Author Journeys

By | August 3, 2023

I’m one of those “dreamed of being a writer since I was a kid” types, writing down partial ideas, bad teenage poetry, and showing meagre promise at student competitions. I suspect most kids were competing to earn extra credit for class; I should have asked for that, I realised too late.

With no good ideas on how to get published, I got in my head to write to authors to see how they managed it. I got back some form letters from secretaries (!), some missives elicited no responses, but one wrote back. We corresponded for a long while; they were very generous with their time, and quite practical about their business like approach to their career. By today’s guides, the books were young ya (tweens) and older ya (teens); at one point they took on intellectual property (ip) writing as well, under their own name.

After all this time, (fourty years?) they still have their original publisher. They aren’t quite a lead author, but not generic midlist, either. Most of their recent books that are non-ip have audio books available. And I’ve see how their voice has changed over the years as they got to be a better writer, and going with the changes (improvements, imo) in the industry.

I’ve also rewatched Julie and Julia recently – that first book of hers took 8 years and went through three publishing houses. But it’s not just about the writing, but the growth. Julia found comfort in precision and the skillset she was building; but never let her missteps overwhelm her.

Julie and Julia hints at, but does not get into hugely how much book writing is only somewhat a solo venture. We writers need each other, and we can finally find each other. Yay internet. I’m glad to have a fat ass cloud account to store my writing in, instead of keeping stacks of five and a quarter disks around, writing on them lightly in pencil to keep them in order.

And an internet to reach other writers swimming along the same rocky publishing shoals.