I saw this meme on Facebook the other day and loved it. It spoke to my heart and actually described me perfectly. I sometimes wonder what readers think about how a book gets written. Not the final product you see pimped on social media or newsletters, but what it takes to get a book actually from inside an author’s head to down on paper. And while there are always a few scammers who will vomit words onto a page and call it a book, for the vast majority, whether traditionally published or indie published, the process is all consuming.
This is actually my third career. My first was as a special education teacher (speech therapist) and then I spent 21 years as an adolescent counselor after obtaining a Master’s degree in counseling. Becoming a full time author is now career #3! “Oh, you work at home,” you say. “How easy for you.”
Well, I work longer hours and harder on this job than my others…by far. I used to work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Yes, sometimes I took work home or stayed late to get projects accomplished. But nothing prepared me for what I am doing now.
I usually work anywhere from 8-14 hours a day…7 days a week. That is in research, writing, revising, correcting, editing, reviewing beta reader notes, making the corrections based on my editor, proofing, reading again…you get the picture. And yes, throw in the time it takes to market my books,
I love what I do. I love to get positive responses from readers who have fallen in love with my characters and the stories that were in my head and brought to life so others could enjoy them. I am able to make some money at this career but it is month to month–and that can vary greatly!
So for anyone thinking that authors sit around in their PJs all day fiddling at the computer, I will say that you could not be more wrong. If you think that you would like to try this profession, please do! I would encourage you…but make sure you understand what it takes. Your characters will take your blood, sweat, and tears…sometimes leaving you in a pile of self-doubt and other times on top of the world!
So, if you are a reader, remember that before you judge a book too harshly, just because it did not speak to you, remember that a lot of work went into the story what was someone else’s to tell. And maybe, just maybe, appreciate the hours spent to offer you enjoyment.