Saturday, May 9, 2009

Would I do it all again, knowing what I know now?

Sometimes I think having a writing career is like having a baby: you don't really know what it means until the baby has arrived. Before the birth you can't understand what people are trying to tell you, no matter how many times you've heard it, in however many different ways. You have to experience it yourself for the penny to drop. Once your offspring has turned up, just as you figure out how to get them to eat and sleep in a routine, they grow and develop into the next stage and you have to start the learning process all over again. This is a never-ending cycle. You can never get complacent or smug. Your children will always be one step ahead of you. And so it is with being an author. You wrote your masterpiece and some publisher finally said yes. And you thought, 'at last!' - Hell no - this is just the beginning. Now your novel/picture book/whatever, needs you more then ever. You have to learn new skills in marketing and promotion. You have to learn how to talk about writing to a variety of audiences. You have to talk about yourself to strangers. You have to learn how to look busy and not worried as you sit alone at your signing table at an event that didn't quite work. You have to figure out how to get over rejections for manuscripts that are just as good as the ones you've had accepted and you have to suck it up when your books don't sell. And then you have to go back and write another story. And then another one. Even though you're going to have to go through the baby raising thing all over again, every time. And there will be things in the future I don't even know I have to learn yet. Would I do it all again if I could start over, knowing what I know now. Are you kidding me? Hell yes!

By the way as my mother's day treat (no no it wasn't cleaning up the dishes after my children made themselves a cooked breakfast leaving an impressive trail of dirt and destruction) I went to see the new Star Trek movie on Imax. Yowza. Is it too soon to go see it again? It isn't perfect (revenge is so yesterday) but I loved what they've done with all the characters and as soon as the credits rolled I wanted it to be a weekly hourlong series on tv again because even an annual movie length fix isn't enough to satisfy my addiction.

And hey, check this out on youtube. Filmed in the neighbours back yard, the first bag jumper is my son, and the last is my SO. I think the plot is well developed, don't you.


Welshcake said...

Oh that made me laugh.

But that POOR doll. Has it been discharged from the doll's hospital yet?

Good post, if a little sobering.

I'm dying to go and see Star Trek. Everyone is saying good things about it.

Melinda Szymanik said...

The doll was surprisingly robust and survived many more flights without a scratch. And yes publishing can be a very sobering experience - thats why so many writers can drink vast amounts of alcohol with impunity :)