Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Life of An Author

Glamorous, right?

No, it's more like this -

(We had just finished shooting "Zombie Housewives of the Apocalypse" in 114 degree heat in zombie makeup and costumes).

Writing and publishing these days is VASTLY different than in the past.

Good point: You can self publish and tell publishers to fuck it.
Bad point: When you self publish, nobody finds you or buys you, you have no editor who can tell you that you stink --instead you have trolls who rate your books a "1-star" and show the world you reek.

Good point: You don't need a fucking agent.
Bad point: Without an agent, you will not get published with the big guys and make bestseller lists and be a full-time author who can live off the income.

What's new in publishing? In the past, a writer could be a quirky hermit and hide away and write books and the publisher did all the work for him.  How many folks know what James Michener looked like?

Personalities:  Nowadays, with the internet, no one wants to read from an author they don't know. Authors must have their own website or blog and a face. The advantage is that if you have an interesting personality or point or view, are likeable, mysterious or funny, you can be sold much more easily. People really like to know the source of the writing, whether that author is dark and scary or a curmudgeon, adorable and perky or insightful and wise. Personalities sell as much as writing.

PR/Marketing Machines:  A writer MUST be their own PR/Marketing expert. They must work 50% of the time at writing and 50% of the time at selling.  You must be plugged into the social media sites and active on them long before your book comes out. This is like high school popularity and the prom queen votes all over again--except virtually online. Your name must be all over the place.

The Daily Life of an Author:  What's my daily life like as an author? Wake up at 7 am, stumble to the blender for a smoothie, turn on the laptop, turn on the work computer. I work 8 hours as a medical transcriptionist (so I can have this thing called a steady income and health care).  At 4 pm, I stumble with my laptop into the living room, plop down and begin correspondance, checking numbers, spending a certain amount of time doing PR online and connecting and spreading word, checking my stock investments (writing isn't going to make enough to live on any time soon), and writing blog posts for 2 blogs. Then, I begin the actual writing process. I have no dating life. I am lucky if I remember to workout. I turn off the laptop at 11 pm and hit the hay for the night.

It's not glamorous. It's purely functional and practical. Why do I do it?  Because I think in written language, I'm imaginative, full of wild ideas, and need this outlet. Because my entire life, I loved to weave stories and be the family historian and documentarian of all things odd and interesting. Because writing is my higher purpose.  So, I guess that would make my apartment my seminary.


  1. . Hey, Sharon. At least you're one of the lucky ones who has a job. Have a good week.

  2. You are doing a right and creative thing.