WEEK 33 - Is Strategy a Dirty Word?

Week 33 and 19 more weeks to go to the end of the year. This week, I would like to talk about something on my mind for a bit - Strategy.

Week 33 and 19 more weeks to go to the end of the year. That’s fast. I’m still recovering from my 2nd dose of the vaccine so this week will be as concise as I can manage. This week, I would like to talk about something on my mind for a bit - Strategy.

It’s a major topic, with many branches and types. To set the context, I will be talking about strategy as an independent fiction writer and/or self-publisher, particularly the following aspects: 

  • What is Strategy? 

  • Is Strategy applicable to Creative Careers? 

  • And most importantly, is Strategy Dirty? 

Caveat: This will be more applicable for creators concerned about career sustainability.

What is Strategy?

With strategy, the most basic question with what I would consider one of the most complex answers - WHAT IS STRATEGY? 

Since it can get quite complicated, let me start with what Strategy IS NOT.

Strategy IS NOT:

  • Your ultimate goal

  • A list of actions to do to get to your goal

  • Activities or events that you schedule 

  • A sleazy way to manipulate your supporters to buying your products / services 

So WHAT IS STRATEGY? 

The short answer - Your approach to how you’d like to reach your goals. 

The more complex answer - It’s the rationale behind why you want to carry out your action plan / list of activities, and how your actions make sense in contributing to your ultimate objective. For something clearer, you can take a look at how each stage of decision-making contributes to the next: 

So in other words, strategy is like the bridge between the two: 

  • Objectives: The steps that you want to take to reach your vision. 

  • Tactics: These are what we’re the most familiar with - the individual projects, activities, events, programmes, that often pop into our head when we visualise our plans.   


As a creator, what are your feelings about ‘strategy’? Do share them in the comments! 

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Can Strategy Apply to Creative Careers?

The short answer - Yes. 

The more complex answer - I can’t speak about using strategy for writing stories, but I found that having a little bit of a think of your objective and strategy as a writer / author helps with:

  • Clarity on your story’s / series’ / book’s quintessential message

  • Structuring your days and schedules such that you can balance your writing and other activities

  • Decisions on your next step as a creator

  • It’ll actually help you with your pitch, especially with aspects that help you stand out as a writer / author of your books

“But I’m an artist! Wouldn’t ‘strategy’ be selling out?”

No strategy is also a strategy. If we’re talking about you wanting to be a career author, then the above process would definitely be helpful to keep your career sustainable. In an environment where change is the only constant, and where so many circumstances  are beyond our control, having an internal compass will at least help you as you steer uncharted waters, whether you’re independent or have an agent. 

Is Strategy Dirty?

If you’d ask me, I’d say that strategy is very much like money - it’s a tool to get you to your objective. However, there are other factors that go hand-in-hand with strategy to help with more organic, authentic career sustainability: 

  • Objectives

  • Tactics

  • Mindset: I would say that this is one of the most important and complex factors to talk about. In fact, it can form the basis of many decisions, goals, and visions - individual or collective.

All of which are major topics on their own. If you’d like to hear more about the above factors in future newsletter issues, do let me know in the comments! Or if you have any questions =) 

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And that’s it from me, see you all next week!


What is ‘strategy’ to you? Share them in the comments!

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