Monday, February 18, 2008

So you want to be an author?

When I said that for the first time you could have heard a pin drop. Yes, some of the shock had to do with my age - I was thirteen at the time- but a lot of it had to do with what people automatically assume an author does.

The assumption I've encountered all too often is that as an author you spend hours at your computer or with pen and paper slogging away at some story that no one but you will read. "Get a real job, girl. One where you can support yourself and not starve." Yeah a real confidence booster but it was the honest opinion of the speaker.

Rejection doesn't start with that first query letter, let me tell you. It starts when you first open your mouth and say those dreaded words. By no means am I saying that being an author is easy, it isn't. You have to be dedicated to your craft, be willing to slog the hours and take rejection like cod liver oil! Still if it's what you want, then you have to work for it.

Now I'm sure everyone has run into a road block or two, if you haven't then either you've got horse shoes in a place best not mentioned, you've been touched by the quill of the writing god, or you own your own publishing firm!

Still, its is better to try then to sit back and wait for it to happen. My dad told me once, "Patricia, you can't just sit back and wait for something to come to you. If you want it go out and get it, don't sit back and expect everyone to cater to you because you're in for a world of disappointment if you do!"

He was right. Expecting another to do for you what you must do yourself is like expecting gold to fall from the sky...doesn't happen. Expect big things from yourself and you'll succeed, expect small things and that's what you'll get.

The saying on the wall of my employment coach's office says it all:

Behind me is infinite power,
Before me is endless possibility,
Around me is boundless opportunity,
Why should I fear?