Want to be a writer? Um, maybe you don’t.
I’m in a hostage situation. See that view in the window? (Yes, I have my Jack pants on.) That’s me. Every morning. At 5 am. Scratch that, 4 am. Okay, scratch that, too. Truthfully, I’ve been up between 2:30 and 3 am every day this week, spinning my wheels.
Millions of words orbit my small-scale author’s brain, but “sleep” isn’t one of them.
No sympathy? I know; I chose this life. I walked out of my old (paying) job with my purse, a whole bunch of dreams, and nothing else! Now I work for -.05¢ per hour. Just kidding. (I think.)
Anyway, why have I coaxed you all here?
First, to advise you. If you, too, want to plunge into the quit-my-job-to-write-books world, make sure you love it because it hurts (in many ways.)
Second, if you want to write books you need to be thick-skinned. Readers and reviewers sometimes hate on an author because of a bad ending, DNF (did not finish), or a romance novel that didn’t go the way they wanted.
Writing books is so much harder than imagined.
We authors try to dot all the i’s and cross the t’s, but it’s hard for a creatively unorganized mind to remember what the name of Johny’s hamster was in book one, who threw up at the wedding in book two, or how many siblings Lenny the Lucifer had in book three. We create a million details, so please be kind in your reviews if Tanny Joe has blue eyes in book four and brown eyes in book five. (Maybe she’s heterochromatic. Is that a word? Don’t tell me if it isn’t.)
Third and most important. Writers MUST stay active about their books on social media. You may annoy some friends and family.
So now to my friends and family! You have my permission to ignore my barrage of ads. I have a new release coming out.
I’ve never wanted to make money on family, friends, or neighbors. My FaceBook and Twitter posts are meant for the billions of readers out in cyberland. I try to keep prices low, and my novels are free on KindleUnlimited (KU) but I’m really posting for the masses. (If you are on KU, though, page away. I get credit!)
Here’s another tip. Small-time authors almost always want reviews. So, if you review on Amazon, Goodreads, or BookBub, hit me up for a free ebook copy of any of my books. You must agree to post an HONEST review in return. This is required by contract. Whether you post one or not is up to you. And if you’re a friend or family? Amazon is probably going to delete it because I know you. (Yes, Amazon is a psychic demon.)
So as I battle with Meta, Amazon, and gutter margins, please excuse my multitudinous posts. If you share one, woohoo! I’ll appreciate it. But you absolutely can scroll on by.
We authors understand. We’re readers, scrollers, too.
See you after November 1st, release day. Until then, if I don’t reply to you, forgive me. I won’t text at 3:30 in the morning and wake you.
One final note. If you are thinking of writing a book?
1) You can’t require much sleep, and
2) Make sure you have a loving partner because you’re going to be cranky.
CJ Zahner is the author of The Suicide Gene, Dream Wide Awake, Project Dream, The Dream Diaries, Friends Who Move Couches and Don’t Mind Me, I Came with the House. Zahner’s Dream Series novels were inspired by true-life experiences.