Many new writers define “being a writer” as writing full-time, as though having day job equals an admission of failure or demonstrates a lack of professionalism. However, most writers do have day jobs, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
This year at RWA, I was eligible to attend special published-authors-only workshops geared toward those with more experience, and I want to share some of the highlights from those workshops, as I think we can all benefit from many of the insights.
I’m looking forward to seeing my friends again, and I’ll be doing my first book signing, but the stress? Ugh. It’s a good thing I have my handy-dandy ultimate packing list from the last time I went to RWA National.
As a modern writer, we’re expected to do so much that we struggle to find time to write—even if we’re traditionally published. No one will ever care about our career as much as we do, so that means we should pay attention to many aspects of entrepreneurship.
With another final under Treasured Claim’s belt, my debut has now finaled five times in three contests for published books. So today seems like a good time to touch upon the contest arena for published books.
Writers are often a neurotic, self-doubting lot, and many of us hope for validation as a means of overcoming that doubt. We never want to think about how that validation is only temporary, but the best we can do is try to create a healthy relationship with our validation desires.
Sometimes as authors, we struggle to create a well-rounded world or characters that feel so real to readers that they experience a movie in their mind. Stories that feel like we can crawl in and inhabit them are often lauded as special, but why is it so hard to succeed in that goal?
The journey to writing is filled with many obstacles, yet something keeps us going. Maybe if we understand what’s been most helpful for us becoming and/or remaining a writer—not including writing skill—we’ll be better prepared to face our obstacles now and into the future.
Last Friday, Angela Quarles’s book Must Love Chainmail was named a finalist in RWA’s RITA award, and my writing bestie’s success reminded me of an important lesson for all of us. The road to success can look an awful lot like chaos. *smile*
Everyone has an ego, a sense of how they fit into the world. In the publishing world, that “everyone” includes the newbie writer and the multi-published NYT bestseller, the professionals of traditional publishing and self-publishing. Sometimes egos are healthy and helpful for getting things done. Other times…not so much.