Posts Tagged: published author

On Being a Writer

I find it hard to believe we have already been residing in Tennessee for two years. Time seems irrelevant when one is retired. Although, I’m not really retired. My husband is. I always dreamed of this time when he could kick back and support my writing endeavors and I could write us off into the sunset on my success.

Well, as the saying goes, “the best laid plans” is true as I’ve found life does not always go the way we want it to. Even though I am writing novels, articles and stories for anthologies, I still don’t feel I am pulling my weight. In fact, to be honest, even though I am pursuing my second-grade dream, in the eyes of the world, I am not a success. I’m spending more than I have made.

As I press on, many would call what I do a hobby. But most people don’t realize how much work goes into being a writer.

Here’s a little insight:

Words don’t always come easy to a novelist. If I were to write 2,000 words a day, every day of a month, like I did during the November NaNoWriMo challenge, I could finish a novella. A regular novel is 85,000 to 100,000 or more words.

Every story takes time – a lot more time to write than it does to read. If the writer has a publisher, the finished manuscript goes to them next, and a whole process of editing takes place. The editing process often includes three steps: general edit, concept edit, and line edit.

There is also cover art to consider, but most of the time the writer has no say in this decision. Needless to say, it all takes time – a lot of time.

Before and after the book is published, there is marketing to do. Most marketing is the responsibility of the author. Here is where the readers can help the writer by leaving reviews on every website that sells books.

Marketing is a whole other blog topic, but necessary for the success of the author. And again, marketing takes time – time away from writing more, not to mention the cost of promoting your writing.

I’m sure most writers enjoy creating their stories for their awaiting fans. But for those of you who have other occupations, being an author is not a cushy position to be taken lightly. Writing is hard work and is a financial investment. But those of us who do it, love it and will keep writing until we go to Heaven.

But in the meantime, I hope to make a profit one day.

The Birth of a Book

When I was a second grader, my teacher, Mrs. Olson, told me I was destined to be a writer.

I wrote five pages about my dog and won first place in the writing contest Mrs. Olson created for her second-grade writers. That was in 1972 and I never forgot her words, always dreaming of becoming an author.There is no feeling more exhilarating than opening a box to find a dozen books with your name on the front. I compare the process to giving birth. There’s the conception, the long haul of putting words into story… and that is only the beginning.

For the most part, the process can take a lot longer than nine months of carrying a baby. Only writers can understand how much work it takes to finally hold your baby, the fruition of hard work in your hands: A book with your name on the over.

It begins with an idea.

Thanks to my friend Susan K. Stewart, who listened to my idea and said the three words authors love to hear, “Send it in,” I have a middle-grade book series.

The Rubber Band series by Christy Hoss

Susan and I became friends, and she shared with me her idea for a book that was burning on her heart. I loved her idea. I wish I could have said those three words to her, but because she is an editor, she had an “in” with the publisher.

Susan had a dream, one that involved her love of donkeys.

Recently, her dream was fulfilled. A box of books arrived at her doorstep and when she opened them up, her dream for Donkey Devos was born. I love it when dreams come true.

From idea to the page, from the page to pitching to a publisher, from the publisher to the editing process and from the editing process finally to print, writing is hard work.

But because I have dreamed of writing my entire life and recently birthed my second book, to me, the entire process truly is my labor of love.