The biggest change, obviously, is that you go from creating your own deadlines to performing under other people’s deadlines--which often means you have to stop working on one project to meet the editor’s tight schedule on another.
You also learn (is this news to anyone???) that writing isn’t just about writing. Of course we all know what it’s like to revise and tweak and mull over new titles. But writing is also about ...
- Schmoozing to increase your name recognition.
- Attending conferences.
- Volunteering with your writers group chapter.
- Maintaining your website, blog (or 2 or 3), and Facebook page.
- Coming up with clever back-cover copy.
- Mining your contacts for valuable endorsements.
- Lining up speaking engagements.
- Investigating every promo opportunity from the neighborhood flea market to Good Morning America.
Lest Ruthy accuse me of whining and break out her steel-toed kick-in-the-pants boots, let me just say that I’m thrilled to be off the tuna-and-coconut diet on Unpubbed Island (and not just because of Audra’s scary rifle or Sandra’s mandatory 5 a.m. mountain bike rides).
Reason #1: Revising because a bona fide editor with a major stake in my book says it’s necessary is a whole lot more motivating (not to mention fun!) than trying to please a critique group and persnickety contest judges who can’t seem to agree on any aspect of my manuscript.
Reason #2: My CPA is much happier now that I have actual income to report (even though the expense column is still winning the race).
Reason #3: No more boring Christmas letters saying, “Yes, Myra is still writing and hoping to sell a book.”
Reason #4: I never, ever, EVER have to sweat the decision about whether to enter the Golden Heart (and then try to make sense of those wildly divergent scores).
Reason #5: I get to put my cute little book cover graphic in my e-mail signature!
Your turn. If you’re published (or contracted), name your 3 most and least favorite aspects about life as a professional author. If you’re still waiting for The Call, name the 3 things you most look forward to leaving behind once that big day comes.