After a short blog break, I am back! Life has a way of getting in the way of writing. With this bitter truth in mind, I have put quite a bit of time into considering the life of a full time author as compared with the lives let by author’s who, like myself have a full-time job in addition to my more creative pursuits. For those who were unaware, I do work in the real world. I have a full classroom of adorable second graders who could not care less what novels I write, so long as I teach them to read fabulous children’s literature. I admit I enjoy the excuse to indulge in nostalgia as I revisit my own childhood favorites in the interest of education. To be honest, I have to consider the most significant portion of my job, creating literate citizens as an investment in job security for the writing industry.
As useful as my job is, any job creates a power struggle for my time and energy as I pursue writing. Most people realize that writing is time consuming. It requires dedication and perseverance with no immediate reinforcement to encourage the author to continue to produce anything. There are no cheerleaders on the side lines or built in rewards. Nobody stands up to applaud at the end of my writing session. Writing is an intrinsic process. Those who are able to complete a finished and published work must become their own advocate and motivational system; even in the face of life that demands their focus to be divided.
Becoming a self-published author requires an entirely new dimension of dedication; marketing. It is not enough for an author to collect their thoughts and offer them to the masses for judgment, we as authors must now be prepared to become a brand, and a marketing professional. Writing is no longer merely an art; it is a business that must be managed as such.
As an author, I am now balancing a paying job (a must have) with the art of writing and the business of marketing. Luckily, I have some computer skills (and a degree to support them) that has allowed me to become functional in formatting and other computer-aided endeavors. Of course like most people pursuing the American dream, I also have family, and other interests and pursuits that have to be worked into the daily mix. At some point, the rat race has become a marathon. Even with the demands of my dreams infringing on the demands of my reality, I will continue forward. I was always meant to become an author. I feel the certainty of this proclamation with as much certainty as my role as a mother, wife or teacher. It is part of who I am, and I will answer its call.
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