The Care and Feeding of An Author

Welcome to this week’s Marketing for Romance Writer’s (MFRW) 52-week Blog Challenge topic of Advice for New Authors. I’ve been an author for years now, but I still always read the biography when I come across an author new to me. I love to experience that magical moment when they wrote that first story, or when signed their first contract. Someone looking in from the outside might think that success happened overnight. But for the most part, it’s the end result of many nights, many mornings and hours of solitude…

No One Cares About Your Book—Like You Do

You love your characters and your stories and you want to tell everyone about them. Don’t be offended if they don’t get as excited as you, or if they don’t seem to care. Because it doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you have a passion for your story. That passion and drive will help you succeed.

computer author lifeHold onto that love and passion when your story becomes a book out in the world and you get an unsavory review, or if some friends or family don’t buy it. Network and join author groups to gain support, discover a critique partner, get advice and learn from each other.

Everyone is Writing a Book

Prepare yourself to smile and nod. Instead of enthusiasm for your book, others—many others— seem to minimize the blood, sweat and tears you invested for a year, or years writing your book. They tell you that they, too, would write a book, when they find the time. You know that there’s never any extra time. You carved out the time by sleeping less and giving up activities with family and friends and making writing a priority.

You’re going to get a lot of unsolicited advice—take it with a grain of salt, but ignore most of it, and follow your heart. If you need guidance seek out authors you admire, but still realize that what worked for them might not work for you. Just like your book, you’re crafting your own story as an author and every writer’s journey is different.

Family Matters

You envisioned long days blissfully immersed in your writing. You might have some of those days, but many days it will be a struggle to snag a minute of that time. Writing takes a lot of time and energy. You realize that, but your family doesn’t. They don’t see the writing progress you’re making, and sometimes they don’t seem to care. They only notice that the laundry isn’t done, or there’s no dinner, or they act as if you’re neglecting them. It’s about crafting a balance.

Take a break now and then to be a better writer in the long run— living adds life to your stories. #MFRW #amwriting Click To Tweet

It’s Not All About The Book

Becoming an author comes with obligations regarding marketing and developing your online presence which can take a lot of your time. Be prepared to become familiar with social media—whether you like it or not. Choose platforms you prefer and focus on them. You don’t need to be on every media. It’s better to do a few well than do many poorly due to an inability, or a lack of desire, to keep up with them.

Take Care of Yourself

Scruff
Scruff making sure he gets enough sleep.

Many people claim to have the desire to write a book, but not everyone embarks on that fabulous journey. You’re willing to sacrifice all of your time to succeed—don’t. You need that balance, and you need to take care of yourself. Long hours of sitting aren’t good for your body.

  • Incorporate exercise or yoga in your day, take a walk or consider a treadmill desk (or a DIY one
  • Don’t let “book butt” be the price you pay for writing—make healthy eating a priority.
  • It’s okay to get up early, or stay up late to write, but make sure you get adequate sleep
  • Make time for family and friends. If it’s hard to tear yourself away from writing, consider it as research for body language or describing physical characteristics

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint – Enjoy the Journey

Congratulations, Author!

MFRW Blog Challenge author adviceFollow the #MFRW Blog Hop for more Advice for New Authors.

13 thoughts on “The Care and Feeding of An Author”

  1. peggy jaegerpeggy jaeger

    Maureen – that it’s a marathon and not a sprint is so true!!! All those people that say “i’m gonna write a book” never do because when it comes down to it, if they wanted to, they would, right now!!! Great advice.

    Reply
    December 22, 2017
  2. Shari ElderShari Elder

    Taking care of self is great advice. It is a long game. Good post.

    Reply
    December 22, 2017
  3. Helen HendersonHelen Henderson

    Love the post’s title. Care and Feeding is perfect. And I had to smile at the everyone is an author because you are so right that we will hear that many, many times.

    Reply
    December 22, 2017
  4. Alina K. FieldAlina K. Field

    I’m impressed by that DIY treadmill desk. One of those is on my wish list!

    Reply
    December 22, 2017
  5. Kenzie MichaelsKenzie Michaels

    *raises hand*
    I now have ‘book butt’, due to the fact that for 11 months, I was on the edit-submit-revise-release-edit-submit-revise-release merry-go-round, and all I did was sit at my computer when I wasn’t doing the basic household chores (laundry, cooking). Plus, that year money was tight and I decided to make my own Christmas candy. One can NOT let a tiny amount of chocolate go down the drain, when there’s not enough to make the last batch….it *must* be consumed, yes? LOL….and now you know ‘the rest of the story’….

    Reply
    December 23, 2017
  6. Robin MichaelaRobin Michaela

    All great advice – especially about the DYI treadmill desk (LOVE it) and the writing career being a marathon, not a sprint. I think that’s a hard realization for most of us.

    Reply
    December 23, 2017
  7. cathycathy

    Fabulous advice> *runs to check out the DIYdesk*

    Reply
    December 23, 2017
  8. Ed HoornaertEd Hoornaert

    “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” I don’t know how many times I’ve told people these exact words, Maureen.

    Reply
    December 23, 2017
  9. Raine BalkeraRaine Balkera

    Thank you for the helpful advice, Maureen! Merry Christmas!

    Reply
    December 23, 2017
  10. Meka JamesMeka James

    Thank you for your advice Maureen. It very much a marathon. A slow moving, not even fast walking marathon in my case. LOL

    Reply
    December 26, 2017
  11. Mary J. McCoy-DresselMary J. McCoy-Dressel

    All that you said is a great reminder to remember the other important things in life. Writing is a marathon and not a sprint, for sure.

    Reply
    December 27, 2017

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