From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Monday, July 10, 2017

Have You Diversified your Writing Portfolio?

Firstly, check out this awesome post from Chuck Wendig about making a serious career/living out of this wordsmithing we do.

One thing he talks about in this post that I've been trying to focus on lately is diversifying your writing paths. There are a lot of great writerly options out there, and I don't think we have to pick all of them, but I think we should at least pick a handful.

I like novels, and I think most of all y'all do too, and that is and will stay the largest egg in my basket. But I think Chuck is wise to advocate incubating more than just one egg. (If you're looking to make writing your career, at any rate. There are other writing choices and lifestyles that are beautiful and wonderful too.)

Since writing for a living has been my dream since I was in middle school, this is advice I've been trying to take to heart. And now that I've finished grad school, this is where I'm focusing my energies. I'm querying the novels, of course, but I've also started seriously learning about pitching articles to magazines, news stories to newspapers, working on projects like picture and chapter books as well as my MG and YA novels, researching screenwriting, professional blogging opportunities, etc. Because those are the writing paths that seem at least sort of interesting to me.

There are a ton of other writing possibilities too. TV writing, technical writing, medical writing, legal writing, tons of stuff. In fact, so many it can feel overwhelming. But narrowing down your focus and energies on the opportunities and projects that really excite you can help you take steps towards full time writing.

Do you think this approach to a writing career is helpful for you? What three writing paths would be your top choices?



  1. There are lots of opportunities. I've also written short stories and articles that were published. Spreading it around is a good idea.

  2. I'm open to different kinds of writing. By this point, I have some level of skill in just about any kind of writing, but I'm not sure how much I'll actually monetize. That being said, I'm not looking to be a full-time writer, at least not any time soon.

  3. I once heard someone suggest exactly this, that you should have a go at anything, even if it's crossword puzzles. I have made most of my money over the years from writing non fiction books for children. I sold exactly one (YA) novel after offering it around for years. I've done articles and children's chapter books and SF/fantasy stories and recently I've had another go at articles for children. I don't think I will ever make a living out of it, but I can earn a few thousand a year from being flexible. (Not sure I'm ready for crossword puzzles, though!)


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