Friday, June 1, 2012
Why being a writer is not a dark silent room
I'm kind of an anti-social person. I can admit this. I'm an anti-social person who married another anti-social person and together (or apart) we make one full anti-social person.
I know what you're saying to yourself (because apparently I can read minds. Just one of the perks of being a writer). You're thinking "Well Shannen it's a good thing you became a writer so you can stare at your computer screen all day while locked in a room by yourself." And for the most part I would reply, "Why yes, random person who reads my blog and is probably related to me because I'm pretty sure only my relatives read this, I do enjoy sitting in a dark room by myself and making odd facial expressions to figure out how to describe the weird face my character is making. How did you know?"
The only problem with this is that writing is not ALL about sitting in a room by yourself. The thing I didn't understand about writing until getting my first book published is just how much collaboration is involved in the whole process.
The most obvious source of social interaction in writing is book signings. Now if any of you have ever been to one of my book signings you'll probably think I'm some sort of manic because I smile like a crazy person and try to give a bookmark to any innocent bystander within two feet of me. And of course, because I'm a socially awkward person I might scare off more people than I invite over to my table. But that comes with the territory of being a writer, I'm allowed to be socially awkward!
My latest source of anxiety inducing social interaction has been the constant hunt for an agent. It's a well known fact that if you'd like your book to do well, an agent is a HUGE help! The only problem is, the more writers I talk to about finding an agent, the more responses I get that sound a little something like this: "Oh yeah I had to get 60 rejections before I got an agent", or "Just keep sending out your query letters and eventually you'll find one." or the less frequent but much truer, "You want to find a literary agent? Why don't you just find a way to get to the moon using only a toothpick and a vinyl Mickey Mouse toy while you're at it."
OK... I might have made that last response up, but you get the point.
Also, I totally forgot the point of writing this blog post. Not sure if you (meaning the random family member who reads this) has noticed but I seem to do that a lot. That's why I make an outline for my books! So they don't end up like my blogs.
Anyway. All of those movies with authors staring at a screen by themselves and being brilliant and smelly and wearing the same bathrobe for days and only eating Doritos and drinking Mountain Dew are a total crock. Well... I guess they're actually pretty true, they just conveniently leave out the part where you learn how to network and market and do book signings and find an agent and speak at schools.
But really? It's kind of wonderful.
Yep. That's right. I just completely changed the entire mood of this blog post.
Yes I whine a lot about how hard it can be to deal with the business side of writing. But I wouldn't have it any other way. If you love something don't you fight for it? And I definitely love writing.
So I'll fight for it :)
Also, I REALLY hope I get an agent for "Sugar Coated" soon because it's so flippin epic that I can't wait for you all to read it!
I really wish I could say more buttttt I don't want to give anything away.
And lastly, The Husband and I will hopefully be getting a battery charger for our camera soon so expect some awkward video blogs in the near future!
Until next time when I write another barely coherent blog post at 1 in the morning.