Blogging Contest · NaNoWriMo · Writing

#26 What “Being An Author” Means To You

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Being an author had meant that I’d hang out in coffee shops or bookstores signing my books and maybe reading an excerpt or two. Then, I’d write another book and trust that everyone would respect my need for solitude. When I’d finish the next book, I’d send it immediately to an editor, who would only have to catch my typos because everything I write is golden…

Okay, who was holding the glue under my nose? C’mon, ‘fess up.

A little research, a little Kristen Lamb kicking my rear like Jillian Michaels, and I’ve learned that the way of an author – a successful author – is a lot of hard work. But honestly, how can anyone truly be successful at anything without having worked hard?

So now…

Being an author means writing – everyday. It means reading – any spare moment, fiction and craft books. It means getting the voices in my head down on paper and trying to come up with new ways to connect them to my readers. It means blogging, tweeting (gotta work harder on that), and facebooking. It means breaking out of my comfort zone and trying new things, NaNoWriMo for instance.

But it’s also dreaming.

I dream that I can write the kind of fiction that can touch lives the way other books have touched mine. I dream that if I’m ever a best-selling, popular author, that I won’t ever lose sight of why I started writing books in the first place. I also dream of being a voice of reason to young people. I am by no means a wise sage, but I’ve learned some things from my youth – things that I wish I had learned earlier. As an author, I’m writing to my younger self in hopes that others, young or old can learn what I have. I hope it helps them in some way.

[This post was written as a part of the NaNoWriMo Pre-game Kick Off over at Jessica Schmeidler’s blog.]

NaNo word count: 24,067

9 thoughts on “#26 What “Being An Author” Means To You

  1. I agree with you: writing is hard work. It’s demanding of our time and energy. We keep doing our best to improve at it. Why do we do it? Is it a form of insanity? Possibly. I know I write because I simply must. I believe a lot of other writers share this mentality. We are creative people who need this form of self-expression.

  2. I think my family has the hardest time dealing with my writing. Before, it was my hobby, something I did in between all the other stuff. But now, it’s all-consuming, and they’re learning that they often need to make sure I’m looking at them and taking in what they’re saying before they can expect a coherent response – otherwise I’m going to be lost in my characters’ worlds!

  3. Well said, Shea.
    About two years ago, before I received my first contract from Astraea Press, I charted out the pros and cons of the stereotypical dream of hitting the jackpot with a juicy advance at a big six NYC publishing house, hitting the network talk shows, and topping all the bestseller lists. Seeing it in black & white, I realized that with such a level of instant “fame” would come many costs I was not prepared to pay.
    So I lowered my sights to more reasonable goals which would not require me to sacrifice my way of life and my witness.
    And, like you, I have a desire to encourage younger writers … since there are so many other sources of DIScouragement for them.

    1. There’s a frustrating line with fame. While I would like to think I wouldn’t abandon my values if I ever became famous, I’ve seen too many others do just that. Right now, we should count our blessings and encourage where we can. 🙂

  4. I agree, writing is hard work, but it’s also magical because of the fictional folk we meet, because of the real people we connect with too. And, like you, simply because I love to write.

    1. That’s why it is so worth the hard work, right? 😉 I’m with you, it’s great when we can connect with real people via our characters who’ve become like real people to both the writer and the reader. It’s why we do what we do. 🙂

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