Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Are You a Writerpreneur?

Writerpreneur (n) - One who writes for a living; a writer who considers writing to be a profession or business, and constantly seeks new ways to earn money as a writer.

No, I didn't coin this term, unfortunately. From what I can tell via Google, Gregory A. Kompes came up with it to describe his writing life. I took to the word immediately, and decided to formally define it. I think it embodies what a lot of us dream of being or already are. At least it does for me.

By the time I graduated from high school, I already knew I wanted to be a writerpreneur (or, as I stated in my yearbook, a "professional freelance writer"). But coming from a working class family and neighborhood of mostly blue collar fathers and stay at home mothers, I hadn't the foggiest idea how to treat writing as a business, and instead clung to the safe route of "real jobs," dabbling with writing on the side. While I am still employed full-time, I can at least now say that I do enough writing to consider it a steady part-time job, and still plan for the day when I can write, and support myself by doing so, full-time.

Not all writers are writerpreneurs. Some write solely for the joy of it, or for self-discovery, or for creative release, and there's nothing wrong with that. My guess is, some of the world's best writing never gets read by anyone but the author. And not all writerpreneurs are good writers; I see examples of that nearly every day. What binds writerpreneurs, however, is the drive to make writing a career, not a hobby.

Writepreneurs come in many varieties. Some, like Bob Bly and Peter Bowerman, freelance as copywriters. Stephen King, John Grisham, Nora Roberts, Sue Grafton and many others make a more than comfortable living writing fiction. But these represent only well-known writerpreneurs; many, many people you may never hear of do ghost writing, copywriting, article writing, songwriting, speech writing, and supply an endless stream of scripts, screenplays, greeting card verses and Web copy. Others run their writing businesses based on information products, ebooks, or by developing niche Web sites.

True, the internet has proven to be both a blessing and a curse for writers. Too many sites look for free content. Too many internet marketers look for cheap writing labor. And too many people are willing to take these cheap or free assignments.

On the other hand, the industrious writerpreneur can use the internet as part of a profitable marketing, networking and job search strategy. Never before has it been so easy for a writer in New York to do work for a client in California, or for writers in Australia and the UK to submit articles to American and Canadian markets. Never before has it been possible for good writers to make commission by promoting the products of others as affiliates, or by blogging, or by teaching online courses.

For the resourceful entrepreneur, opportunities abound. It takes effort and persistence, just as getting published always has, but I firmly believe that making a good living as a writer has never been more doable. In fact, a lot of writers already do so.

Here's to your writing success.

Mary Anne

P.S. If you don't already do so, come follow me on Twitter! I send out links to writing jobs, writing contests and writing articles nearly every day. To follow, go to http://twitter.com/writesuccess , or narrow your search to my posts only by entering "WriteSuccess" on http://search.twitter.com .


  1. Hi, I like your article. Have a great day.

  2. Thanks for the nice plug, Mary Anne!


    Gregory A. Kompes, the Writerpreneur!

  3. Hi Mary Anne: I am such an information junkie I can't imagine being anything but a writer. :)
    Kathi Calahan