When I was a young, aspiring writer, I had dreams of grandeur on becoming published. I thought it would be neat to see my name on a cover, pictured book signings, and rave reviews. The reality? While it’s a thrill to see my name on a cover, to hold my book in my hands, because it’s a feeling like no other. It also took many years of effort, to have that honor. I haven’t had a book signing yet, but I imagine family, friends, and a few strangers will show up. (I’m still biting my nails at the thought of having one). Perhaps the biggest myth of all, I thought once I became published, learning the craft would be over, that the hardest part was done. Boy, was I wrong, (and naive) to think so.
Don’t get me wrong, and ask any writer, there is nothing else I would rather be doing. Telling stories, feeds my soul. Writing comes naturally to me (most of the time, unless their is a brain blockage), and I can’t imagine not doing it. Getting to know new characters with each story is an awesome feeling, because I created them, and each time I’m honored to tell their story. As I’ve matured as a writer, so have my stories. And I’ve learned many valuable lessons.
One, you never stop learning your craft. Never stop trying to push yourself, your stories, further than the last. I have an entire bookshelf full of craft books, and I’ll probably never stop adding to my collection. I re-read, learn, and continuously infuse this knowledge back into my work. Two, reviews are like a double edge sword, need to be taken with a grain of salt, and are a lot harder to come by than I thought. As of this post, I haven’t yet received a one-star review. But, and I’m holding my breath here, the day will come. As it comes for every writer, and I’ll probably cry, eat some ice cream, and move on. I realize not everyone will like my work, and that’s fine. Not everyone has to, because if I worried about what people thought, I’d never write a word. Three, the value of social media, and networking. I’m not sure how this all tied in to writing when I started eighteen years ago, but in today’s market, it is important, and necessary. I’ll be honest, while I’ve become cozy with social media; most days I’d just rather crawl into my Mommy Cave, and just do what I love to do, write. Not because it’s so undesirable, but because I’m an inherently shy person.
The final thing I’ve learned is that while I enjoy it, and have fun with writing, it’s also hard work. More work than I ever realized. Before I was published, I had zero clue how much effort, and time it takes. How many are involved, between you, your editor, the cover artist, and the publisher, there are a lot of chefs in the kitchen! It does help immensely though. You really learn to appreciate all those chefs, because without them, you wouldn’t have your masterpiece.
Facebook: Rose Lange, Author