If you’ve dreamed of writing for a living, like Award-winning author Daniel Handler, you may not be sure what steps to take to get your work off the ground. Whether you plan to self-publish or go the traditional route, you’ll get much further if you treat your writing like a job. Follow these tips to see what that looks like for you.

Invest in Your Work

You don’t need much materially to be a writer, but if you spend a little money in the right places, it can take your work much further. Outsource tasks you don’t have as much talent in, like cover design or a professional proofreader. If you let professionals take care of the other details, you can focus on your work – the writing.

Put the Work In

To reach the level of Daniel Handler, you’ll have to put in the same amount of time and effort as he and other professional writers do. You’ll have to develop your work ethic and dedication in the same way you would in any other career. Commit yourself to measurable goals, in either word count or time spent writing.

Evaluate Regularly

Whatever you might be working on, you need to set aside time to evaluate if it’s going the way you want it to. Whether you run every aspect of your writing business personally or you contract out some of the work to family, friends, or professionals, take the time to see how different parts of the process are going.

If you’re a one-person show, you still need to evaluate. Step back from the consuming details of the process and look for ways to improve different steps so you can work better and accomplish your goals. You never know what tweak to your system will send your work to the next level.