So apparently writers around the world are celebrating Author Life Month this February. Since it’s already the 8th, clearly I’m a little late to the party, but I don’t see why that means I can’t just right into the festivities.
That being said, I’m not really going to talk that much about what life is like as an author, because honestly, it’s probably nothing you don’t already know. I sit around, I play with my cat, I write some words on my computer, I play with my birds, I listen to music, I read other people’s writing, I do everything under the sun except write, and then, at the end of the day, I might go back and add another paragraph or two to my manuscript. Life of a writer in a nutshell.
Obviously, if you want to be an author, you have to write. That’s just a given. Even if you don’t feel like writing, you should try to write at least a little every day. Remember, you can always go back and change what you’ve written. You can’t edit a blank page.
On the other hand, I don’t believe you should rush your work either. There will be pressure to finish your manuscripts, especially when there are deadlines involved. I’m super anxious to get the next Boy Band book out because I know my readers enjoyed the first two and because I don’t want to fall behind. I wrote and published three books last year and I really want to keep that momentum going. However, I also want to make sure that Worldwide is the book that my readers and my characters deserve. It deserves as much time and consideration as I gave the first two (granted, I wrote the first one on a whim in about two months…).
My sister (who reads my books before everyone else) keeps asking when I’m going to send her more chapters, but the thing is, sometimes you have to sit back and let the story figure out where it’s going. I had about three different ideas last week for this third book that would never have occurred to me had I been in a hurry to get the next book out as quickly as possible. And please, don’t think that I’m not in a hurry to get it out. I am. I’m working at it every single day. It’s a bit of a two-edged sword, really.
I’m actually inclined to think that authors don’t actually write stories. These stories happen and we write them down. We somewhat make them up, but I think they play out the way that they’re supposed to, and sometimes we really don’t have much control over it. Worldwide is already a story in my head. I just have to figure out how to get it onto the page. As authors, it is our responsibility to do these stories justice.
I have on series that I’ve had in my head since 2012, I think. I’ve tried writing it several times, but so far, it hasn’t worked out. I still have every intention of writing these books, but they’re still in development. It happens. In the meantime, I will focus on the books that are ready to be written and shared.
I love writing and creating and getting to know these characters and experience their lives and their worlds. It’s a high that I’ll never be able to fully explain, and I want to keep writing as long as I can. The other day, my friends and I were talking about what we want to do after we retire, and I realized that if I could write for the rest of my life, I’d never want to retire. I’d want to be writing and publishing books until I’m 90 years old. Knowing me, I’ll probably still be writing YA, but who knows? There’s always room for growth.