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Chris Mentillo on Writing

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  • Tip Bones

Each week I would love to incorporate segments (columns) encouraging you to achieve your writing goals. 

Some of the erudition which I will introduce to you on may never be published anywhere else. As a result, by implementing such tactics, I aspire to deliver to you (the knowledge we have collected from each successful author, including what has also worked for me. 

I know if you "Take Action" on this, you will indeed obtain success, and start finally, seeing RESULTS. I next need you to inform all your friends, family, and people you talk to (acquaintances you network with). 

Tell them to read and check out my postings. Thank you for doing this. Success is about getting to that point you were hoping to achieve, and then finally reaching that point. Afterwords, then go out and share help (coach) other striving artists, writers, etc to do the same. Share the wisdom with them. Incidentally, this is one of the ways I support struggling or even brilliant writers. 

Believe it or not, sometimes other well known successful artists need this more because others are continually striving to achieve a result. They need to keep focused on the tasks that will benefit him or them, to grow to the next level. 

You should continuously be someone who aspires to absorb all you can about your craft. Eventually, with hard work, discipline, knowledge and taking massive action, you will go to the next stage in your career. 

I wager you will find the information posted here to be of huge value. So, let us both take an enormous step into the unknown abyss, and leap ahead. 

Will you make this new coming-up year, the year your novel, short story, articles or whatever you write and publish, come to pass? I hope so.

Prepare to write things you don’t want to write.

You want to live the dream, right? Wake up every morning with nothing else to do except open your laptop and let the words flow through your fingers? Well, take it from someone who does that for a living, be very careful what you ask for because it’s not what you think it is. At least not in the beginning, or even the middle, and who knows where you will end off.

The truth is, if you want to make money writing, you’ll need to make some concessions. What I mean is that you’ll have to write things you genuinely don’t give two hoots about, and you will have to write those pieces well. There is virtually no escaping this. 

Why would you ever write something you don’t like?

It’s very simple. To make money. I can give a more convoluted answer, but this is the reality of what it means to be a financially independent writer. It means taking on projects that you’re not passionate about in the name of making a living. It means saying yes to gigs that may pay crappy to build relationships. It means periodically letting go of your pride to earn some dollars.

Still, sound like a dream?

Let me back off, a bit. I write full-time. What I write depends on the day and the number of contracts I’m on. I can be writing a post like this in the morning, marketing copy for a product launch in the afternoon, and ghostwriting a horror book in the evening (that’s literally how many of my days go).

A few years ago, I was pushing out at least four articles a day for around a dozen different clients throughout the month. The pieces varied from ghostwriting projects, to blog posts in industries as vastly apart as business and self-help to men’s and women’s health. I’d say I had zero interest in half the articles I was writing, but never once got any complaints from my clients.

I did what I had to do to get paid. And I am darn proud of the work I did. Are they as satisfying as the creative energy and passion that goes into my novels or even these blog posts? No way. But it’s getting paid off those other writing opportunities, that allow me to write exactly what I want in these posts and my books. T

The money gives me patience, peace of mind, and the freedom to craft the kind of writing that excites me. That’s the tradeoff. Now, this does change. I’d say I’m about 80/20 right now, with 80 being the percentage of things I write that I care about. And I’m working every day to get as close to 100% as possible. That is my dream, and I know it will happen one day. In the meantime, I am not going to turn my nose at the other stuff that is currently funding my lifestyle.

You must decide if you are ready to do the same. Then you must build and diversify your writing skills, so you’re prepared to do the same. I’ve done RFPs, interviews, blogging, product copy, copy editing, content strategy, ad copy, and pretty much anything that has words involved. There’s nothing anyone can throw at me that I wouldn’t be comfortable with and that’s by design.

I took on those roles throughout my career to become a more complete writer and to earn a better income. And now my income is thanking me. Kidding, but jokes aside, making money as a writer currently takes making some concessions. Wrap your mind around that and you’ll be much better off.