Streamlining Your Writing Business

Image credit: Warren Stroud of Fort Worth, TX (my hometown!)Streamlining has emerged as a theme with a few writers. Christina Katz said good-bye to several newsletters and her fun Back-to-School Giveaway that I participated in for all three years. Kristine Meldrum DenholmMary Jo Campbell and Pamela Wilson also write about streamlining and finding your direction and clarity. Freelance Switch shows how to start of your new year with an ideal project profile that can send you on your way.
I’ve shared my struggle to plan for the new year, but these posts help me realize something. Part of the struggle could be a result from my *staying* streamlined. I’ve always known that I am not a high energy person even though I played lots of sports as a kid and continue to make exercise a regular part of my lifestyle.
What can you streamline? Originally, I began to answer that here. Only to find out this post fit a client’s blog, and client comes first. So here’s the streamlining work post. Here are the bullet points from the post along with how they apply to a writing business:

  • Changing direction. This can be changing your topic, industry, type of writing (articles, white papers, case studies, greeting cards, etc.) and client types (ad agency, publisher, web site, etc.).
  • Replacing one for one. You can drop a publication because it no longer interests you and replace it with one that does. You take on a web content project and drop one that’s focused on doing articles for a publication.
  • Dropping energy draining clients and projects. Maybe you’re tired of your beat with one publication. If you aren’t comfortable with dropping the beat without lining up another, wait until you find a new beat that energizes you.
  • Social networking. How you spend your time on social networking depends on how you use it. For me, it’s my major marketing tool.
  • Unpaid activities. Social networking and writing blog posts in your own blog are unpaid activities (unless you have blog sponsors). Review these unpaid activities and determine how much time you should devote to them.
  • Organizations. Being active in a professional writers’ organization can be beneficial in a lot of ways and time consuming. You can change up how to stay involved. Instead of being a board member, be a volunteer on an as-needed basis.

Christina Katz left a great comment. “If you could do anything you wanted to do all day without having to worry about money or anything else at all, how would you spend your day?” I’ve been thinking about that since she left the comment, and I haven’t arrived at an answer yet. What about you? What’s your answer?
While I haven’t answered that question, I can honestly say I’m happy with all of my current clients and projects. (I weaned out the not so enjoyable work a while ago.) So I will continue that route with the occasional acceptance of new projects or applying for them. I’m lucky that my work is diverse. Maybe that’s why I can’t answer Christina’s question.
How are you streamlining your writing business so you can focus on what you love to do?

9 thoughts on “Streamlining Your Writing Business”

  1. Found my way to your blog via Christina Katz’ tweet. Streamlining is key… even though I try to keep things trim, it’s always worth a look around to see what can go, at least once a year. Loved your bullet point suggestions.
    As for your ‘struggle to plan’, I’ve just recently started a website with templates and a guidebook to specifically help writers with planning. Perhaps it’ll help with your process. Cheers! Carmen
    .-= Carmen Wright’s blog …The hedgehog and the fox =-.

    Reply
  2. Thanks for the mention, and the notification of others you’ve drawn from in this post Meryl!
    Whether one changes direction, jumps in head-first into a new or reinvigorated venture or makes efficiencies to their current model to ‘streamline’, if you are working towards your goal, you are enjoying what you are doing and your model works for you, that is all you need!
    Thanks for the inspiration…
    .-= Pamela Wilson’s blog …New year = new inspiration =-.

    Reply
  3. @Christina, you make a great example.
    @Carmen, thanks for letting me know about the templates. It’s not so much as a struggle to plan as I have a full schedule and like what I am doing. I just wonder if I need to do something to go to the next level and what.
    @Kristine, of course.
    @Pamela, you’re right. So far, things are going well. So I should cut myself some slack.
    .-= Meryl Evans’s blog …New Releases: Farm Frenzy 3: American Pie and Ice Age =-.

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  4. What an excellent and timely post.
    I’d been doing a lot of thinking and making some changes to allow me to streamline. But I wondered if other writers did this, too—or if I was just copping out. I see that I’m not. 😉
    I’m certainly energized and more focused, as a result of streamlining—by deciding which of my projects deserve the most attention and ways that I could cut back on some social networking that wasn’t yielding the kinds of results I want. Thanks for the ideas.
    .-= Lynette Benton’s blog …Writing for The Chronicle =-.

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