This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
By Anna Bell
While doing an interview recently I was asked a brilliant, yet really difficult question: What has been your greatest experience as a published author? It really got me thinking about why I love my job. So, now I’m asking, what are the best bits about being an author?
Of course, there are some easy, roll-off-the-tongue answers. For example, if you’re a full-time writer, you can work where you want, in your pajamas or your pants (whatever your preference) because you create your office and your dress code. Not only that, you don’t have clients as such, so you can keep whatever hours you want. No one is going to mind if you work in the middle of the night or at the crack of dawn. It’s also one of the few jobs that allows you to have a few drinks beforehand without any ill effects.Writing fiction isn’t the only profession with these perks, but it is one of the very few professions that pays you to daydream. I’d like to do an evil laugh at this point, directed at my old university professor, who told me off repeatedly for daydreaming – he who thought that would never get me anywhere. Yes, you get to lose yourself in an imaginary world and nobody – other than another fiction writer perhaps – can understand what a pleasure it is to escape to your fantasy land and to catch up with your characters while creating their lives.
It’s also a cool job that often gets respect. It never ceases to amaze me what happens when I tell people that I’m a writer. There’s a usual ‘oh, that’s nice’ type reply then, when they probe deeper and realise I’m traditionally published, they change their ‘oh’ to ‘ooh’.
The next obvious best bit is holding your book in your hands for the first time. The physicality of having something weighty in your hand that is the embodiment of your blood, sweat, tears (and daydreams) is pretty special. I recently received the audiobook for Don’t Tell the Groom and hearing it for the first time was a very surreal experience. This is closely followed by seeing your book for sale for the first time. Seeing it on the shelf next to other bestsellers by authors that you’ve read and respected – that’s special.
I’d love to see someone read one of my books – other than my family and friends. Author Lucy Robinson wrote a hilarious blog last year about seeing someone reading one of her books on the tube. I think I’d probably die of shock if I saw someone I didn’t know innocently reading my book while out and about.
Ultimately, I think the best bit of being an author is the readers. It’s great creating a character’s world, but it’s another for others to escape to it too. I absolutely love getting emails and tweets from people who have read and enjoyed my book. There’s something special about someone taking the time out of their lives to write and let you know that something you wrote made them laugh, cry or smile. There’s nothing nicer than knowing someone else gets your book.
I’m sure there are also loads of best bits to come, too. The first time my book is turned into a film (a girl can dream), seeing the foreign copies of my books and not understanding a word of them, or maybe having a huge, swanky launch party.
What do you think the best bits about being an author are?