Friday, April 24, 2015

What I Thought Being Published Would Be Like vs. What It's Actually Like

From my weekly blog on my author website:

Okay, so imagine you're a kid and you're dreaming about what you want to be when you "grow up". You love reading books and you love to make up stories so you dream of becoming an author. As you grow older you dream about what it will be like if and when you ever get published.

I don't know about other writers out there but I always thought being published would be this amazing fantastical thing where you were sent out on book tours and had a glamorous lifestyle. Even after I signed my contract with Whiskey Creek Press I had this illusion that being published would mean getting to become friends with some of my favorite authors and getting to read some of their novels before they became available to the general public. After all, you see it all the time on social media. For example, one of my favorite authors is always hanging out with other authors I love and jetting all over the world while another of my favorites is always reading books I'd love to read sometimes even a year before they're set to release.

Allow me to burst that illusion for you. I mean don't get me wrong, being a published author is amazing and beyond my wildest dreams. I never thought this would actually happen for me. But being published isn't as grand as big name authors project it to be. I was inspired for this blog after reading this blog on buzzfeed: Why Being a Debut Author Isn’t Exactly a Dream Come True. To quote the article "For a lot of writers, it will prove to be the most emotionally unsteady period of their lives." And that was true for me. I was excited and nervous, happy and scared out of my mind all at the same time. I experienced mood changes that made me feel like how a bipolar person might feel. I was so proud that my book was going to be available for the world to read while at the same time being afraid that nobody would buy my book.

All I'm really saying that being published isn't as easy and carefree as authors project it to be. For me, as an author whose publisher is a small one, it requires a lot of hard work and effort. I don't get sent on a country-wide book tour, the authors I've befriended are "indie" authors like me, and although it would be fantastic to be able to read upcoming books before they've been released; so far that hasn't happened for me.

I spend a lot of my days updating and checking my social media accounts as well as my website, answering questions from people about my novel / book signing / anything else writing related, and trying to balance self-promoting my book without being too sickening. I divide my time between promoting The Haunting Love, getting Finding Elizabeth ready to self-publish this fall (hopefully), and working on my current works-in-progress. It's at times stressful and nerve-wracking and is in itself a full-time job.

Why do I bother you ask? Because, for me writing is saying all the things I can't say out loud. It's being able to create worlds for myself to slip into and creating characters that live on in my imagination. It's my escape from my sometimes lonely life. While I have a few close friends, I've never really been that outgoing and writing allows me to live vicariously through my characters. And at the end of the day when someone tells me that they've read my book and love it; that they can relate to one or more of my characters it makes it all worth it. Are you with me?

Wow, I feel like I've ripped a vein open and bared my soul to you here, my devoted readers. And in a way, that's also what writing creatively is. I hope this shows you that although being a published author isn't nearly as glamorous as it looks, at the end of the day it's still really rewarding. I wouldn't choose anything else for myself.

Anyway, have a wonderful weekend everyone! I hear it's supposed to be a somewhat nice one, at least in this little corner of the world.

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