Tag Archives: being an author

What being a published author is REALLY like… #amwriting

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Welcome to my weekly ‘Diary of a hopeful author.’ Hello! How the devil are you? I’m (finally) back after a winter of editing with a post that tells you, with utter honesty, about, for me, what it’s really like being a published author…

I was going to write about the merits of editing. Pen in hand, I was poised after a long winter of absence from my blog due to a looming deadline, about how nothing needs to be, in your writing, perfect when you first get it to the page.

But that’s not going to happen. I am, instead, going to speak to you about, well, what I’ve found being an author is like.

Don’t get me wrong – being an author is, in the most part, I have discovered, great. But, as in life and other walks of work, there are times when the wall you build to stay strong buckles and the stormy sea beyond threatens to flood what’s on the other side completely.

When I began as an author, got my publishing deal, I naively thought, “Awesome! Job done!’ except it wasn’t, not by a long shot. See, despite so much planning from all involved in putting a book on the market, things don’t always work out quite as you wanted. Sometimes they take longer, sometimes they may not happen at all, but still, you have to deal with comments  such as, ‘Oh, you’re going to go global,’ (Hold your horses); ‘You’ll be the next JK Rowling,’ (only one JK); ‘Why aren’t you on the bestsellers list yet?’ (yup, had that Q a few times) or (and I get this one a LOT, face to face) ‘How are book sales?’(Eeek!)  And without doubt, people are well meaning, but I never wanted to raise anyone’s hopes too much in the first place because being an author is damn competitive, man, I mean, tough, tough stuff.  Consider this: in the UK alone, over the course of 2014, publishers released 20 new books per hour, meaning that the UK published more books per inhabitant than anywhere else in the world.

And so there’s never any guarantee, no matter how cracking a novel you’ve written, that it’s all going to take off. And when it doesn’t, I cannot tell you how gutting that feeling is – you feel personally responsible, somehow, despite the large team around you, you even start, as I have done on occasions, to doubt your ability to even write (daft now when I say it, but it can be a strong feeling for writers at times) But then you remind yourself why you love writing, pick yourself up, look at what’s going well (my novel’s going down a storm in France and is to be published in over ten languages) and try and carry right on.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love my job, but yeah, like anything – and despite how awesome it may appear from the outside – there are no guarantees and sometimes it kicks you down. Careless comments, working straight through the night for a deadline (twice last week for me. Twice), not knowing quite how to push yourself out there any more than you already are, taking on too much ‘cos you think it might help, writing for free, watching others doing so well and being so, so genuinely chuffed for them, yet at the same time being just a wee bit sad for yourself.

Yep, it’s a rollercoaster, I’ve discovered, but, even though I never envisaged it would be quite this challenging, it’s one that I’m willing to ride.

And boy have I met some amazing people on the way, other authors especially, a whole bunch of us now who have each others’ backs and who I know I could turn to let off steam with at any time and, well, have a bloody good laugh (and a beer) with.

See, writing, authoring (if that’s a word – is now…) or any career really – it can be bloody amazing one minute and a proper downer the next, but, as the great Dolly Parton once said, if you want to see the rainbow, you’ve got to put up with the rain. Well said, Dolly well said. I’m off to fetch my umbrella… 🙂

Thanks for reading 🙂 Join in the writing conversation  below…

Ooo, new blog schedule announcement…

Photo of a DiaryAfter a lot of requests, I’m announcing the reinstatement of my Diary of a Hopeful Author blog posts.

I’ve been asked a whole heap, see, about what it’s like to be an author. For three years I documented what it was like, that roller coaster journey to trying to get published – the highs, the lows, the aching embarrassments – all of it. No picnic, that’s for sure.

A lot of you have got in touch and asked me if its different now, being an author. And for that reason – and because, if I’m honest, I miss that blog connection, that getting it all out there to help each other – I’m reintroducing my diary of  hopeful author section.

Its going to be (hopefully…) posted every Wednesday as before, in diary form about what I’m up to that week writing wise on the roller coaster of publication. I’ll aim to get some help sewn in there for you, tips on getting published and diary entries of an honest account of what it’s like to be an author these days. Let me know if it’s handy.

Also, I’m reintroducing Media Monday and Friday Fiction. Monday will see me writing my new Midlife Crisis column, where Friday will take up, yep, you’ve guessed it,  fiction. I’ll include my own writing and prose, plus comments on newly published books, old masterpieces, libraries – you name it.

So there you go. It’s less ‘out with the old in the with new’, and more ‘in with the old just dusted down and spruced up a bit’. A blog makeover. A new set of  clothes…Okay, I’ll stop.

I do have a whizzy author website now (there’s hidden quiz – good luck finding it…) dedicated to my books. You can find it here.

It’s great to be back like this with you all in, if your pardon the pun, a new chapter for the blog – just hoping I can stick to the schedule – forgive me it all wobbles from time to time.

Have a great week, blog buddies 🙂

Nikki x

Sound good? Or is there something else you’d like me to write about in my experience of getting published & being an author? Let me know – all comments welcome below 🙂