As an entrepreneur, I think I’ve been in denial about a little thing called stress, for years. Perhaps “ignorance” is more accurate than “denial,” though. It’s just that I always thought of “stress” as something suffered by working moms, high powered lawyers, and people in the midst of divorce. As for me: I’m self employed, have no dependents, do what I love, make my own hours, and never set an alarm clock. I’m one of your run-of-the-mill powerful entrepreneurs. How could I have stress?
Writers are Entrepreneurs with the Same Stressors
Lately I’ve noticed I hurry when there’s no rush. I don’t take breaks on weekends. I even get stomachaches over small problems. These are signs of a stressed out system. Truth is, being self-employed means never knowing where the next client will come from. Somehow, largely thanks to great word-of-mouth press, I’ve stayed in this business for a decade, but being self-employed means there are never any guarantees even for powerful entrepreneurs. Work could dry up inexplicably. Publishers sometimes go crazy for my work, but sometimes not, and their reasons are unknowable. The uncertainty of being a writer is legion.
My work-from-home lifestyle–which a lot of folks envy–is actually really stressful. Part of the problem is that besides being powerful entrepreneurs, writers also suffer from the affliction of curiosity. My client Larry Vaughn could definitely attest to that. Being curious about innumerable things was the fuel behind his book!
For Writers, Novelty is Stressful
As a writer, I’m curious. That means I’m always into something new. For instance, in the past year, I’ve started a whole-house renovation, begun my first PR campaign, taken peyote, and learned how electricity works. I’m always into something new. Novelty is the spice of life, but when you wake up in the morning knowing you have to do something you’ve never done before, as I often do, that’s still stressful, whether or not you’re a powerful entrepreneur.
So, writers, be kind to yourselves! Your stress may be a-typical, but it can still drag you down. Take advantage of chances to do fun things, get outside in good weather, and take yourself out for brunch. You deserve it just for the effort you’re putting into self expression. Taking breaks will actually make you more powerful entrepreneurs.
2 thoughts on “Many Writers are Seen as Proven, Powerful Entrepreneurs”
I can see your point about working hard as a writer but I disagree that being a writer is the same as being an entrepreneur. I believe that writers today are largely forced to become entrepreneurs but we, first and foremost, artists of the written word. For the unusually talented, this is enough but for the rest of us – for whom publishers rarely invest much effort in promoting – we are forced to do the job ourselves.
If you ask me (which you didn’t because I’m just some random passerby) we writers aught to start clubbing together and forming gangs. Not to intimidate anyone but to leverage the marketing force multiplier that is working as part of a collective. That at least is something artists tend towards naturally which is a start.
Matthew you bring up a good point. Being a writer is writing. Being an entrepreneur is selling stuff. They aren’t the same. They’re two different jobs that often go hand in hand because of the way our society is today. I’ll soon try to post some of the book marketing collectives that are out there today to help us unite, because they are certainly out there. Bookbub is one of them that’s helpful for getting your work read more widely. Best of luck!