Monday, August 9, 2010

A Birthday Gift

I celebrated a birthday last weekend. It was a quiet one spent at home doing routine chores; nothing like last year. But then, no matter what I did this year, nothing could top my birthday last year. You see, last year I received the best birthday gift a new author could ask for: the release of my debut novel, “A Marriage of Convenience.”

Lots of things have changed since then. Here are just a few.

1. My family has grown
Doesn’t sound like much but caring for a new baby greatly limits writing time.

2. I have become better organized
I used to keep all appointments in my head or on little papers here and there. Well with more things to do, including book promotions, I began having senior moments way too soon. I finally found putting appointments and notes in my blackberry was ideal for me.

3. I’ve published a second novel along with two other Novel Spaces authors.
(Yes 2009 was a great year for me).

4. I learned the meaning of WIP.

5. I’m a little more disciplined when it comes to work on my WIP, but still lag behind many.

6. I’m becoming internet savvy
Before my book was published I honestly didn’t quite know what a blog was. Since then I’ve navigated the blogosphere promoting my book. Now here I am blogging twice per month on Novel Spaces with some of the nicest authors in the business.

Before, I thought facebook and MySpace were social networks for teenagers. Well needing a contact point for readers and not having a web site, I joined facebook. Now I’ve been able to reconnect with old friends, make new friends, and interact with some of my readers. I’ve also joined Shelfari and Caribbean Literary Salon. I now know the utility of social networking.
***Note well I said, “I'm becoming internet savvy”. That’s because I’m not there yet (I don’t twitter).

7. My perception of authors has changed
My early perception of authors changed from the wealthy author to the starving artist, to the reclusive author with a typewriter, isolated from the world penning his stories. Now that I’ve met a few authors I realize they are no different from me. (Hey wait, I AM AN AUTHOR!). Most authors are not eccentric recluses. They just have stories to tell and the ability to tell them.

I also thought that authors worked competitively, hence were reluctant to share information with each other. Those misconceptions were cleared up after becoming a published author. I was surprised last year when the publishers put me in contact with another author who gave me tips for promotions, including showing me how to make book trailers myself. Most of all I’ve had the opportunity to connect with all these wonderful Novel Spaces authors who give advice and support with an empathetic ear.

Yes there are a lot of changes that came with being published. Some I embrace and some I am a little reluctant to embrace. But with all the changes there is one thing that did not change: I am no richer than I was before publishing.

How have you changed since becoming a published author?


Shauna Roberts said...

Happy birthday, Jewel, and congratulations on your new book!

One change I've noticed is that I'm devoting more and more time to writing and learning to be a better writer, at the expense of hobbies, housework, socializing, and pleasure reading.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've found that the glamour is not as high as I expected. :)

Phyllis Bourne said...

Happy belated Birthday, Jewel!

Being a published author has seriously cut into my reading time. Now when I read, a little voice nags, "you should be writing..."

How's that baby doing?

Jewel Amethyst said...

Thanks guys. Charles you are so right, there is much less glamour than I expected.

Phyllis, the baby's doing fine. Can you believe it's nine months already?

Liane Spicer said...

Jewel, happy belated birthday!

I empathize with everything you've mentioned, except the new baby part. It's been a great journey. And no, no richer here either. :)