Episode 035 – When to Pivot in Your Writing Career

Hello Navigators. This week on the podcast, I share my personal experiences of pivoting both in my fiction and coaching business. I share my top tips for when and how to pivot.

As I mentioned in the episode, my coaching is moving from Patreon to this site. Now is the perfect time to sign up for monthly membership of the Writer Roadmap community, or for one-to-one coaching. Find out more here.

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Brightly coloured infographic summary of pivoting tips. Text reads:
    Communicate Changes: Share your pivot journey openly.
    Maintain Core Themes: Keep the essence of your work intact.
    Test Small Changes: Gauge reactions before full commitment.
    Plan Strategically: Map out pivot steps and potential impacts.
    Seek Feedback: Engage community for insights and support.

Listen now wherever you stream podcasts.


Welcome to Writer Roadmap, the podcast for writers seeking inspiration, guidance, and support on their creative journey. I’m your host, Holly Lyne and today, we’re diving deep into the concept of the pivot.

Pivoting—whether in our writing careers, creative projects, or the way we approach the business side of writing—is about recognizing when a change in direction is not just necessary but potentially transformative.

Let’s get personal for a moment. I’ve recently made some significant pivots myself. I’m transitioning from urban fantasy to dark fantasy. While urban fantasy has been an amazing journey, my heart and my writing naturally lean towards the darker, grittier themes of dark fantasy. I’ve described myself as a dark fantasy author for a very long time, while writing contemporary books about shifters and vampires which fall decisively into the urban fantasy category.

But as the genre has become more and more crowded with paranormal romance titles, it’s harder to find readers looking for dynamic fight sequences and high stakes. So I decided that it was time to shift from contemporary settings to secondary world fantasy. My new series, the Nightshade Conservatory, is a series of fairytale villain retellings set in a traditional fantasy world full of dragons, mages and dark forests with a Big Bad Wolf lurking in the shadows.

The core of my storytelling remains the same: impossible choices, world-ending scenarios, and heartbreak, alongside tropes like the chosen one and found family. The essence of my work stays true—bittersweet endings and acts of self-sacrifice. I’m having so much fun creating the world, the characters and their interconnected stories and am so glad that I decided to make this change now. It has reinvigorated my fiction writing big time!

In another realm of my career, I’ve decided to pivot from using Patreon for my coaching practice to providing services directly through my website. This move is about taking control—of my pricing, my offerings, and ultimately, the value I can deliver to fellow authors without the constraints of a third-party platform. This represents the transition into the next phase of my coaching career and I’m excited to see what will come of this shift.

Why Pivot?

Pivoting isn’t about abandoning your path; it’s about refining it. It’s for those moments when you realize the current direction might not be serving you or your audience as well as it could. Whether it’s a shift in genre that lets your true voice shine or a business decision that aligns better with your goals, pivoting is about alignment and authenticity. Some typical pivots an author might experience, besides changing genres are refocusing marketing efforts away from social media and onto paid advertising; going from exclusivity to a wide approach with book availability; moving to a direct sales model, either online or at in-person events. There are many more pivots you might decide to make as an author.

Signs You Might Need to Pivot

  • Lack of Passion: If the work no longer excites you or feels like a chore, it might be time to explore new avenues that reignite your enthusiasm.
  • Market Shifts: Changes in market demand could indicate it’s time to adjust your focus or strategy to stay relevant and engaged with your audience.
  • Personal Growth: As we evolve, so do our interests and expertise. A pivot can reflect personal growth, enabling us to pursue projects more aligned with our current selves.

Tips for a Smooth Pivot

  • Communicate: Share your journey with your audience. Transparency builds trust and can turn your pivot into an inspiring narrative for your followers.
  • Maintain Your Core: As I shift genres, I’m keeping the themes that define my work. Similarly, in business changes, retain the core of what makes your offering unique.
  • Test the Waters: Before a full pivot, experiment with small changes to gauge reaction and effectiveness. It can provide valuable insights and ease the transition.
  • Plan Strategically: Outline the steps of your pivot. Consider how each change affects your goals and prepare for potential challenges.
  • Seek Feedback: Engage with your community. Their insights can offer support, encouragement, and sometimes, a new perspective you hadn’t considered.

Pivoting is both an art and a strategy. It requires listening—both to yourself and to the world around you. It asks for courage but rewards you with growth, alignment, and sometimes, a renewed sense of purpose.
Whether you’re considering a shift in your writing, your business model, or any aspect of your creative journey, remember: The path isn’t linear. It’s a series of evolving steps that lead you closer to where you’re meant to be.

If you’re on the cusp of a pivot or have gone through one, I’d love to hear your story. Join us at writerroadmap.com to share, learn, and grow together. The community has a Discord server where we chat, encourage each other and participate in weekly accountability. You can also get technical support and data analysis from my husband, Andy, on the Discord server. We also have a monthly get-together on Zoom at which we share progress and you have the opportunity to ask me questions and get a micro-dose of coaching from me. Membership costs just £10 a month so take a look and sign up today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, and if this episode has inspired you, share it with someone who might need to hear it. Until next time, keep writing, keep dreaming, and don’t be afraid to turn the page to a new chapter.

Writer Roadmap intro and outro music used under license from Pixabay. Music track “Salangseuleoun” was Created by “Dayfox”.

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