDonalds apart from competitors.
(Side note: Mickey D’s recently sent that special sauce recipe to auction ... raising money for a nonprofit.)
This isn’t a post about branding your writing business, though or even setting yourself apart as a writer (both are important). Instead, we’re focusing on that “special sauce” that can help you experience long-term success with your writing business.
How? Through creating a recipe that you love and want to pull out again and again.
First, we’re going to need to gather up some ingredients. There are the essentials, of course: determination, drive and persistence. A thick skin is important because as writers, we accept that rejection is part of the process. What are we missing? Oh yes, skill and ability along with a bit of experience. And now? The pièce de résistance: flow.
“Huh? Flow? Are we still talking about writing here, or Zen meditation?”
Flow, or diversity, is important in one’s writing business.
When I first started writing professionally, I was dedicated to journalism. I wanted to see my name in glossy national publications. I dreamt of browsing the local Barnes and Noble and seeing my byline in one of those magazines on the stands.
I started out slowly, working with one magazine and then more and more national publications. It was exciting and interesting. For a while. But while I loved journalism, I was ready to try something else.
Fast-forward several years and I have three published novels and one nonfiction guide for writers under my belt. Can you guess what else I’m writing? Journalism articles and copy for corporate clients. And now I’m flowing again: teaching writing and writing-related business classes.
My point is without flow in our writing business, we run the risk of becoming stuck. Or stale. Who wants to be those?
How to "flow"
When looking to future success it’s important to make sure we have all of the ingredients that we need, or a way to get them. There are many great programs, books and resources that can help to take our writing to a new and different level.
First though, determine what type of writing you want to include in your business. Books? Ghostwriting? Journalism articles? Freelance blogging? Editing?
It doesn’t have to be five different areas, but it could be that or more. Like building a financial portfolio, writing should include various streams of income to help you diversify not only your checkbook but your creativity. This will also help you beat the feast and famine cycle.
The beauty of creating your own secret sauce, is that it’s just that: your own. Choose the ingredients that make you sing: if writing ad copy doesn’t, leave it out of your recipe. Likewise, if you feel a thrill every time you are paid to create a blog post or write a press release, hone in on those areas.
There is no right or wrong here, other than matching your writing skills and preferences to what customers and clients need.
What are your areas of flow in writing? Do you want to strictly write novels like Stephen King or does crafting stellar blog titles light you up? What makes your writing interests or business diverse?
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