Career Planning Workshop with Jaci Burton

Please join us in the Author of the Month Workshop forum for this class with Jaci Burton.


A taste of the workshop ::

Your Vision

What is your vision?

A published author. Of course. That’s everyone vision. And there’s nothing wrong with making that part of your vision. Start there, by all means. But don’t stop there.

What I really mean is, how do you see yourself as a writer? What kind of writer are you? This is where you determine who you are. And by that, I mean what kind of books do you like to write. Do you have a funny bone and like to include quirks and laughs in your stories? Then maybe your genre is romantic comedy? Do you enjoy immersing yourself in the world of vampires, werewolves, demons and witches? If so, you then you write paranormal? Do you dig suspense? Fantasy? Or do you prefer to be grounded in contemporary reality? What about inspirational? Is faith part of the romantic angle you want to include in your writing?

It’s important to know who you are as a writer. This can even be a part of your career plan.

Unpublished authors have a bit more leeway in this. Play while you can. Figure out what genre works for you. This is the time when you have the chance to find out what genre or genres you want to write in. You don’t have to limit yourself, but make it a part of your career plan. If you already know, then stick to it. If part of your plan is to write a book in 5 genres in the next 2 years, then do it. This can be part of your immediate career plan, to discover your genre. Even for a published author, switching to another genre can be part of your career plan.

Keep in mind that your vision may change over time. Play with your visions. Add to them. Subtract from them. They’re fluid. Nothing is ever set in stone. This is your career, and it’s as unique as you are.

Let me give you an example.

When I first start writing four years ago, my vision was to write contemporary romance. That’s all I wrote. That’s all I was comfortable writing. Because that’s all I knew. But after awhile if felt limiting to me, and the writer in me wanted more. As I grew as a writer, as I expanded my horizons, I also expanded in my genres. I read more, I enjoyed more genres, and I felt like I fit in different areas. So I expanded my genre writing, included erotic romance and paranormals in my career plan, and that’s when I sold to New York.

Now my vision is to write contemporary erotic romance, contemporary romance and paranormal romance. My vision is also to someday write romantic suspense. That will be added to my long term goal, which we’ll discuss later on in this workshop.

Like I said, your vision is fluid, but it’s a starting point. You have to know where you are right now—today—in order to know where you’re going. But keep in mind if you play around too much and too long, your career plan will either stagnate or come to a screeching halt. Don’t make your search for a genre become quicksand, or you’ll end up spinning your wheels and go nowhere. Give yourself a specific timeline to decide on a genre, then move on. You can play for awhile in different genres, but don’t take 10 years deciding what genre you want to write in. Know what I mean? Eventually you want to get published and you can’t do that if you don’t ever find your voice. You have to strike that balance between taking the time to find the genre you enjoy and taking “too” much time.

So take a moment and think about your vision. Who are you? Jot down a quick few notes about who you are as a writer, and maybe who you might want to be. Don’t worry about it being set it stone, you can always change it later. But at least you have the first thoughts of your vision, and that’s the start of your career plan.

So what’s your vision? Who are you as a writer? Who do you want to be?

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