First of all, thank you for having me today, Josie!
When I was little, and would go to the bookstore, all the beautiful covers of books, especially in the romance genre, fascinated me. However, it wasn’t just the covers that I was mesmerized by; it was the stories by the author that had me truly amazed. Many, many years ago, Danielle Steel was my inspiration for wanting to be an author, and I had a huge crush on all her leading men, (Rogue being my favorite). It seemed like every few months, she would release a new book, and most of the time it would be a number one bestseller. I couldn’t get enough. How hard could it be to write a few hundred pages, and wham, it’s done?, I thought.
Well, I have since then woken up from the fantasy of what I thought was the glamorous life of being an author (you know, the one where you have a lovely beach/country/mountain view you look out of when you’re in your highly organized office—without a red pen/marker in sight—and it’s just you and your laptop alone, creating number one bestsellers again and again), only to have replaced it a little thing called reality, realizing that being a writer really is hard work.
Writing is fun: You wouldn’t be a writer if it weren’t fun, right? Creating stories and characters makes for endless possibilities for anything. You’re the writer, so you get to decide what happens!
Editing can be fun, too: There will be days that you will be successful with your edits, and you will be having fun. You’ll feel productive, and know that you’re one step closer to publishing! Go you!
Get your marketing “swag” on: A good marketing tool is to pass out swag to your friends or have a giveaway. By using websites like Vistaprint.com and Zazzle.com, there are hundreds of options for you out there. Have fun and be creative!
Some reviews will make you cry—in a good way: When a great review is written, where someone says how much they love your book, your heart will melt and you might cry. You will know that all the hard work you went into writing it has paid off!
An author’s job is never done: Imagine you’re relaxing on the beach, drinking a delicious strawberry daiquiri (don’t forget the rum floater), and that’s when an idea for a story hits you. It’s times like these that carrying some kind of notepad with you at all times is a good idea.
WRITING: It isn’t magic: Not every single day of writing will be easy. You will have days and nights where you stare at the blinking cursor and absolutely nothing comes to you, but that’s okay—it’s normal.
EDITING: Editing will make you lose your mind—literally! Whether you’re editing yourself or have hired an editor and see a lot of changes that need to be made, you will feel overwhelmed and not really know where to start. My best advice for this is to take it one sentence at a time, and don’t forget to click on the “save” button often.
MARKETING: And you thought writing and editing the book was the he hard part: After publishing “The Right Design,” I had no idea how hard marketing my book would be. I’m a shy person, so asking—okay, begging—a person to buy my book is hard for me. Since this is the case, I try to do a lot of social media marketing. However, not everyone wants to see the posts, blogs, or tweets every hour, so I try to do it every couple of days. While it’s important to get your name out there, it’s also very important to keep writing during this phase, too. You don’t want you readers to forget about you.
IT’S REVIEW TIME: Not all reviews are nice: So far, I’ve been fortunate to receive 4 and 5 stars, but I know the days will come when I get only 1 star. It’s good to prepare for the heartache you might feel when someone bashes your baby, but instead of looking that as a horrible thing, pay attention to what they say because this might be helpful for your writing future.
START OVER! An author’s job is never done: Let the writing process begin again! This can be overwhelming at first, but once inspiration hits, you’ll be good to go!
In the closing, know that if you really want to be an author, know that there will be downs and ups like I mentioned above, but you do have what it takes; you just have to get that first draft completed! Good luck!
Isabella grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on several blogs. While Isabella doesn't blog a lot, she focuses her time on featuring other writers, along with writing and editing. Isabella Louise Anderson created Chick Lit Goddess to share the love of the following genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Romance, and Romantic Comedies! She loves featuring authors and their books. She lives in Dallas with her husband and cat. She enjoys spicy Mexican food and drinking margaritas, and can be found spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Texas Rangers, and reading. Isabella's short story, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, was featured in Simon & Fig's Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, in November 2013. The Right Design is her first novel.