I ordered business cards today. For my pen names.
In the grand scheme of things, ordering business cards is not that big of a deal. I'll be honest, I found some cute designs and I couldn't help myself (I dig office supplies). But it occurred to me after I ordered them that I took yet another step to making this writing gig a business and not just a hobby.
I already took the big jump about two years ago when I started keeping track of my writing expenses and monitoring the income. That made the writing real for me. But it takes two to tango in the publishing world. It's not just about what's real for me, it's about what's real for the readers. If I continue to exist like some sort of sketchy black-market shadow business I am limiting my opportunities for finding potential new clients.
When people ask about violin teaching I whip those cards out so fast it almost results in near-fatal paper cuts for all involved parties. But writing? "Yeah... I write stuff... you can find me online but it's all under pen names so... never mind..."
Time to make some changes. If this business is going to grow, I have to treat it as I would any other business and artistic insecurities be damned.