14.43: Sequencing Your Career Genome

Your Hosts: Howard, Mary Robinette, Dan, and DongWon

Let’s talk about career planning. It’s a lot more than just launching a career by selling a book, and in this episode we talk about the kinds of things we want to be thinking about and preparing for beyond simply selling our next book or project.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Bert Grimm at WXR 2018, and mastered by Alex Jackson


Identify an author whose career you’d like to emulate. Research their career timeline, including the release dates of their books, and possibly the order in which things were written and sold.

This is How You Lose the Time War, by Max Gladstone, and Amal el Mohtar

6 thoughts on “14.43: Sequencing Your Career Genome”

  1. I’m afraid of writing full time–afraid that if I wrote full time, I wouldn’t find it fun anymore.

    Besides which, I have 3 chief interests: writing, visual art, and the goal of helping people be as mobile as possible as long as possible. And I want to do them ALL!

  2. I am disappointed that you didn’t talk about how a self-published author would start planning their career, though I can understand why it didn’t come to mind. Until you do one, I will have to try to follow the homework and find someone whose career I want to emulate and move on from there. It was a great podcast, guys. I really enjoyed it.

  3. Planning…
    Writing for me was a Hail Mary. In 2011 I was broke, homeless, couch surfing, hadn’t found steady work in two years, and my freelance clients had been drying up.

    Nobody was responding to the applications I was sending out, so writing seemed like a better use of my time – self-publishing was an act of desperation. I got lucky, and by the end of 2013 was bringing in 4 figures a month. It’s never been about what I wanted, it was just what worked when nothing else was.

    Now in 2019 I’m not homeless, but I’ve never managed to pull myself above the poverty line. I’ve never felt like I’ve got a solid enough standing to be able to stop and take a breath… it’s just been scrambling, scrambling, scrambling. I’ve added other forms of storytelling – audiodrama production, podcasting, game development… but it’s all story.

    So what do I want? A little more stability. I don’t want to give up living entirely through the slinging of story, but I want to feel more secure in my income.

  4. The genetically engineered Frankenstein foursome, Howard, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Dongwon, got together at Writing Excuses Retreat 2018 to talk about career planning. Bacterial injection of career DNA? No, but… at least some ideas about what to think about, what questions to ask yourself. Exit routes from rooms? Summoning demons? Well, at least authors to emulate. Go read all about it in the transcript now available in the archives.

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