Why you have to be more…


Being a writer is great.  You get to make up stories, put them on a page and other people read them. You get paid (sometimes) and get to enjoy a fabulous life.

Right?

Well kind of.

You see, writing is more than just word and stories and being published. Just like many jobs it is multi-faceted and can be very complex for some individuals.  Here’s a brief look at what some authors are, besides writers.

The Editor

Once you have a story written, then comes the hardest REALLY FUN  part. You get to go through that draft, and start working on the flaws in that story.  Sometimes you need a stronger plot.  Other times you need to change tense. And there are times you have to decide, you as a writer aren’t ready to tackle this story or it isn’t as good as you thought in the first place.  Those are hard decisions. Not always easy to make or do. Stories might need several passes on the editor’s desk and lots of time in the hands of your beta readers. And if you are like me, the story you end up with doesn’t look much like the story you first draft.

The Publicist

This is a two-fold side of a writer.

Firstly, once that story is the best you can make it, you have to send it out. By submitting, you are telling the publishing world that you are a writer and you think this story fits their market. Yea, that is publicity. It might be a very minor aspect but you are putting yourself and your work out there. Because of social media, a lot of publishing houses also look at what an author looks like to their fans on the web.

Secondly, once you get that acceptance, you have to do something else: Let everyone you know, and everyone they know that you have a short story/novella/book out and where to find it.  Yes, you have to interact with people.  Not only that, but you have to figure out the right way to interact with them so others know about you and your work. With all of the social platforms on the web, it can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it. (Note: posting BUY MY BOOK several times a day will only get you blocked and ignored on most social media sites.)

The Lawyer

Now, most publications have the best interests of their writers, but there are always some who are in it for them selves.  All published works should have a contract that clearly states payments, terms of use, time frame of publication and other legal matters. Contracts can be very simple or very complex. Before you sign any contract, read it, understand it. If you don’t, then ask or have someone else read it.  Do not sign things that are fishy. If you have issues with parts of the contract, maybe the publisher can work things out with you.

The Supporter

Once you are a part of a publication you realize you aren’t alone.  There are hundreds of other writers just like you.  Hopefully, you are going to make friends, lots of them. When they get an acceptance, you will probably cheer. When they have a question, if you know the answer, you’ll give it. And because publications are made up of people you will probably find those friends you made work for/support/own/edit/write for other publications. And when they have something out, you will spread the news. Authors have a very strong support network. Be a part of it.

The Volunteer

And just because you are a nice friendly person who wants to learn more, you give some of your time back.  You slush through submitted stories. Beta read for your friends.  Stay up until 2 a.m. to make edits so the publication can go to the printer or will go up on the web on time. Learn to formt manuscripts into ePubs or set up a website for someone. You don’t do this for pay, but because you believe it in.

This isn’t all you can be when you are a writer.  Sometimes you have to be the Publisher, the Artist, the Public Relations Manager or a hundred other jobs that pop up. But if you believe in your writing and others, you will do it with a smile on your face.

So celebrate all the jobs you preform, because it matters to all of us.

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