How to Take the Plunge with Your Writing Career

You’ve had a big idea in your head for a while now, haven’t you? A novel, a short story or maybe a memoir that needs to be read. 

You’ve had a big idea in your head for a while now, haven’t you? A novel, a short story or maybe a memoir that needs to be read. Writing is your passion, and putting your passion into practice spawns addictive feelings like excitement, motivation and dream-fuelled hysteria. Until that old party-crasher doubt comes knocking at your door. The prospect of failure is the biggest hurdle stopping any budding writer.

Heard the saying “take the plunge”? That’s what this is. Taking a step on a rickety jungle bridge dangling across a chasm and not knowing whether it will break. And it’s a long way down.

Lifestyle blogs have a bad habit of making “the plunge” seem like one big jump into the unknown that will either lead to glorious success or epic failure. How often is your life ever that black and white? It’s time to kick the misconceptions of launching our dream projects to the curb. Here’s what it really means to “take
the plunge”.

Leaps of Faith Need Planning

Many of us think of “leaps of faith” as something done recklessly, without a plan. Leaping off a cliff and hoping the landing will be soft. That is what having faith means, isn’t it?


If you want your writing career to take off, you will need a plan. Chart your course, take some time to figure out where you want to go and how you want to get there. So where does the faith come in? The faith you should have is not in luck or chance, but in yourself and all you have done to prepare for the next big step.

My first big plunge was what you are reading right now: my author website and blog. Spending my first pound on furthering my writing career. Even those close to me only saw the end result, the finished website but in truth, even the idea of building it took several months to develop. I didn’t have any books, any articles, any stories published or anything to show the world. So before anything else, I had to knuckle down and make some material.

A year later, there is enough material with my name on it to justify investing in my dream of having a successful writing career.

While we’re on the subject…

Plunges Need Funding

Dedicating your time to your passion is a recipe for happiness with done right. But sometimes we let our excitement carry us away and before we know it, we’re eating ramen every day to keep the electricity on.

The worst way to approach the next big step towards launching your writing career is to go charging in with no money behind you. Time isn’t cheap these days and writers need to buy plenty of it. The time of editors, book cover artists and sometimes logo designers who will give your books the quality looks they need
to draw in readers.

In short, make sure you have enough funds that you won’t starve if things go wrong. You don’t want to be selling your kidney down dark alleys because your book of poems didn’t take off.

Careers Aren’t One Plunge

We are led to believe that the first leap of faith is the only one of any significance, but this isn’t true. The first is the most memorable, sometimes the most terrifying but never the only one. Whether they’re big or small, you will find yourself jumping off plenty of proverbial cliffs throughout your career, and the longer you persist, the more you will be jumping.

The more often you leap, the more you will get used to it and before long, you will wonder what you worried about in the first place.

Success (and Failure) Isn’t All or Nothing

Writing is your passion, and putting your passion into practice spawns addictive feelings like excitement, motivation and dream-fuelled hysteria. Until that old party-crasher doubt comes knocking at your door. The prospect of failure is the biggest hurdle stopping any budding writer.

Once we have taken our “plunge”, one of two things will happen. We will succeed or we will fail. When we think of success and failure, it’s usually on an epic scale. We might have a best-selling novel by next week or we will spend years begging our friends and relatives to buy our memoirs while they’re 99p.

Like most things in life, success and failure are on a spectrum. Penning a New York Times bestseller is right up there at the top, while down at the bottom you have selling your first book to someone other than Aunt Brenda. Both success, just one bigger than the other.

No matter what we do to prepare, there is still a chance we don’t make any progress. Worse, there’s a chance we might backtrack several steps. By realising how big your failure is, you can learn how much change you need to make to turn things around. Know your successes and failures for how big or small they are and celebrate or change accordingly.

Whatever your big idea may be, there is every chance you will trip up somewhere down the line. It’s not only good for you to fail sometimes, it’s inevitable. But if you have prepared, and not allowed your dreams to run away with you, there is as much chance you will someday experience success. Pack your parachutes people, it’s time for you to take the plunge!

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