It's My Party And I'll Write If I Want To
Write if I want to. Write if I want to. You would write too, if it happened to you.
If what happened? If you wrote a book and were gearing up to publish? Then yes, you might want to do more than write about it.
You might very well climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and howl into the swirling winds, ”My novel is being released in May!”
I Am Marcus Fox is not my first literary rodeo. I’ve completed books for younger readers and am working on others. But this will be my first foray into the world of the published author. As of this writing, I cannot say what that will feel like. I can only imagine an incredible sense of accomplishment upon hitting the “publish” button.
Can I do it now? Oh how I wish I could do it now! But no, first thing’s last. There is so much other work to be done in the meantime!
I’m counting on it. That, coupled with a little old-fashioned thing I like to call “good storytelling.”
Since I decided to take the plunge (to use another soggy, washed-out phrase) into self-publishing, I’ve read half a dozen or so books on the subject and countless articles, blog posts, tweets, and Facebook group chat conversations. There is a bottomless ocean of advice (good and bad) for the newbie authorprenuer and it is right there waiting for us all. It is a daunting task for anyone to even consider where to begin. And once you become immersed, you could very easily drown under the tsunami of knowledge flooding your…
All right, all right, we get it. Enough with the water imagery.
Everybody’s got to start somewhere, right? So how about we ramp up with a simple explanation of that glossed over word that is nowhere near Merriam Webster’s purview, though is at least gaining traction in the Writing Community: Authorpreneur.
Simple definition as I understand it: An author who takes to preneuring like a fish takes to water.
No! For so many reasons, no.
Apparently, the term “authorpreneur” has been around for, oh, let’s say 4 or 5 years, perhaps longer. I can’t say for certain, my Google machine is broken. But yes, it is as powerful a classification as it is a cringeworthy mouthful of priss when spoken aloud. The authorpreneur writes and hustles, writes and hustles, hustles and hustles, and then maybe writes a bit more if he gets a break from all his hustles. In many instances, he has to be his own publicist, manager, website designer, e-book formatter, social media rockstar, blogger extraordinaire, editor (of all types), accountant, and cheering squad. Did I forget other roles? No doubt. But were I to name them all, the orchestra would play me off the stage.
Granted, many of the above jobs can be farmed out but creative and professional skills do not come cheap, my friends. You have to do what you can with what you’ve got and seek help when you need it. Because being an author should be about the writing, right?! Well yes, it is and it isn’t. The opposing ends of this thing could drive a person mad.
I’ve read self-help books about self-publishing that swear the one and only way to do it is to pound out as many words as humanly possible in a day, week, month, etc. Then rush them to market and move on to the next. And though there is some wisdom in becoming as prolific as possible, what then of quality? I’m sorry but there must be some middle ground between a paper mill and a wordsmith’s quill. With my upcoming projects, I intend to go in search of it.
What Do You Do?
I’ve always been a writer, though I’ve never really fessed up to it. Not fully.
As you walk about this world, the people you meet will always ask you what you do for a living. As humans, we are generally curious about other humans. That, plus it’s as good an icebreaker as talking about the weather or sports or, well, not the government. Not in America in 2019. But even at the height of my freelance writing career, I was shy to disclose my job as such. Of course, this was certainly tied to the fact that my main job title was Stay-At-Home Dad; writing and editorial work was my humble side business.
I am hoping my inclination to hide the most creative part of me will lessen when I have that novel to show for my efforts. I’m not saying it’s the greatest story in the history of the world, but it’s certainly not the worst. And I’m proud of that. It’s good to know in your heart that you are definitely not the worst writer to ever grace the face of the earth. I would not dare to imagine who that unlikely soul might be but I guarantee that whoever he or she is (assuming they are drawing breath this moment), they have no qualms whatsoever calling themselves a “writer.” – And oh snap, that might just make for an excellent character in an upcoming story! Dibs! Naw, if you want to write the guy (or gal) who can’t write his way out of a paper box, knock yourself out. But please send me the finished version. I’d love to read it.
For the rest of us, nay, the best of us, we may tend to shrink in a daffodil’s shadow, pale before lazy daises, or bow to some other introverted flower of our choosing. I suppose, to some extent, it is our nature to be withdrawn. Let the words fall on the page where they may, and let them remain there. It was not I who placed the blessed foul things! It was my Muse, I say! It was my Muuuuse!
It shouldn’t be that way. Not always. Not anymore. Yes, give the almighty Muse her credit, but not all of it. Because once you accept that you are a writer, you’re that much closer to proclaiming yourself an Author with a capital A! Whether or not you choose to add on the saucy preneur is up to you. Even though I will be doing my best to pursue the exposure every writer secretly craves yet openly denies, I can safely say that you will never hear nor see me use that newfangled lingo in self-referral. Just because . . . Well, I’m not in love with the hipster word. Nothing against hipsters, of course. This is going south. End it!
Blog attempt Number Two is now complete.
Celebrate? Or sleep?