Hello my lovelies,
the annual horror of the HMRC Tax Self-Assessment is upon me and I feel like sticking pins in my eyes and fleeing the country (Mr. Taxman, I won’t). It got me thinking about what I didn’t know about being an author in the years when I was all starry-eyed, before I got my first publishing deal. I’ll try not to share (rant) too much about taxes…
Needless to say, this is not a grumble about writing, because I LOVE it, couldn’t imagine my life without writing in it and am so thankful for the readers, bloggers, reviews and sales. This is a light-hearted view of an author’s life 🙂
What they don’t tell you about being an author:-
(1) You’ll love writing your first book because you (usually) have all the time in the world to do it. Second book pressure is immense if you’re under contract, and you’ll have moments when you wonder what you got yourself into (before you give yourself a kick up the arse and remind yourself this is what you’ve always dreamt of)
(2) Because of (1), you’ll feel guilty for having those thoughts and will buy chocolate or wine as comfort food. Or sometimes both.
(3) Because of (1) and (2) your bum (and often other bits of you) will spread/widen.
(4) Procrastination will become your best friend. When you’re under deadline, you’ll suddenly find a thousand and one other things you just HAVE to do, instead of write.
(5) Then you’ll get all stressy and anti-social with people because you’re running out of time and need to get on with writing. You’ll refuse invites and generally avoid leaving the house. You’ll write everywhere and anywhere you can – in the car, on the train, at your kids’ after school activities, waiting for appointments, in the staff room during lunch break. People might give you strange looks…
(6) When you meet your deadline because you’ve done (5), you’ll get either chocolate or wine to celebrate/as a reward, or both. Your bum (and other bits) will widen some more.
(7) You’ll be on social media either too much or not enough. You’ll feel guilty about both. You’ll either turn off wi-fi to restrict yourself, or start engaging with people and then lose hours of your life. It’s a cycle – live with it!
(8) You’ll have to register yourself as either a self-employed individual or a Limited Company, keep accounts and receipts, keep tabs on expenses, fill in a self-assessment and try not to cry… If you’re lucky you’ll employ an Accountant, give them your box of receipts and back away rapidly…
(9) When your Editor tells you she loves your latest book and there are hardly any revisions, you’ll buy chocolate or wine to celebrate, or both… When she/he gives you tons of revisions, you’ll lock yourself in a dark room for a few hours/days. When you emerge, you’ll head to the shops to buy… yep, you’ve got it!
(10) You’ll stare into space and mumble under your breath in public places when you suddenly have a good idea or create a bit of dialogue in your head. People will move away from you and give you looks.
(11) If you don’t immediately write down or record that idea/dialogue on your iPhone you’ll forget them.
(12) Your PC/Laptop/iPad will delight in corrupting itself or being invaded by a virus, and lose your latest WIP. I cannot stress this enough – back everything up, email it to yourself – Do Something!
(13) Every othe author will have more sales than you. Yes, every one. Or at least, you’ll think so. And they’ll be younger, slimmer and more glamorous than you 😉
- Readers are the best. They’ll email you, Tweet you, Facebook you to tell you how much they loved your book, how they stayed up until 2.00 a.m. to read it, how they’ve told their mum/sister/friend/work colleague to read it. Your heart will soar every time.
- Bloggers are amazing. They will tirelessly promote, review, blog you/your book. They work hard, love supporting authors and books. They help drive sales and get the word out there. You’ll thank them again and again.
- Other authors are brilliant. They’re part of the most supportive community, will share their experiences and views, and will champion each other – because there’s room for everyone, and we all love what we do.
- Editors, agents, publicists are stars. They’ll shape, sell, publicise your book, and work tirelessly on your behalf. So many people help a book get published, and they deserve all the credit they’re due.
- Friends, family and partners will be your biggest supporters. They’ll understand when you want to be anti-social, get as excited about publication day as you do, and bring you wine/flowers/chocolates when something goes wrong. Or when something goes right.
- You’ll LOVE writing and losing yourself in your own world, knowing that something you’ve created may one day sail off the page and touch someone’s heart.
- And… You’ll never stop feeling grateful for all of the above.
Hope you enjoyed this – let me know in the comments below if I missed any 🙂
Until next time, happy reading & writing,
Love Nikki xx