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So You Want To Be An Author

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Fancy being an author? Are you sure you’ve got what it takes? Let me tell you a bit about an author’s life so that you know what you’re in for.

First you have to think of an idea for a story, not that I find that difficult I’m always getting ideas for stories but the trouble is they do tend to come at awkward times. Such as just when I’m about to go to sleep and then I either have to put the light on and write the idea down before I forget it which then makes me wide awake or try to keep it in my head for morning, which means I don’t sleep very well because I’m trying to remember my idea so I might as well have put the light on and written it down. Other places I get ideas are when I’m in the shops and overhear snippets of conversation then I want to whisk my notebook out and write it down quickly but it looks a bit rude and people might think I’m writing about them, which I am but I obviously don’t want them to know Or at parties. It’s amazing what people wear and get up to a parties that can all start an idea rolling. Again, not really the place to whip out a notebook.

But getting the idea’s only the start. Then you have to write it up. And that’s not easy. It can take countless hours just to actually begin a story, punctuated by frequent coffee breaks and chocolate breaks (very important to stimulate and nourish you), quick checks on Facebook( in case anything interesting has happened in any of your friend’s lives that you might be able to tweak and use in your story),and a visit to the shops/walk around the park to give you some fresh air and help clear your head.

Finally, when the story’s going well you have to spend hours and hours sitting at your desk writing. This is when writing completely takes over your life; washing, ironing, cooking meals, cleaning up, even getting dressed all take a back seat whilst you furiously write down all the brilliant words that are swimming around in your head. You may even forget to go to bed.

Then, finally you finish your first draft. Yawn, stretch, come out of your room, say Hello to your family, shower and get dressed. Life is wonderful. You clean the house, cook a tasty meal, singing happily. Your work is done. Until a few days later when you check it all over and discover to your dismay that those wonderful words you scribbled down weren’t so wonderful, after all. Now you have to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. This can be very stressful.

Finally when you feel like you just can’t write the story any better you send it to your agent/editor. Now comes the waiting game. Will they like it or not? Will they want changes? Of course there’s some fun parts too. Like when your book finally gets published and you see it for the first time, visiting schools to talk to children about your work, getting fan mail, getting a royalty cheque and, if you’re very lucky, seeing your book on the shelf of your local bookstore.

Still fancy being an author? Why? What do you think the best part of an author’s life is?


(This post first appeared on Girls HeartBooks)

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