More than a place--it's a writer's muse.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Getting the Buy-In

If you know anything about marketing, you know that the importance of "buy-in" is big when you're trying to sell a product. Buy-in is sort of like the emotional connection or relationship a potential buyer sees with a product. It's something that connects their success to its purchase. They buy based on that connection.

And buy-in is important to we authors as well (from several angles). I'll just address the family buy-in that aspiring (and established) authors may want to consider (if they don't already).

I'll be honest--it's easy to get family members to buy-in to you working as a writer once you've landed a contract, gotten that first chunk of change and are facing deadlines. At that point you've already proven your value as related to contributing to the household income.

But what do you do BEFORE that first contract? How do you prove to your spouse or in laws (or whatevers) that writing is something you SHOULD have the time and support to pursue?

  1. Do a little research: What do you personally get out of writing OTHER THAN potential monetary gain? Do you feel more fulfilled? Are you more productive in other ways if you wrote 1000 creative words in a day? Are you happier after you've written? Make note of that!
  2. Can you set goals that show you'll finish a writing project (this was a biggee with my hubby--I'm notorious for not completing things)?
  3. Can you still meet the needs of others in your household while meeting your own writing needs? If not, think about what may need to be adjusted.
  4. What do you REALLY want or need from your writing to be satisfied? Not everyone needs to be published to be fulfilled, but some do. Be honest with yourself.
  5. Arrange a time to sit down with your family and talk about why writing's important to you:
  • use those notes about how it makes you feel and makes things around the house better to help get your family's buy-in
  • show connections between things other household members do for personal fulfillment and your writing
  • set clear goals for yourself with your family's input (also helps with buy-in)
  • share a bit of your dream with them--why it matters and how it deepens your connection with them and makes you a better person in the relationship
Throughout the process, be willing to listen, be positive and and willing to compromise. Life is hectic, any time a family member wants to carve out additional "me time" the family may get defensive. But if you show how your writing will benefit them--without mentioning potential future earnings--you'll have a good shot at a supportive response. They'll buy-in to your project because they can connect to it in a new way.

Good luck!


Liane Gentry Skye said...

Fantastic advice, Shannon!

I think my family has (finally!)figured out that I'm much more available to them overall if they'll give me a bit of uninterrupted writing time. Once my thousand words is done, I'm all theirs!

Shannon Delany said...

Good for you, Liane! I know (personally) I'm much less stir-crazy if I've gotten some writing done. Writing and worrying over words makes me happy (which confounds some people, but, oh well ;-). Life's about compromise and understanding each other's needs, right? :-)

Gail Hart said...

I like your suggestions for how to convince others of the non-economic benefits of "letting" us write.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

SarannaDeWylde said...

I really like this! Great advice, Shannon.

Finding that balance between writer, mother and wife is a challenge. When you do, it's like finding your bliss, but until then, it's like having a hemorrhoid. :)

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