You’re a freelance writer. You write for the Web, but you want to write fiction. Can you do both Web writing, and fiction writing?
Of course you can. For the past two years, I’ve been copywriting for my stable of clients, blogging, and writing Web content… and ghostwriting fiction ( I should give it up, and work solely on my own projects, but it pays well).
Work on whatever you’re writing, while studying other forms of writing.
So, if you’re writing for the Web, FOCUS on that. That’s your bread and butter. (Even if you’re not earning much yet.) You need to get one form of writing rolling, before you commit to the next. While you’re focused on Web writing, set aside 20 to 30 minutes a day to study writing fiction.
Then start writing short stories. Publish those stories to Amazon, while still focusing primarily on Web writing.
Basically, this is what I’ve done my entire writing career: I diversified, to both increase my income, and because I enjoy it. I started writing romance novels, then took copywriting gigs because people begged me — I was writing copy for a business I was running at the time.
Copywriting was strictly a sideline, but I took marketing and PR courses, so that I knew what I was doing.
When I got fed up with fighting with my literary agent and my editor left the publishing house I was writing for, stopped writing fiction, and focused on copywriting. Then I started writing magazines articles on the side, while I wrote copy.
Writing magazine articles was a great tactic, even though I didn’t know it at the time. Magazine editors recommended me to several publishing houses. Acquisitions editors contacted me: firstly, to write chapters in books contracted to other writers. I did a lot of those — so many I got sore hands and wrists. I still suffer from RSI. However, within six months of starting that, I was under contract to write A SERIES of business books for Prentice Hall.
Tip: if you WRITE, and keep writing, you’ll be productive. People notice. I got my first publishing contract to write not one romance novel, but a series. When I started writing business books, I was contracted for a series. The reason? I produced — editors love writers who just get on with it and write.
One thing always leads to the next, and you never know where the journey ends.
I love this quote from Steven Pressfield:
“There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.”
You can write anything, as long as you focus on one primary area, and then learn another. Sit down and write. My own fears and anxieties held me back for many years. I was the Queen of Procrastination. Finally, I developed a writing process which works. That meant I could write more, without procrastinating and turning writing into a big drama.
How much time do you have?
Work out how much time you have to write each day. If you’re not yet a full-time writer, your time will be limited, because so much time is committed to your day job, your family, traveling, and social events.
Then decide how much time you need to spend writing for the Web each day. Schedule that, and schedule your study time for fiction.
Make sure that you have a writing process. All writing is a process. Draft, then write, and then edit. You’ll get used to managing ten clients, while also writing fiction. Oddly enough, you’ll find that writing more energizes you. You don’t have time to obsess, because you’re writing.
Update: June 5, 2014
When I wrote this article a year ago, writing fiction was barely on the radar of most professional writers. That’s changed. Many writers are now publishing fiction as a matter of course. Some are leaving Web and other writing, to focus on their fiction careers.
Yes, you can write both fiction and nonfiction if you wish. Keep writing. :-)
Make the Switch to Fiction With our Complete Fiction Writing Package
Two of my most popular fiction writing programs have now been combined into one package. (They’re still available separately.)
If you haven’t tried your hand at fiction, you’ll love this. New writers have been asking me for a special deal on the two programs, because they want a complete grounding in fiction.
So here you go: Storytellers’ Bonanza – Write Novels And Short Stories FAST – Complete Fiction Writing Package.
You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.