What’s it like to be a writer?
I woke up this morning and had to write a song.
After I sent my song (such as it was) off to someone I’ve never met but, who offered to help me with it, I realized how lucky I am. I also realized that I don’t think about that often enough and certainly don’t say “thank you for being in my life” enough to the people who’ve touched it in so many ways.
No, I am not dying and this is not my last confession to clear my sole before I leave earth. It may however be motivated by equal parts of writer’s block and fear from when the young lady helping with my song opens what I’ve sent and, throws up all over her keyboard. And in those two things, is really the heart of this post.
My Life then, and now.
During my life, I’ve had several careers (lives, as I like to call them), traveled the world (several times over), met some of the most wonderful people on earth (spread pretty much all over the earth), seen places and things most people will never get to see.
And, somewhere in all that, I met, married and now live with my soul mate, the love of my life and the most wonderful person I know. Unfortunately, none of that praise will win me forgiveness for turning her into a “writers widow” on a regular basis.
Just when I thought things couldn’t possibly get any stranger, I connected with an author on the other side of the world in New Zealand. An author who instantly became my BFF, who I share almost everything related to writing with and who is co-authoring a romance novel with me. But, that’s a story for another blog post.
Becoming a writer.
If by now, you haven’t figured that this is about my becoming writer, you are beyond help and destined to read fantasy for the rest of your life. (I’m only kidding. Honestly, thanks to many of you, I’m actually becoming a fantasy fan! Well. Sorta. Kinda.)
Becoming a writer (author?) has been the most wonderful, terrifying, rewarding, stressful, rocket ride I’ve ever been on. I’ve had to learn about things I never dreamed of: Horses, Firemen, EMT’s, Nurses, Policemen, FBI and Secret Service Agents, the sex trade, animal diseases and treatment, rescuing people, dreams, drugs, sex, making love, and the history of so many places I can’t remember them all.
Add to that, formatting, editing, publishing and marketing. I’ve created flyers, book covers, written attractive (I hope) book descriptions, and on and on and on. I actually now know what “Social Media” is, have a Facebook, Twitter and some other accounts I can’t find. I even, very stressfully and with a ton of help from my writing partner, now have a website.
And now, I’m a song writer! (Well, the jury is still out on that one. Or hung, as the case may be.)
Some very special thanks.
So, where am I going with all this? Well, first to thank so many of my friends that have helped me on this crazy but wonderful journey. Thank you for working through 8, 10 and 12 hour time differences to help me create my covers, flyers, business card, posters and media pages. For beta reading, critiquing, suggesting and barfing on my work when it sucked. For buying my books and posting reviews. And thanks to everyone who took my business card or a flyer and made my century when your eyes went wide and you said “You published a book!”
But I need to give special thanks, not only to my wife and my writing partner, but to all my author friends for being the most wonderful, supportive, creative, and helpful people I’ve never met. We come from all over the world, speak different languages, write in different genres, create our works in totally different styles. Yet, never hesitate to help one another! Never fail to offer a kind word or suggestion or volunteer to help. Each of us knows how much one kind word means, especially when we are stuck, down on ourselves and everything we’ve just written is trash, makes no sense and wouldn’t even make a good pile of ashes if burned.
For those of you who have let me beta read, do a review or help you in some other way: Thank you for trusting me with you first, second or twenty fifth born. For giving me the honor of reading your work and trusting me to be gentle and constructive in my suggestions and lavish in my praise.
And finally, to those of you afraid to publish your work, I have one word: Do it! (Oops, that’s two) I promise, you will never be sorry. Well at least until your first bad review comes in. But, even then, once the tears, kicking the wall and smashing your keyboard stage is over, you’ll learn to use them to help you become a better writer. And, don’t forget, we’re all here to feel your pain and to help you get past it.
Your reward? The first time you see your book in print, on Amazon or someone’s eyes light up and they say, “You published a book?”
Thanks everyone, for being in my life!
As an author, who has helped you and what have you had to learn? Let me know, I may need it for my next book.
By the way. Does anyone know anything about apples?