Friday, February 27, 2009

Cool things about being a writer

This is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of Cool Things About Being a Writer, so if anyone has items to add, please do. I'm just going to go off the top of my head. I'm guessing that's not a surprise to anyone who's ever read my blog in the past.

1. Getting to know other writers. This is BIG. Not just getting to recognize other writers, but know them, and realize that--gasp--they remember you. (This can be a good thing or a not-so-good thing. Depends what they remember you for.) Although we're sort of competing for readers' time and money, most of the time it feels as if we're all working together. The camaraderie is wonderful.

2. Seeing your name in the newspaper, in a place other than the "recent arrests" column. Even better when accompanied by a non-mugshot type photo, as long as your face isn't huge. (I know. I'm picky.)

3. Booksignings. Sitting behind the table at booksignings. Talking to people at booksignings. Anticipating the next booksigning...

4. Your book. Holding it in your hand. Seeing it on the publisher's website, on Amazon, etc.

5. Working wherever you want to work, in whatever garb is comfortable. (Note: Very important not to be too comfortable if posing for one of the pictures mentioned above.)

6. Family support in its many forms. I've always been invisible, and enjoyed it. So having attention of any sort focused on me is a shock. But there are people who help temper it, like the cousin who told me at Christmas dinner that he hadn't visited my website in a while because he'd "just as soon be caught looking at porn at work as your website." It's good to have that kind of comment occasionally, so you don't get the big head.

7. Learning. Oy. So much to learn about writing! Not to mention promoting. And the tech stuff, which doesn't really come easily to me--it's all a learning curve that looks like the approach to the biggest scream of a roller coaster ride. If I had any sense at all, it would scare me to death. Inexplicably, I love this part too.

8. Other writers' books. I recently had the opportunity to read an advance reading copy of Sheryl Brennan's Celtic Sacrifice, which releases in March. What a beautiful story, and beautifully written! Yesterday I was happily surprised to win an ebook by commenting on Jennifer Johnson's blog. The novella Salvation Bride by Anna Kathryn Lanier has been added to the giant electronic TBR pile. Fun!

I'm going to stop now, and let some of you suggest other things. Otherwise I may sit here all day and list Cool Things About Being a Writer, and not write a word on the current manuscript.



  1. Hi Mags,
    Here's another "happy" for you. I blogged about you today as my winner. Have a great day!

  2. things about being a writer..

    Saying "My character is finally telling me their story." Or "I could barely get to sleep last night because my character wouldn't shut up!"

    Even better- being able to say things like that to other writers and not have them look at you like you should be in a straightjacket in a loony bin.

  3. Well. What fun this is. I blogged right back atcha, Jennifer--so there!

    Taryn, thanks for adding some more cool things to the list. That "lack of a straightjacket" thing is a biggie.

  4. Magdalena,
    I have you a song on my blog. If you can't stand Neil Diamond, let me know!
    What do I love about being a writer? I love the escapism of it. I love how my characters are bigger than my imagination. I love it when someone who knows me and who has read my book says, "I forgot you were the author because I was lost in the story." That's the ultimate.

  5. Jennifer, I don't know why, but "Kentucky Woman" by Neil Diamond is exactly the song I needed--to make me smile--this afternoon. Thank you!

    I agree with you on this being high praise: "I forgot you were the author because I was lost in the story."


    Go us, ladies! (Or should I say, Go Muses?)

  6. To me, the cool thing about being a writer is that I've never in my life been bored. I've always had plenty of characters to keep me company.

  7. Hi Magdalena! Thank you for the mention :)

    Being in the business world where some coworkers would sooner stab you in the back to get ahead than look at you, it is refreshing to have a tribe of fellow writers to give you a soft place to land. They are always there to pick you up when you fall, kick you in the butt when you need it, or offer last minute SOS call.

    I'd say THAT is one of the coolest things to me about being a writer. Being able to call other writer friends when your in a pinch. Be it a grammar issue, plot question, sounding board, or a quote for your cover.


  8. Devon, enjoying the company of one's characters is truly cool. Thanks for mentioning it. I think it could be used as an explanation for why I talk to myself--as far as anyone knows, I'm really just working out dialogue. Right?

    Sheryl, writer buddies as SOS answerers--good one! Lemme tell ya, I've been on the receiving end of that kind of help a bunch of times. So the opportunity to answer an SOS instead of send it is definitely cool. Again, I loved Celtic Sacrifice. You surprised me with the ending--but what a great one it was.