Sunday, October 31, 2010

Project to Published: Why Be An Author?

Sorry for the break in the Query Series but I am having computer troubles and only have so many of my files available and have only now been able to even post. I want to make sure that I have all of my links for you! Sorry and will do my best to have the query series continue next week!!!

Why Be An Author?
"Project to Published"

When I was working on another query letter earlier this year (42nd attempt), I was asked by a family member "Why be an author? It's not like you are going to make it or get rich by doing it!". My response was my normal one. I pleasantly smiled, told her that I understood her concerns and then I went to find a piece of chocolate while feeling frustrated.

More than half a year later, things are now a bit different. After my hundredth rejection, I began receiving those much-craved acceptance letters. I was accepted by a publisher and received my first proof copy. I received my first reviews - many positive and some negative. I had my first book signing and completely sold out every copy of my book that not only I had brought with me, but that my publisher had also sent. I also had the opportunity to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the finest YA authors in the field.

That very same family member was present at the signing and she congratulated me afterwards, telling me how proud she was of what I had accomplished. Then she asked me if I was rich yet. Bring on the pleasant smiles and chocolate...

I later shared with my fiancé how frustrating that question was to me and he smiled back, nodding at what I was explaining. I told him that I'm not in this for the money, I'm in it because I love to write. Then he asked me in that infuriatingly logical way of his why should that question bother me if I'm not in it for the money. That got me thinking.

I'm not in this for the money - I'm in this because I love writing. But I could have stayed merely a writer. So why did I become an author? Every step I have taken has been a large one, filled with difficulty, roadblocks and frustration. But every step that I have taken is one that managed to take and do so successfully. Writing that novel was hard - but it's published and sales are great. Querying agents were difficult - but I'm published and out in the world. Waiting to see bookstores have copies of my book made me anxious, but now my book is on shelves throughout the nation.

Getting here was not easy. It took work. A lot of work. But with each step I take, I'm slowly understanding the true difference of writers vs. authors - it's in what we want. Anyone can be a writer and write down what in their hearts. But to be an author, you have to be willing to share that writing with the world, letting thousands, if not millions, read your writing and have an opinion on it. You have to be willing to give your fiancé that wonderful doe-eyed expression as you try to get him to jump on a plane with you and fly half-way around the nation or world to promote your book, or be willing to just go yourself.

I know why I want to be an author. I want to share my writing with each of you and many others. I want to see dozens of other books that I write on the shelves and to know that I have touched the lives of others the way that certain authors have touched my own. I'm not in this for the money, because being an author is a career that takes time and effort, but I am ambitious and I intend to make my dreams and plans come true.

How about you? Why do you want to be an author?


  1. I just have to write. It's a passion and a form of expression.

  2. For all the same reasons you have stated.
    I really don't have more to add to what you have already said because it is exactly how I feel.
    The only thing more important than my writing is my kids.


  3. Great post! I completely agree w/ everything you said. Thanks for the follow, I was a follower but I think the address changed or something i dunno. I tried to follow on Tumblr but I'm sorry to admit I can't work it lol. But now I'm here again! Still wanting to get a copy of your book, and as soon as I get paid I am =)

  4. Awe. Great post! Must agree with you too.

    I want to be an author because it's my dream. To me, authors are bigger than actors and musicians. And I want to stand up there, like you did, with some of the best and be an equal to them. Not for fame or money or whatever else, just because I want to entertain other people. I want my future children to be proud of their mother. And I want to prove I can.

  5. For the same reasons as all of us who are writers, of course.

    I have an uncle much like that relative of yours, Emma. He essentially ignores me, but I already know that down the line, when I get published, there he'll be, all of a sudden paying attention to me as if he has all along.

  6. I want to be an author because I want to believe what I write is worth reading. I'd like to believe I could earn something to, just 'cause the world (and family) seem to measure worth that way, and I want to be worthwhile.

  7. Hey Emma, thanks so much for checking out my blog! :)
    As for me, I write because I must. Cliche, maybe, but 100% true. When I don't write, I go a bit nutty. There are just too many voices, words, worlds, stories—etc—for me not to write. And why pursue publication? Because I must. I just must. It is what I am here for. This is not for fame or glory, as all authors know—there are probably quicker, easier ways.

  8. I have to be... it is a part of me, and I need to let it out.

    I probably wouldn’t be if I had a choice.