Lately, I have written many blog posts and articles in regards to vocabulary, writing and grammar. Well, today I thought I would change things up a bit. When I am out and about at events or appointments, people usually ask about my occupation. When I mention that I am a writer, and I am in the process of publishing my next couple of books, I often get the question “So, what’s life like as a published author?”
As if my life is supposed to differ from others in a very particular way. Occasionally my replies will include something profound such as “It keeps me busy” or “It is a lot of hard work.” Trouble is, there is no easy standard answer for this question. At least not one that would be short enough for small talk. I’ve been writing for several years now, and I’ve learned a ton about the business. Of course, there’s always more to learn! Moreover, while I believe I have grown as a writer, there will always be room for improvement.
On a professional level…there are plenty of days when it seems nearly impossible to juggle my job and my writing career. Writing a book takes many hours and dedication. Often it takes me away from my loved ones even longer than my daytime occupation. Most of the time I get paid much less than you might think; I write because I love to tell a story. The few dollars I make in royalties per book barely buys my next cup of coffee that fuels the next chapter. Writing not a get-rich-quick scheme or the road to instant fame…it is a labour of love. It can take months and sometimes even years to write a book.
The thing I did not think much about when I began to write books…it takes even longer to design the cover artwork, edit the contents and then publish it. After that, I have to give up even more of my precious spare time to market and promote my books. I’ve also come to understand that it takes time to build a readership. Now you might wonder why anyone would put themselves through all of this rigmarole!? There is something heartwarming when a reader drops you a line to tell you how much they enjoyed your writing. It is immensely uplifting to know when you made someone smile with your book. When you love spinning stories, the simple process of writing is incredibly satisfying.
On a personal note…writing has turned into something more for me than just a hobby. Even though it is not my primary business, it is indeed evolving into such. There are days when I cannot spend tremendous amounts of time with family and friends or shower my furry children with a lot of attention. Of course, there's always time for a quick belly rub! Or keep my home as clean and organized as I would like it to be, much to my dismay. It drives me crazy when my home is not spit-spot! However, at the end of the day it makes me happy to see all those words that I poured onto a piece of paper or more precisely into a word document.
So, what is my life as a writer like? I might not be famous, nor has it made me rich (at least, not yet!), but it makes me happy. Moreover, while there are no crowds waiting for my autographs, I feel blessed to have this crazy, fulfilling writer's life!
To my fellow writers…is writing life what you expected? To my readers…are you surprised by any of this or did you think it would be more glamorous?