How to Become a Full-Time Author


I am writing a career journey revealed by Michael Warden about his writing in an interview by Jeff Goins. Michael is a writer and coach and he writes fiction and non-fiction books. He started writing in sixth grade and it was a fiction novel. In early days, he used to write short stories, about school life, keeping diaries etc. Writing felt him like something he couldn’t. He graduated in journalism and joined Group Publishing in Colorado as a regular book editor and finally became managing editor. In his tenure at Group Publishing, he came to learn how things can be done in publishing industry and he published several articles, trained and helped many authors to publish their work. He found this time extremely helpful as he shaped his skills and set a passion.

As transition phase is often difficult and painful, Michael also suffered a lot. It took him about two years to transitioned into full-time author. During transition phase, to maintain financial earnings he kept working with Group Publishing at the cost of no social life. Once he had got a track of freelance work, he pulled out from corporate work. In answer to question “when and how did you know it was time to start writing professionally”, he replied “I think a lot of people are called to write; but only a small percentage of those folks are called to write professionally as their primary career. Just enjoying the act of writing isn’t enough to make a professional writing career sustainable. You also have to be competent at writing, and that means being an active student of the craft.” In addition, professional writing needs business skills, far different from writing skills. The corporate world had left him drained and he wanted to be his own boss, consequently he started his own writing.

Tips for writers: when you write at home, your relatives think you are not “at work”. To avoid this confusion, set regular hours just like other 9 to 5 jobs and tell them. Stick to the regular hours, designate a space in a room only for work, and don’t wait for inspiration and keep writing whatever you feel. Keep reading good writings from different genres. Welcome the critiques, travel and explore the world, live vigorous life, take the risk and do different. He stuck with “writer’s block” few times, he conquered it by figured out what was going on instead of getting frustrated about it. He believes, there is reason behind a “writer’s block” and to overcome it, you should act like a teacher and search for what is missing and what is the piece of writing trying to tell you. Writing is not easy and often comes very hard, so you should expect “writer’s block”, which is not a strange.

His publishing tips for beginners is that publishing world is in transition phase from traditional to modern models. Internet has reduced the traditional distance between writers and readers, hence it’s the best time to be a writer. Come forward, take risk and be creative.


Reference: Becoming a Full-Time Author: Interview with Michael Warden by Jeff Goins; at


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