by: Joelle Charbonneau
Most of us get into the writing gig because we want to…well, you know….write. That makes sense. Right? Writers write. End of story.
Well, not exactly. At some point it is the dream of many if not most writers to make the leap from one who writes to one who is published. The day I made that leap from a writer with a manuscript to writer with a published novel, was the day I had to stop thinking of myself as just a writer. Suddenly, I was an author.
What’s the difference between the two, you ask? Ha! Well, to me the two have huge differences in the scope of the work involved. Let me show you:
4) writes some more
5) does edits
7) does copy edits
8) proofs typeset pages
9) answers lots of e-mails
10) deals with promotion
11) files taxes (oy! I hate that one!)
12) is told how cool their job is on days they want to hide under the bed
13) deals with cover art (which thankfully, I only have so much say in because I can’t draw a decent stick figure)
The day I shifted from writer to author was the day I went from a writer to a business person. Suddenly, half the time I spent “writing” was spent on the business of writing instead of just the creation of words on the page. Which meant I needed more time to spend on writing. Funny how that works. It also meant I needed to improve my multi-tasking skills. It used to be I started one project, worked on said project until I reached the end, edited said project and polished it again before I put it to the side and started the next. I was a one project at a time kind of girl. This week, I’ve worked on writing on my second YA novel INDEPENDENT STUDY, wrote a prequel short story for THE TESTING for my YA editor, had a three hour meeting with a publicist, edited page proofs for Murder For Choir, did taxes, started organizing a panel for an event I’ll be attending, worked on brainstorming ideas for release events, send a few e-mails to authors I love asking them if they’d blurb my book, exchanged lots of e-mails with editors and my agent and fellow authors and wrote some blog posts. Phew!
Trust me when I say I love being an author. I love writing books, meeting readers and other authors and learning about the strange and ever changing world of publishing. But it is a job. And like any job there are days I am overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work that is in front of me. On those days, I remind myself how lucky I am to be doing this gig and try not to panic as I work through the to-do list and attempt to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Because, face it, I wouldn’t give up this job for anything.
So, for those of you reading this post – tell me – do you think being a writer and being an author are two different thing? If so, what are the differences you see and if not – why not?