Thursday, June 21, 2018

What's It Like Being a Published Author Part II

What is it like being a published author Part II

The Perks

 Previously, in my ‘What is it like to be a published author part I’ blog, I spoke of the cons. I always like to get the bad news out of the way first, because not many authors will reveal that side of the writing and publishing world. Even I second-guessed posting it, because we do live in a world where people prefer the optimists and the optimistic views over the pessimists and the pessimistic views.

If you missed Part 1, you can find it here:

But there’s two sides to every coin, and one side just happens to be the ass-end. (Get it? Tails? Bahaha) And there is no such thing as things or people either being fully optimist or fully pessimist, though the optimists may say differently. And that’s where we tell those types to either get their head out of the clouds or unbury their face from the sand, though those deemed pessimists will be told to look at the bright side of things or there’s a silver lining to every cloud, even though it’s actually the pink we want – you know, that whole pink at night, sailor’s delight thing - because I always thought the gray in the clouds meant pollution, and it’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, not a pot of silver.

But with this blog, I’ve vowed to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me Gosh, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Not saying we’re a world full of liars or that, prior to this blog, I lied pathologically. We’re more just … omitters … of certain truths and perspectives that we don’t think others want to hear, so that’s why previously when asked that question of What’s it like being a published author, and in every other author interview you hear or read about, the answer is never, ‘It sucks. Yeah, Dude, it really bites the big one. There’s times I feel like I’m floating in this empty abyss of nothingness and the only voice I have to talk to is my own that echoes back at me, but that echo is like a two-year-old that just repeats everything I just said back to me.’

So you’re welcome!

And now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I can answer that question in a more traditional way that you may already be familiar with.

What’s it like being a published author?

It can be really friggin’ great!

Not THAT great!

Or that!

More like … 

*Based on an annual work-invested hourly pay/income ratio as a career-writer of 40 years after paying the average bills*

There it is!

Well that doesn’t look so grand, you may be thinking.

That’s because it’s not about the money. And it’s that whole not-being-about-the-money that makes it so great. Why do most people hate their jobs? Because it’s about the money. What is the purpose of money? To pay for things. If it’s used for entertainment or luxury or convenience, it can be appreciated, but all of us harbor this deeply-imbedded resentment towards money and everything that we have to do to make it, because it’s never truly ours – nor is anything that we buy with it. Even the food we purchase and eat winds up in the sewer. Just sayin’.

Now this is not at all to say that I don’t enjoy getting paid for my work, because I absolutely do – you know, single Mom, homeowner, bills and this being-my-career-because-it’s-the-only-job-I-can-keep-because-I-can’t-get-fired and all. (Actually, I fire myself all the time, but it’s easy to get my job back because I’m stuck with myself for eternity). And if 5,000,000 people would be so kind enough to purchase my books, I’m certain I wouldn’t turn it down, because then I would need it to pay my carpal tunnel bills from 5,000,000 friggin’ signatures, but still.

Writing is my passion and being a published author was my dream, so starving artist aside, I am so extraordinarily blessed to be living my dream, and I was so very lucky to have gotten my first book published when I was hardly 20 years old. That was my first, and firsts are always the best. Except for kissing. First kisses are the most sought-after awkward, either slimy-or-dry-or-a-mixture-of-both moments that every person on the planet puts themselves through. But then again, I was only 6 and I made sure we got married first with my whole first-grade class in attendance. I didn’t even like the kid. But maybe it was because his last name was Redhead and his hair wasn’t even red; it was shi* brindle, but for obvious reasons, his parents couldn’t name him that.

(Sidetrack – remind me to tell you about one of my proposals that wound up getting broken off because I refused to take his last name. His last name was Woody. My first name is Almondie. You just can’t mix Franks & Beans all up in someone’s name, especially a female’s. Franks with spaghettios, sure. Beans with Tacos, absolutely, but not Franks & Beans.)

Return to point.

Ah, my first published book. I remember it like it was yesterday. For some reason, the publisher contacted my on-again-off-again-at-the-time-boyfriend’s phone instead of mine, and we were so close to being off-again, because I hadn’t heard from him in weeks. He’d glimpse at my manuscripts (the title), before I sent them out, and hate them. “Nobody’s going to read this shi*. (He has a potty mouth and is the one I named Dewey in one of my novels that I didn't publish). “Why can’t you write what people actually want to read, like horror movies and monsters?” So I titled one, ‘The Monster Down the Street’, knowing he would only read the title. Fast-forward a few months later, he called excitedly trying to tell me that a publisher left a message on his phone about wanting to publish my story, but cell-service was pretty rough then, so it came out all broken and I mistook his excited voice for a yelling-at-me-voice and I thought he was accusing me of a guy calling for me on his phone and me telling stories, so I got all defensive and started screaming at him and nagging at him and telling him he was a piece of  – well, you get the picture – “Almondie, a guy wants to publish your story!” he shouted above my own yells.

I’m sure every female has had the moment, and every guy has seen it. I think it’s a female superpower to be able to distort our features from red-faced devil to giggling-schoolgirl in the blink of an eye (or vice-versa). We’re just sw-evil like that. And when I called that publisher back, I was the most sweetest and innocent thing there ever was, but there wasn’t a moment more profound … at that moment. I was already a mom, so I’d already had many, many more profound moments, like being peed in the face, or finding the logs that my son was chewing on in the bathtub weren’t Lincoln logs, or finding all my maxi pads displayed all over the walls like they were stickers. And those magical moments of seeing your child’s first smile before they fart and crap their pants, or the first time they learn to feed themselves prior to learning how to use the spoon as a food-splattering sling-shot, but best of all those moments when they’re contentedly sleeping and you can just whisper under your breathe, “I can’t believe God gave you to me. Don’t know what the heck he was thinking, but I know I’ll never be more blessed, because you’re mine. Always and ever.”
My Beloved!
And oh boy, when I had the first hardcopy of the book (10 – that I’d paid for) in my hands, I knew my life was changed forever, because I was no longer just the closet writer that few people knew about while I worked one job after another and stayed up late-nights and early-mornings writing, despite my son’s 6-in-the-morning-wake-up-routine and my total sleep deprivation. I was a Published Author, and I was filled with pride, and a temporary boost in self-esteem and confidence.

3 books, over 40-publications, 12 years, over 400-rejections, and not-a-single-penny made later, one of my bigger life’s hardships struck, completely unforeseen … and changed everything!

A blessing in disguise that resulted in probably the best two years of my life so far in my writing and publishing career and, despite detours due to me preferring hidden trails over paved roads, sent me down the path I’m now on.

From Published Author to Publisher

                 The Birth of FreeBird Express Publishing

Click here to read the Monster Down the Street for Free

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