Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The (un)Glamorous Life

Let me begin by saying I love my life. I love being a full-time author. I love writing stories that people want to read. And I love, love, love talking to people about my characters as if they were real.

Now that that’s out of the way….

People look at me and the fact that I’ve achieved a small level of success, and some think, ‘Wow, I want that.’ What they don’t see is the ‘unglamorous’ part of being a full-time writer – the early morning flights, the traveling from city to city, the leaving your family to spend quiet evenings alone in hotel after hotel (okay, maybe that’s not so bad), the list goes on. I remember one time I was doing a signing in Ohio with Victoria Christopher Murray and we raced from our event, to the airport, changed clothes in the airport bathroom and barely made our flight. We joked about how “unglamorous” that was and said this was the part people sometimes forgot about the literary industry.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I almost didn’t write this blog because I don’t want to seem ungrateful. I know there are hundreds of people who would love to have “my problems,” but as I prepare to head out of town for another literary event and miss yet another special event for my daughter (its homecoming and she’s doing her first halftime dance), I’m reminded that what I do comes at a cost. So while I love traveling, sometimes it’s bittersweet. And it’s just one of the bittersweet parts of our business. Some others include: those who think I do well because my publisher pushes me. Granted, I think I have one of the best publishers in the business, they are behind me 100% because I worked like a Hebrew slave – EVEN WHEN THEY WEREN’T. Back when they just printed the book and said, “here you go,” I worked my tail off and eventually, they saw how hard I was working and got behind me.

Then, there are the people who look at me (and other writers) and think my success came overnight. It didn’t. Just ask my husband who would look at those boxes of self-published books in our garage and go, “I’m trying to believe in your dream, but tell me again how we’re going to move these books.”

Or people will tell me, “I’m going to quit my job and write full-time, too” without realizing I didn’t quit until my SEVENTH book and with a sound game plan.

So yes, being a full-time author is a beautiful thing. But it’s not a task to be taken lightly. There is hard work, sweat, tears and even frustration. Still, when all is said and done, the good far outweighs the good and in fact, it’s that unglamorous part that makes you appreciate glamorous parts even more!