I read a great post the other day by Dean Wesley Smith: The New World of Publishing: Writer vs. Author. Like me your first thought might be, huh? How can these two be working against one another? You better lay off the silly juice, Melissa. They’re really the same thing. Right?
Although slight, according to the post there’s one important difference. (And a little Tequila every now and then never hurt anyone! LOL)
* A Writer is someone who writes, is focused on the story they are writing at the moment, but is looking toward the future, toward that next story they plan to write when they finish.
* An Author on the other hand, is someone who has written, is focused on the book they published, is busy marketing and watching how sales are going. In a sense, they are stuck in the past as far as their writing is concerned.
For me, this was a lightning bolt moment. I never set out to write just one book and then sit back and watch what happened. I write because I love it. I get such a rush when creating new characters, new locations, and new situations to torture them with. (insert evil laugh here. 🙂 ) Writing has evolved over the years into something I must do to be true to myself and stay happy.
When I first started out all those years ago, writing was so much fun. I had no idea about craft or what it took to actually get your book published. I was having a blast watching the story unfold before me, finding that perfect word to make a sentence really pop, and having a character surprise the heck out of me by doing something I totally didn’t expect. It all gives me goose bumps just thinking about it even now. There really is something to be said about naivety. 🙂 Working my tail off last year publishing two books and a short story really stole all the fun right out from under me.
Why? Because I lost sight of my dream. I got way too concerned about all the marketing, guest blogging and sales data that I forgot to sit down each day and write. Well, I didn’t actually forget. I just didn’t have any time left.
Isn’t that how it goes with anything we really want to do in life? Whether it’s painting, scrapbooking, photography, etc. or even playing your favorite sport, there always seems to be things thrown in our paths that keep us from doing what makes us happy.
Most of my non-writing friends are shocked when they find out all the work – the blood, sweat and tears, that goes into writing one little story. They don’t understand why I enjoy all this craziness. LOL I smile and say, “Me either! But I’m so glad I discovered the joy it brings along with the crazy.”
With my kids getting older, I only have a few more years of playing mom. Thankfully the writing will still be here. Something for me to do so I won’t feel so lost.
No matter what your dream is, I say get out there and find a way to pursue it. And make sure to keep the fun factor intact. Once it becomes nothing more than work or stresses you out, it’s just not worth it anymore in my opinion. The hardest part is to figure out how to balance it all.
Any tips? How do you keep the fun from slipping away?