I know there are so many people out there who dream of getting published but sometimes I think it might be a little like getting married.
All that time, money and effort that goes into planning the wedding day and it seems that a lot of young brides don't seem to think past the big day- to all the days weeks and years beyond that. They are more important than a single day, if it is going to last.
The reality is probably not exactly what anyone expects and there will be times when it lives up to and even exceeds expectations. But as our expectations are often the result of dreams, where everything is so perfect, perhaps it is not surprising that the reality is not always quite so perfect- sometimes better and sometimes not.
I am not saying that being a published author isn't wonderful at times and I wouldn't wish to be anything else, but no one tells you about all the other things.
Those things that don't really involve living in the wonderful world you created, populated by characters you have dreamed up, where you have some control.
Granted, your characters, if you have given them enough complexity to live and breathe like real people, will not always do exactly what you had planned. Sometimes they are horrible and they will act true to themselves - which is where the writer is not totally in control, but that can be quite exciting, too.
So what are these other things no one told you about?
Some of them are things like...
- answering requests to go and speak or present in schools
- working out how to cost these out and finalising details
- working out how to get to places where you have been invited to speak
- All the background paperwork associated with being self employed such as keeping accounts, tax etc.
- reading over contracts with publishers, agents etc etc Even if you have an agent you should never sign anything without reading it first and asking questions, everyone makes mistakes
- finding out about PLR (Public Lending Right) and ALCS
- joining societies and writing associations (These can a good idea for advice and so that you can keep in touch with the writing world)
And then you need to think about publicity. Do you have a website? Can you keep it up to date? What about a blog, facebook, Twitter? Some of the above are essential parts of the job and others are necessary for your sanity - because writing is basically a solitary task.
In the end all these things can keep you from that one thing you got into this to do - and that is WRITE!
At the moment I am trying to avoid getting my head about the complexity of the Google Settlement and whether to opt in or opt out. But I am concerned that this will be just another displacement activity....
If you are published I wonder what keeps you from writing? What did you not expect?
If you are not published is any of this even on your radar?