The audience changes. For one, the aspiring authors, whether they realize it or mean to do it, start pushing back. If you start thinking out loud about problems they wish they had, there gets to be a certain tension. I full on encountered this when I had just finished my first novel. At a con a dear friend (and to this day still a dear friend and someone I respect a great deal) had asked what the toughest part writing this novel was. I’d responded that I’d just become noticed enough that halfway through I got asked to write two short stories, and paused the book to do so. My friend responded, ‘wow, I wish I had that kind of problem.’
Both posts are well worth checking out.
I’m moving on from being a freshly minted author in the UK, though I’m very much still a mere babe in the US; but I find what Tobias and Jay wrote is true – you carve your own career, so you quickly find yourself isolated when it comes to finding much useful advice.
Authors tend to bitch about the industry only to each other. This happens mostly at a convention bar, away from real people, because actual real people do not want to hear an author complain about their lucky situation. “Ooh, you poor thing with your international book deal. I’m sooo sorry for you.”
You get the idea – it’s bad juju. But there’s a whole lot of stuff that crops up when you’re published that you never expect. It’s not just delivering a creative concept to deadline, but the publicity you have to do, the emails that flood into your inbox, the signings, the bizarre new psychologies, the immensely time-draining fluff, and it’s all just to prop up your career so that you are able to deliver another creative concept to deadline. I have a full time job as well – this is a good thing, because I don’t have the sudden financial dependency on the written word. I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to feed myself for the next month.
Of all the wealth of crap online that concerns this industry, with the odd gem shining through, there is indeed precious little of value to teach you how to cope with being a writer. Posts on “how to become an author” are everywhere, and most of them bore me to death – sometimes because I don’t trust them, but mostly because I’ve moved on from that phase now.
So I’ll stay tuned to those two blogs to see what develops, and in the meantime, I might well buy this book.