By J.A. (Julie) Kazimer
Being an author is awesome.
That being said, it can also be humbling as hell. I learned this very lesson this past week. I was wearing a smile from ear to ear after receiving a royalty check for The Assassin’s Heart. Then WHAM! I taught a class at the Thornton Recreation Center on Saturday, and once again realized the truth.
Being an author is hard. (Yes, please cue the world’s tiniest violin music).
The people in the class were great. Don’t get me wrong. I love writers in all shapes, sizes, ages, genres and point in their journey. Teaching workshops is one of the things I like best other than the actual writing part of being an author (okay, I hate the writing part but I love, love, love the have written part). These students were interested and excited to learn about publishing…
Then I started speaking…
And their excitement started to wane. Their eyes grew watery with unshed dreams of author riches. And I knew I’d just destroy a roomful of peoples’ publishing dreams.
Had I been in the business too long to remember what it was like to dream of cross the country (paid for by your publisher) book tours like those Richard Castle has? Had the glow of seeing my first book in a bookstore dimmed? Had I lost my innocent edge (For those of you who know me, no commentary on my innocence or lack thereof)?
I’d broken hearts. And I had no way to mend them.
Because, as anyone reading this blog knows, publishing is hard. Really hard. There is no easy answers. No right way. No magic beans. Hell, writing your first book is the easy part. It’s what happens in the trenches after typing the final word that makes or breaks a writer.
So yes, I crushed many dreams this weekend, and I feel bad for doing so.
I can only offer this to those hearts I’d broken.
Writing is worth it. Telling your unique story is inherently valuable (just maybe not in tons of cash money and world renowned fame or maybe it is? Who am I to say?).
I think everyone should write, whether they should publish is a different question. One you must answer for yourself after you receive your first, tenth, fifth, hundredth, and in my case thousandth rejection.
It’s not about how you start your publishing journey, but in how you live it daily.
And for me, right now, I’m going back to basics. To being excited when I type the end. To feeling the terror of a new release. To sharing with my readers my excitement for storytelling. And seeing the writerly possibilities in each day.
How about you? What does back to basics mean for you as a writer? How’s your publishing view?