Thursday April 5, 2018 ~ The Letter E
This month, I write about being a writer, alphabetically.
I’ve written nonfiction, short stories, and poetry. My media has included everything from keyboard to fountain pen to crayon. And yes, I’m working on a novel.
Please join me each day as I explore this craft and career of playing with words as I participate in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2018.
The Letter E
Before I decided to migrate from hobbyist to professional writer, I researched. The publishing industry has undergone big changes since my nonfiction days. Lately the publishing industry seems to reshape every month. I wanted to be certain I knew the reality of life as a professional writer.
I spent a couple of months digging in to the industry of novels. I googled about what people were reading, and on what media. I investigated what kinds of books were being published, and by whom. I explored e-pub and the Big Five and small press and genres and audio publishing and Amazon and trade vs. traditional paperback. Statistics about the odds of getting the novel published? Yes, I delved into those discouraging numbers. I studied the purpose and value of agents and editors and how to pitch properly (read the guidelines!). I looked into tools for authors and resources for writers. Big surprise – there are tens of thousands of resources out there, each claiming to be the best, of course.
Despite all I discovered, I still wanted to follow this passion. You’d have to be driven or moderately around-the-bend to make that decision. I’m going to consider myself driven.
Anyone will tell you all you really need is a keyboard or a pen and paper (or a typewriter!)to write a novel. And there are probably at least a couple of successful authors who can honestly claim that’s all they used.
Me, I’m not so austere. I’ve got my laptop and my phone and notebook. I’ve also got a workspace that helps me feel creative, complete with a spot for my cup of tea and my aroma diffuser and the right music queued up. I’ve got an app for writing, one for time-lining, and another for character studies. I’m not averse to changing my location to follow my wandering muse. Websites for inspiration and reference fill my favorites. I’ve got grammar checkers and craft books and instruction videos and motivation podcasts.
I hardly use most of that stuff.
So maybe they’re right. After all , Stephen King wrote some of his best work in his laundry room.
I’m fortunate to live in an area with a vibrant writing community. Each year I can, without leaving my home state, attend two conferences for fiction writers, one for fantasy writers, and one focused on the business of writing. I can support my local peers when I attend book launches and signings in my hometown. Groups centered around craft, critique, or just plain commiseration meet regularly.
I’m mostly an introvert. Still, getting myself out of the chair now and then and spending time with others who get this journey helps keep me sane.
Tomorrow, the letter F …