First of all, I'd like to point out that I'm actually doing some regular posting, go me! I may have been updated by duckies or aliens or alien duckies. That's ok though :)
Today I wanted to talk about how to be an author. It's really quite simple. You sit down, bang on a keyboard for a while, and magically a book will appear. Then you do some more magic and it goes up for sale and people magically know how to find it and buy it and boom! You're famous.
Man, I wish it were that easy. It's not, of course, but don't burst my little bubble yet.
Anyway, you need a combination of insanity, determination, creativity, and some really good friends to be an author. Oh, and luck. Lots and lots and LOTS of luck. Think about it, how many times have you grabbed a best seller and flipped through it going, "Really? THIS is a bestseller when [Insert your favorite obscure author] writes so much better?!" Let's be honest, lovelies...we've all thought that. Everyone's entitled to think that, that's what makes people unique.
Granted, I hope at least some of you inserted my name in that little phrase ;)
But, I digress. Luck plays a massive role in being an author. You need luck to find the right people to work with, for your idea to take off, and for so many things. Vampires were around long before Twilight came about, yet few were as insanely popular. BDSM books were around long before 50 Shades of Grey, but again, few took off as well as that did. It's all about luck. That's the part that sucks because you can't control it.
Let's take luck out of the equation, then. You need to be insane to be an author. Imagine pouring everything you have into something then tossing it out for the world to judge and criticize. Insane, right? Insanity also comes in handy when you need twisted plots and ideas.
You also need determination. When I first wrote Breaking the Nexus, I was writing during NaNoWriMo 2011 and I was determined to win that year so I could shut up my older sister. No, seriously. We were doing it together and she bugged me constantly about my word count. I won, then I had to find the determination to finish the book. Before I'd written the whole thing, I let a few people read it.
Let's just say, it needed some love. The kind of love that can only come from burning it to the ground so you can start fresh. The painful love.
I could have thrown in the towel and I wanted to...ask my husband sometime about how I sobbed that I'd probably have to rewrite the whole thing. Know what he said? "Then you'll just have to rewrite it." It was that simple. I was determined to get my story out there so I salvaged the basic plot and rewrote it. Feel free to ask anyone who read both versions...they are VASTLY different.
It's not just the beginning of the journey that requires determination. Every book will test your determination. You hit a wall where you go "I will never finish this damn thing, I don't even want to look at it anymore." You have to figure out what's more important: giving in to the frustration you're feeling or giving up your dream.
The last thing you need are some really good friends. You need people who will listen to you when you're frustrated then tell you to get your butt back to writing. You need people who can ask you questions to get your brain in gear and the writing muse flowing. You need people to tell you how awesome you are when you feel like you can't do it anymore and people to tell you where you need work because they know you can do better.
I majorly simplified everything, but for me, this is what I've needed to be an author. It's not easy, it's frustrating, and I've cried more than once. I took a hiatus where I questioned if this is what I was meant to do. In the end, it comes back to that determination. I have stories I can't keep locked in my brain anymore. Plus, I've got some amazing friends I've never even met in person who wouldn't let me quit.