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  • Writer's pictureCarol Alwood

When to Invest in Your Writing Career

Writers have far too many decisions to make.

I’m not saying we’re the only professionals bogged down by options and the pressing need for results. Other professions have too many choices to make too. Besides being a writer, I’m an elementary school teacher. They say teachers make 1,500 decisions in a day. This turns out to be four decisions per minute.

But what about writers? Not only do we create worlds from scratch, but we have our ever squirming story plots to tame. Beyond story creation, we have to decide when and how to publish. Sometimes it seems like the questions are endless. We wonder things like…

  • Should I pursue traditional or self-publishing?

  • Which Amazon keywords will get my books in front of readers?

  • Which social media apps should I use?

  • Should I design my book cover?

  • Who should edit my book?

  • Should I write a novella?

  • Is anybody reading my blog?

The questions could go on for pages.

What writers need is a filter to decide if an investment is worth the time and resources. The next time you have a choice to make, try asking the following four questions to guide you toward an answer.

1. Have others had success with it?

I love Yelp. I read customer reviews to choose the best restaurants, schools, malls, and even dentists. My latest quandary is whether I should invest in KDP Rocket. It seems like a fantastic tool for knowing how to get my book noticed on Amazon, but will it work for me? The reviews so far are great, so if the next three questions are a yes, I may spend the $95 on it.

2. Do I have the time for it?

We can all too easily get sucked into the shopping vortex for writers. Books, software, and memberships vie for our attention at every turn. But buying something and using it to its full potential are two different things. I have bought books and tools I never ended up using. Instead of wasting time and money, think carefully about whether you’ll use that tool before you buy it.

3. Will I learn from it?

There’s a prayer that reminds me while I’m fiercely passionate about becoming a full-time published author, God is in control. My prayer is, “God, give me the next step on this journey.” That’s it. I don’t want him to give me a free pass all the way to the front of the line because if he did, I may not be ready. All I want is the next step. He has been faithful to provide each step so far, and I believe he will continue until my final day. All I want is to learn and move forward. Does the thing you are considering have the potential to teach you? Then it may be worth it.

4. Will it bless others?

While a writing career can feel like a selfish endeavor, writers of Christian fiction ultimately have others in mind. We care about our readers, families, and friends. We long for hearts to turn toward Jesus. Pray about it. If you still feel you and others will benefit, then do it.

I hope these questions will serve as a filter for future writing decisions. But no matter what choices you make, the great news is Jesus has already invested everything in you. He paid the price and is pleased with you. He has a perfect, finished plan. You can rest in that precious knowledge.

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