If I chose a simplistic overview, I’d speculate that some folks might guess that being a writer is kind of a hobby-like job. Dream up some idea, write it all down, tweak it so it looks and sounds about right, and send it off to a publisher. If one already has a contract–groovy!
The editor will find any mistakes you might have made, send it back, and when they’re all corrected…BANG! It’s published, folks love it, and then it’s time for a well-earned break while the great American Novel earns some serious coin.
Yeah, not so much. The “actual” overview would be more like a three act play, without intermissions.
I regale y’all with this little snippet for another reason. At some point in the journey, the storytelling gets darn serious to many of us. The story part becomes a precious life that requires great skill, patience, and ingenuity to make manifest. Suddenly each word becomes sacrosanct, and each sentence or paragraph integral to the whole. This is the part where we actually learn and practice the “craft” of writing. The heart of what we do.
Writing a story was a challenge in 1998 when a friend and I made up a “what if” scenario. It was for fun and I played with it for over ten years, intermittently. It was for my own personal enjoyment and didn’t share it for a long time. It was fun and I made up other stories, several of them. I counted once, about three years ago, and figured I’d written over 600,000* words. Yes, 600 thousand. And as some might say, not all of them were “good” words. But I just kept writing, because I really had fun making shit up. (Elizabeth Sims would like that, she says: Writing is Fun.)
Fast forward. I’ve published three of those stories and I’m, working on two more. NOW, if I’d known then what I know now… Well, I wouldn’t have to work so hard to revising them. But, therein lies the learning. It’s much harder than the ‘making up shit’ part, believe me.
Now here’s the next part. Promotion. Yup. And here you thought the revising part was hard. nuh uh.
Most books don’t sell themselves, unless it’s “Jericho”.
So, I must screw up my courage and leave my comfortable, cluttered little writer’s lair, and get a little face-time with actual, book-buying humans. While I am a friendly, fun, character, I’m also an introvert. I need naps and quiet time. Regularly.
However, I love writing, and in order for my publisher to continue to buy my stories, we must sell them. So, I’ve had to really hit the road, literally.
This year alone I’ve appeared at the Dallas Jewel Book Club, The Lone Star Lesfic Festival, the Southwest Book Fiesta,and The Golden Crown Literary Society. Is that enough face-time? Nope.
Next Saturday, I’ll join my local RWA chapter Land of Enchantment Romance Authors at a “Love-in at the Library” in ABQ. Next month(September) I will appear and sponsor the Western Women Writers along with the Petroglyph Guild for a afternoon author’s event in the mountains. In October, I will proudly join some stellar writers at the first ever Left Coast Lesbian Conference in Palm Springs, sponsored by Sapphire Books. November will be our local writer’s conference at the Indian Pueblo Center in ABQ. (details can be found on my FB page or my FB author page “Barrett Writes”)
I think I’ll stay home in December. Maybe.
For now, I’m lovingly putting final touches on “Balefire” -a warm, interwoven love story.