Tag Archives: Fan To Pro

Why I Wrote It: Fan To Pro

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

Ah, Fan To Pro. My attempts to give people advice on how to use their fandom in their careers. The first book I wrote — and the first book I rewrote.

Let’s ask just how it came to be, so we can share our stories of why we make books.

Fan To Pro didn’t start as a book. Or sort of did.

Fan To Pro’s origins go back to 2005 and 2006. Several friends and I kept discussing just how much talent there was in fandom. We wondered how we could support people, especially those wanting to use that in their careers. Our solutions were simple: we weren’t sure.

For a while, a friend and I considered a book, but we weren’t sure what to do. How do you take “hey, you could do this for a living” and make a book out of it? It went nowhere.

What did happen was we created a blog, now closed, called Fan To Pro (later MuseHack). This got us into blogging about careers and career news and introduced us to a range of similar people.

At the same time, I called upon my nascent coaching skills and began presenting about careers at conventions. I spoke on general career advice and brainstorming, and the act of speaking helped me mine my knowledge. This was around 2007-2009, after over a decade in my career, and I had a lot to share.

I also was always working on improving myself. I’d go to professional meetups, get training, and read books. I got exposed to the world of coaching and career books, and that led to a realization.

Why not share my geeky career advice from my point of view. Take what I’d learned and seen over the years and collate it into a book. I already had plenty of presentations and experience, after all.

This was an important lesson. I hadn’t realized what I knew or what I could share until I’d tried. Sometimes we don’t know what we know until we share it.

All my friends and family were supportive, so I got down and wrote my book. Also, they were kind of surprised it took me that long to realize my skills.

The first Fan To Pro was kind of mediocre. I mean, there was good advice, but it had an awful cover, some odd formatting, and there were a few things I missed. But I did get the book done, and I had a starting point.

There are some things where you have to do something and move on to see where you are.

But I wasn’t done. After a few years, I realized I had learned a lot, and it was time to rewrite the book. I sat down, got a professional artist, and revised the heck out of it.

The results were much better. I’m proud I wrote the first book, but I’m proud of the second book. I improved the style, added more information, shared my lessons, and organized it better. It was a far better book.

It also felt like I’d “gotten it all out.” I had shared more lessons, gone into more depth, and connected better with the audience. The book feels complete

Will I ever rewrite it again? I don’t know. I wrote it at a time in my life where it feels like a “got” the big picture. As my career continues, as I age, as the economy changes, I worry my more recent experiences are less applicable. Bluntly, I’d be afraid to screw it up.

But who knows – I never thought I’d do a book at one point in my life . . .

Steven Savage

Steve’s Next Book – An Update To Fan To Pro – And a Thank You

Remember how this blog inspired a book on geeky jobs, called “Fan To Pro”?  Well thanks to you readers, and my staff, and my friends, there’s an update.

Introducing Fan To Pro’s second edition: “Fan To Pro: Leveling Up Your Career Through Your Hobbies.”

This is a huge update of the original book (which, yes, is going out of print). Huge chunks were rewritten or expanded. A lot of new information gained over the four (!) years since I wrote it were included. Resources were updated. Chapters were newly organized and categories, and helpful checklists were added. Bigger, more focused, and going into more depth than it’s predecessor, it’s my way to help you in your geek careers.

The best part of it, in my opinion, is how the book is organized. Each chapter sums up what you’re going to learn, follows that rough pattern, then gives you a list of takeaways and resources/next steps. Each chapter is almost standalone, and I think it’ll let people take away the right lessons and apply them. I’m very curious how these lessons can be applied in other writing – and some of it has found its way into my current blogging.

So go on, take a look, spread the word, pester me for a review copy, and enjoy. I hope it helps you and yours in the years to come.

Oh, and as a special celebration, look for something coming soon . . .

– Steven Savage

Meet My Next Book: (Not Quite) The Same As The Old Book

FTPV2WebAnd my next book is out.

Introducing Fan To Pro’s second edition: “Fan To Pro: Leveling Up Your Career Through Your Hobbies.”

This is a huge update of the original book (which, yes, is going out of print). Huge chunks were rewritten or expanded. A lot of new information gained over the four (!) years since I wrote it were included. Resources were updated. Chapters were newly organized and categories, and helpful checklists were added. Bigger, more focused, and going into more depth than it’s predecessor, it’s my way to help you in your geek careers.

Frankly, I think it’s one of the best things I’ve written. I really had to think it over, restructure my advice, apply knowledge, and question myself. I’m glad it’s done so people can use it to advance their careers – especially in this not-so-hot economy.

(Come to think of it, it was not-so-hot when I wrote the first book. Which is one reason some of my current writing focuses on Geek Citizenship since we got bigger problems).

The best part of it, in my opinion, is how the book is organized. Each chapter sums up what you’re going to learn, follows that rough pattern, then gives you a list of takeaways and resources/next steps. Each chapter is almost standalone, and I think it’ll let people take away the right lessons and apply them. I’m very curious how these lessons can be applied in other writing – and some of it has found its way into my current blogging.

So go on, take a look, spread the word, pester me for a review copy, and enjoy. I hope it helps you and yours in the years to come.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/.