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Sunday, March 21, 2010

What do you love most about being an author?

For me, being a writer is a choice. I know that there are writers who say that writing chose them, not the other way around, but for me I wasn't destined to write from the time I could hold a crayon. I've always loved writing, but I love a lot of things.

Being a writer isn't easy in the sense of you just write a story, your story sells, and all is well. Being a writer causes me to obsess over things that make me wonder if it's worth it. I will never write a vampire/werewolf/shapeshifter/ghost story, but that seems to be what sells these days - so do I even continue to write? I have no desire to write a series that follows the same characters from book to book - so should I keep writing my standalone books if series are where it's at? The publishing industry is completely screwed up - do I really want to be a part of an industry that can't get it's act together and seems to become less and less relevant every passing day? It takes months and months to write a book - do I want to spend my weekends pounding away at a keyboard when I could be hanging out with my kids and relaxing?

But I do continue to write, despite all of this. I love being an author. There are two main reasons why: I get the nicest emails from readers. Just Friday I received an email from a reader named Brooke, who said, "I just read your book, The Book of Luke, and I thought it was AMAZING! It took me a day to read! I got so into it!You are such an amazing writer!" Show me another profession where a total stranger will go out of their way to say that they appreciate what you do, that it makes them happy, and that they were willing to spend hours with something you created because it was so much fun.

The second reason I love being an author is other authors. When my first book came out I was living in Chicago and received an email from another writer who lived in Chicago. She just wanted to let me know that she read my book and loved it. And she invited me to one of her readings. I went. We met. She introduced me to a few more of her writer friends and I introduced her to mine. The women I've met through writing are some of the kindest, funniest, more supportive people out there (nothing against male writers, just haven't met that many). Often, they're just women I've met via email, yet I feel like we're all pulling for one another. If one succeeds we're thrilled, if one is having problems, we're there to office advice. Show me another profression where one person's success isn't viewed as dminishing another's, and where everyone is willing to help.

Being a writer is hard, but being an author introduces you to strangers who make you feel like what you do matters, and other authors who are there to lend an ear or a hand when you need it. And I love being a part of that.


Jan Blazanin said...

Well, Jenny, now I don't need to bother writing my blog. I'll just refer everyone to yours because you said it so well I don't need to. Good work, MTV sister!

Danielle Joseph said...

I agree with, Jan, great post, MTV sister:). And I soooo love it when readers take the time to write about how they enjoyed the book. That really makes my day.