Taking B-School was one of the best decisions of my life. It taught me how to run my online writing school efficiently, which then gave me back my time, so I could write my second book. Running an online business, in turn, inspired me to write Radiant Shimmering Light, which has now been published in six different countries, and was recently optioned for a TV series (!).
When I took B-School, I was already working for myself (writing, publishing, and teaching creative writing). I’d completed my MFA! I’d published my first book of fiction, to critical acclaim! My book was nominated for Canada’s most prestigious fiction prize! From the outside, it looked like my writing career was really taking off. I had made a name for myself.
But like so many writers, I was still paying off my student loan. I depended on Arts Council grants for my living expenses — if I was lucky enough to get any. I was teaching all the time, freelancing whenever I could, saying yes to every opportunity that crossed my path. I had waitlists for my classes, but I was exhausted — and I wasn’t making enough to live on.
Worse, I had given away the one resource that a writer needs the most: her time.
B-School offered training I’d never received before: permission-based marketing geared toward online businesses like mine. I took B-School in the hopes that I would learn how to take what I already had, and turn it into something sustainable.
I took B-School in 2011. At the time, I think I was the only author in the program. I took the program seriously: I made time for every assignment, I watched every video, and attended every live call. More than once, during some of the calls and in the forum, I wondered if I was in the right place. My business model is slightly different than many of the other people in my cohort.
But this is what I love about Marie’s message — she shows you how things work, and then advises you to do your own thing, your own way. B-School taught me how to design a livelihood that works for me: Sarah Selecky Writing School.
Now I work with an international online community of more than 20,000 writers, as well as 13 talented, exceptional writing teachers. Our school has a program director, marketing director, and community manager who keep things running smoothly.
Running my own business isn’t always easy, but it gives me freedom. My student debt is paid off. I make a salary, and finally have financial security. I can work and travel at the same time. And I have time to write!