Funny title? There’s a lot to being an author that doesn’t just involve writing a novel. And I’m new to this game, but boy am I so far loving it. Being an author that is. Authoring as my day job.
The other day I did an interview with Sara Bragg (my agency sister) who asked me about what other avenues writers can go down to make money, network with the writing community and stay proactive. It really got me thinking about what I do all day when I’m not writing and just important it is to keep busy, proactive and connected to the writing world.
We all know how long everything takes in the publishing business. Waiting for a response to a query, waiting for a response to a manuscript request, waiting for a response to an agents offer, waiting for contracts, waiting for feedback, waiting for edits, waiting for a publishing contract, waiting for the payment. You get it. You need patience of steel in this business.
But instead of seeing this as a reason to complain or resent this waiting “journey”, I’ve decided to look at it in such a uplifting, encouraging way. You know the old saying, it’s not the goal or end result that matters, it’s what you learn along the way? It’s about the adventure that you go on before reaching that goal. That’s me right now. Having the BEST adventure. Loving every minute. Celebrating every milestone in this journey. From contract signing, to an email from my publishers, everything is a chance to be excited! After all, how many people want to be me right now? A year ago, even six months ago, I was looking at authors who are me now and just wishing I was one of them.
So what do I encourage you to do? When you get that offer, treat it as a career. Yes, I know we’re here to write books but what else can you do? When you sign the contract, do you want to just sit back for eighteen months for your book to come out and then celebrate? No way. It means showing up NOW, staying committed, running courses, thinking up new and creative ways to “fill in” the time between signing and your book being on the shelf. Start a blog. Start a podcast. Join a group. Just DO something that relates to writing.
My way of thinking has truly changed my life and my experience so far as being the most enjoyable, fulfilling few months. In 5 months, this is what I have done and what I do during the day that has nothing to do with writing.
- Started an online and in-person writing course with the best community.
- Started taking on clients to assess their manuscripts.
- Blog writing about the path to publishing.
- And now more things are about to happen.
In the day, when I’m not writing, I’m treating this as a career. So I’m:
- Planning lessons for the workshops.
- Planning future workshops.
- Providing feedback to the writers who are on the workshops.
- Creating ideas for a once-off podcast takeover with two other authors.
- Brainstorming ideas for events with my author friend Polly Phillips.
- Checking emails from editor/agent about edits/finance/contracts.
- Waiting on feedback from book 2 from my agent and then will start rewriting.
- About to start edits on The Shallows with my publisher.
- Blog interview writing.
- Blog articles like this one.
- Plotting another book.
- Meeting my writers group with Louise Allan, Polly Phillips and Natasha Lester
It’s such a diverse and awesome time, and I would never want to speed this up. I’m relishing every moment, because this is a career I’ve worked so hard to achieve. I’m not going to dull it down or dim it. I haven’t even got to the fun parts of the publishing process, but if you don’t want to complain about the wait, or how long it all takes then trust me when I say, keep busy. Do other things.
It works for me!