The following is a chapter from Business for Breakfast, Volume 1: The Beginning Professional Writer.

The ebook is available from Amazon, Kobo Books, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and the paper version is available from Createspace.

However, if you’re like most writers (broke!) I will also be posting a chapter a week, so you’ll merely have to have patience to read all twelve chapters.

Chapter Six


In the previous chapters, I’ve been talking a lot about setting up your business and running it.

This is the transition chapter. The focus will be shifting from business to writing. There will still be talk about business; you are a professional, after all. But instead of just business, it’s more the business of writing.

I personally have not always had a supportive partner in my writing career. I have always tried to maintain a good social network. Writers do tend to flock together.

This chapter is about those people affected by your writing business—family, partner, spouse, friends—and communicating with them.

The Partner

I am currently blessed with a tremendously supportive partner. This hasn’t always been the case in my life.

I’ve talked with too many artists/writers who do not have supportive partners, spouses, wives, husbands.

If you are going to survive as an artist, not to mention reach your full potential, your partner must be supportive. Not merely tolerant, and absolutely not hostile.


Chances are, if your partner isn’t an artist or creative in ways similar to you, they don’t understand what’s going on with you. Why you’re still working even if you’re staring out a window. How even asking, “Is there anything you need?” can be horrifically disruptive.

However, it is up to you to communicate.

Can you read minds? I know I write about people who can, but honestly, truly, I can’t.

Neither can your partner.

You cannot assume that they know what’s going on with you. You have to use your words to let them know.

You’re a writer. Send them an email if you can’t tell them in person.

But you must tell them. You must communicate that this is important to you. That you need this time.

It isn’t a one–way street. Make sure they know that as well.

You will need to negotiate. If you get two hours in the evening alone to write, maybe you get up an hour early to get the kids ready for school so your spouse can sleep in.

Maybe you get to do the dishes all alone every night. I’ve always found doing things like dishes are a good time to plot, as long as no one disturbs me. So you promise that the kitchen will always be clean, you’ll always do the dishes, as long as you get to do them alone.

There are ten thousand different compromises and negotiations you can make with your partner.

Make them. And keep working on them. Check in monthly to make sure that things aren’t sliding. That the deals you’ve arranged are still working.



Unindicted, of course.

Are there things your partner is good at? Perhaps she has a head for money and is frustrated by your lack of budget.

Maybe your partner writes good ad copy.

Or maybe your partner has always wanted to learn how to create a website.

You won’t know until you ask. There may be things that he or she would like to help with but they don’t know how to ask, either.

If they express interest in your business, see if there are ways they can help.

Maybe they don’t want to write, but they’d love to brainstorm with you.

Maybe they can be a first reader, or a copy editor. Or something else.

Bring them along for the journey.

This doesn’t have to be a trip for one.



Diving off the cliff into the great unknown of the creative world can be scary.

Publishing a novel, putting it up for the whole world to see, can be frightening.

You may not be worried about these things. But there are things that do worry you about this business. What if the current distribution systems fail? What if royalties fall? And so on.

Be sure to share not only your work, but your fears with your partner.

You should not be bulletproof, not about your business, not with your partner.

They need to know that you are scared about this. Chances are, they’re frightened as well. Unless you can communicate your fears with them, they may never be able to tell you their fears.

You’ll never be able to share and support each other if you don’t talk about your fears.

Discussing your fears will bring your partner closer to your business.



You may not have a partner or co–conspirator. I didn’t for years.

I still maintained a network.

If you live in a city, it won’t be that difficult to find other writers, artists, creative types. It may be difficult finding other professional writers, but that’s a different matter.

If you don’t live in an urban area, there are virtual groups and networks you can create and maintain.

Why are networks important?

Networks provide opportunities. Not for other people to help you, but for you to help other people. (You do realize that’s why you network, right? So you can find opportunities to help someone else?)

Writing is a solitary exercise. Even if you’re writing with a group, sitting around a table in a coffee shop, the story is still taking place between your ears.

Having a network and other people to support you is essential for your continued health as a writer/artist. People who can speak the same language. Maybe they aren’t writers. Maybe they’re musicians. Or painters. However, they share that same spark.

The best writers are only partially hermitish. When they can, they spend time with other people, out of their own heads.

Your network will help you get out. They’ll help you find ways to help other writers or artists. Always pay it forward.

Maybe at some point, there will be a time when the people in your network can turn around and help you.

Communicate with them as well.

In Conclusion

Here are the three things you need to remember about communications:

  • Your partner doesn’t know what’s going on with you. You must communicate.
  • You can’t be bulletproof. Share your fears as well as the work and the joy.
  • It doesn’t matter if you have a partner or not. You should still develop a network of other artists and writers.

This book is available from Amazon, Kobo Books, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and the paper version is available from Createspace.