Part 2 in the series, “Beating the Self-Inflicted Isolation Blues”
To maintain contact with the outside world while adding a little income to your coffers, try these ideas:
- Teaching Courses – I discovered that the YMCA, the local library, and several area colleges were interested in my conducting weekly writing classes. This got me out of the house every Thursday night for three hours and put some pay in my pocket. More importantly, it gave me a chance to sharpen my editing skills by critiquing the work of novices. And I benefited from their feedback on my projects (which I frequently read to the class).
- Co-Authorship – I approached Holly G. Miller, another full-time writer, with the idea of collaborating. Though we lived 100 miles apart, we talked to each other by sending cassette tapes when we exchanged manuscript pages. We coauthored four novels and three nonfiction books. We met face to face only a couple of times each year and talked by phone about every three months. Still, that outside contact supported my writing career.
Today, e-mail, instant messaging, and Skype make it even easier—if you can discipline yourself so they don’t cut into your writing time.
Next week: “3 Ways to Keep the Muse Humming”
Dennis E. Hensley, PhD, is director of the professional writing department at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, and a Christian Writers Guild board member. His 54 books include:
- Jesus in the 9 to 5: Facing the Challenges of Today’s Business World
- How to Write What You Love and Make a Living at It
- Man to Man: Becoming the Believer God Called You to Be
- More Than Meets the Eye: Finding an Extraordinary God in Ordinary Life
- Alpha Teach Yourself Grammar and Style in 24 Hours
- Surprises and Miracles of the Season: Devotions for Christmas and New Year’s
- The Power of Positive Productivity