This is a question I’ve pondered for years. I know what “they” say. By “they” I assume it means industry standards. They say a writer becomes an author once they become published. OK, let’s use that standard. Does that mean traditionally published or self-published?
First let me say I am not bashing self-publishing. I’ve thought about it many times myself. Please do not take this as an attack because it’s NOT.
So, you stay a “writer” until you get a book deal from a publisher. OK. Well, what if it’s a brand new publisher that no one has ever heard of? Does that count? Obviously if you’re lucky enough to get a deal from one of the “Big 5″ you have definitely morphed from writer to author. But why? Because you were in the right place at the right time? Continue reading →
I don’t normally bash other people’s posts. If you own a blog you have the right to say anything you want. Right? Well, in this case no. And I’ll tell you why.
I was reading a post (I won’t reveal what blog or the author because that wouldn’t be right) where a young writer stated… She read an article about authors who have “made it” and they said they wrote 1000 words per hour. Well, I don’t know where she found this article or what it actually said, BUT she ran with it. Advising all new writers to set their word count goals to 1000 words PER HOUR! That’s right, 1000 words per hour. No excuses. Her words, not mine.
As I read this post I couldn’t believe the so-called advice she was giving to new writers. It got my hackles up big time!
Author’s note: When we first met Scarlet she was suicidal over losing her husband and her sight in an automobile accident, caused by a drunk driver. She daydreamed about splaying open her wrists in a bubble bath. Her live-in nurse, Evaughn, jarred her awake and announced that she had something special planned for Scarlet: a walk through her rural neighborhood– alone. Reluctant, Scarlet agreed. She ambled down the road– her walking cane tapping side-to-side in front of her– and her mind wandered. When she snapped out of her reverie her surroundings had changed.
This is where we begin part two, with Scarlet’s nerves jumping like hot oil in a cast iron skillet. Alone and terrified.
Out of the Darkness
Something was different. I couldn’t hear the dog barking anymore. The children’s voices trailed around the corner and vanished like vapor. There were no familiar sounds. The sun faded. And a coolness chilled my bare arms, sheathing my skin in goosebumps.
For those of you who have followed this blog, you know I am a member of Prose & Cons.
For those of you who are new to this community: Prose & Cons is a multi-author blog, aka the gang of twenty-one. We blog about books, the people who read them, write them, and everything in between.
A couple of weeks ago I posted the first half of my short story, Out of the Darkness, on Prose & Cons and re-posted it here. Tomorrow is part two. I will again re-post here for those of you who aren’t following this amazing authors blog. For those of you who would like to check out Prose & Cons the address is: http://www.auniqueandportablemagic.blogspot.com.
Hope to see you all there!
If not, I will see you here for part two of Out of the Darkness.
I noticed her mother first. Stylish and attractive, she was better dressed than most of the churning mob in the Phoenix airport terminal, waiting for their Memorial Day weekend flights. She sat six seats away crammed in with other passengers listening for their boarding calls. An unintelligible announcement barked over the loudspeaker and she stood, leaned down to a woman in her early twenties, who I figured was her daughter, and handed her a carry-on bag. The girl accepted the bag without taking her eyes from the book she held. She continued to read as the older woman made her way through the aromas of food concessions to the restroom area.
In the seat next to me, my wife tapped my arm and pointed to a message on her phone. Our son and his family were meeting us at the Austin, Texas airport.
Don’t doubt yourself so much that you cripple yourself as a writer. This just happened to me.
As most of you know, I am a member of Prose & Cons, a multi-author blog with extremely talented and successful authors… except me. The harsh reality is… I am no one’s favorite author… yet. I don’t have my books out in the world… yet. I don’t have an agent… yet. Although I am waiting to hear about representation.
Monday is my day to post on Prose & Cons. And it’s a holiday so everyone and their mother will be home and probably tune in. Ugh! I didn’t want to go first because I wanted to see what the others were posting before I crafted mine.
Well, let me tell you… with each passing day I read the posts– and my anxiety grew and grew and grew. How can I possibly compete with these authors? I thought. Some of these authors are NY Times best sellers!
I wrote something quick, an introduction of who I am and what inspires me, and sent it to the blog’s owner/ creator. I asked what he thought of it, and then waited. When I finally received his email my heart sank. He hated it! Of course, he didn’t use those words. I was devastated, but I knew he was right. He is an extremely nice man, don’t get me wrong, and he WAS sincerely trying to help me. But… he ripped apart my writing like an agent would do to a manuscript. He explained to me that this is what happens once you get “the call” and start working with a literary agency. It’s a double-edged sword. On one hand, it helps you grow as a writer. On the other, no one likes anyone (no matter who they are) tearing apart their hard work. However, it will only make you stronger as an author. It was this last thought I hung on to like a buoy in the middle of a choppy ocean surrounded by sharks, and now, I was expected to swim ashore! He did add that it’s always harder to write about yourself, unless you’re Stephen King or have a huge platform. Neither of which applied to me.