Writing is an art. Writing is a business – Catherine McKenzie

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By Catherine McKenzie

I’m a lawyer. Yup, that’s what I still do. Writing was my hobby. But then I went and turned writing into a second job. Why did I do that? Mmmm. ♥

Anyhoo, that happened. And so now besides being a lawyer, I also run a small business. I like to think of it that way because, ultimately, that’s what it is. I have a product — my books — that I sell. I have a brand — me, sort of — that I promote. I have sales to track and revenue (thankfully) and expenses and marketing and … thank God I also have an assistant, she’s awesome.

So why do I do this? Why treat an art like a business? Would I still do it if I wasn’t making any money at it? That’s a hard one to answer. I don’t write for the money, I don’t write to the market. I write because I have stories and voices in my head that I feel the need to put down. And because I’m who I am, I think other people might enjoy these stories too. And so far, many of you have.

But when I finish the manuscript and turn away from the page, I find it helpful/important/necessary to treat writing like a business. So I have spreadsheets and I have budgets and I check metrics and … did I mention how lucky I am to have an assistant?

Ultimately, unless you’re James Patterson, your small book business has one employee and one CEO. That’s you in both cases. You care the most about the final product and you decide what you’re willing to do to grow your business. And because you are your own boss and you care, you push yourself to produce the best product possible for your customers: readers. And everybody wins.

Catherine McKenzie is the author of Spin, Arranged, Forgotten, Hidden and Smoke. A graduate of McGill University in History and Law, Catherine practises law in Montreal, where she was born and raised. She is an avid skier and runner.


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