Sunday, March 4, 2012
Janet Evanovich's Advice I Haven't Been Following!
Before I start my story, I feel as though I need to be completely honest with you. I never met Janet. Even though I talk to some best selling authors, I have never chatted with Janet, even on Facebook. However, she did give advice, and I haven't been following it.
So here is my story:
When I received my first book contract I was on cloud nine. I had officially became an author. I had crossed the line from hobby writer to making a career at it. I told every single person I talked to. My kids often said at that time, "Geez, mom! You always manage to bring up the fact that you're an author to every person you talk to." And I did. Some how I'd slip it into the conversation with natural flow. People usually love talking to authors. Once the person showed interest in my books, I'd bring out the promo stuff. This went on for a year and half with a few more book contracts in that time frame.
Then I enrolled in a new college program. I started the program and told my new classmates that I was an author. This group of people were so supportive. We moved from one class to the next. This same group of people were with me in that class too because we were still in our general education classes. Everyone had been supportive of me being an author. Most of them thought my author status was exciting. I did notice that when my instructors found out, they put higher standards up for me. Hmm.. Not really fair in my opinion. I told my group of friends that I was going to stop telling the instructors that I write books. They agreed to keep it quiet. Then I started my first paralegal class.
Being an author quickly turned into my dirty little secret at school. I was embarrassed when anyone brought it up. My main paralegal instructor had found out and then told his friend who later became my instructor. He would mention me being an author a lot. I'd change the subject. One day a classmate said, "Yeah, and some people toot their own horn way to often," and gave me a smirk. This woman hated me and managed to get her entire group of friends to ignore me at all costs. Some of these people had previously been my friends. Everything this group did hurt me a lot and made it really hard to be in school every day.
I had became so self-conscience about being an author (and myself in general) that I stopped talking about it away from school too. I started a new job (linked to my college) and I didn't even want them to know. I became really close with some of my coworkers and they had no idea that I was an author. I felt like I was lying the entire time but was too shy about being an author. I didn't want those people to treat me weird like the people at school had.
To me, I'm just myself. I have this ability to make wonderful stories and characters up in my head. I do the required work to share with others. Its a combination of hard work and talent. I should never have been ashamed, embarrassed, or shy.
So the other day I browsed through the public library. I always check the writing book section and noticed a book called How I Write by Janet Evanovich. I own a Janet novel (Twelve Sharp) but never had read it. The reason why I even own it is because I had belonged to a book club and the book was the selected one for the month. I had forgotten to mark "don't send" so I got it. Being to lazy to send the book back, I paid for it. I'm glad I did.
I checked out Janet's book on writing and stayed up half the night reading. Some of the advice had been targeted for new writers but something at the beginning of the book smacked me in the face. It is this:
"When people ask what you do, tell them you're a writer. Put yourself on the line. Make a commitment."
During the time in that college, I had lost the commitment to myself, to my books, and to my readers. I regret that but have learned from the mistake and will be committed from here on out. Thank you, Janet, for your excellent advice!
I have to go now... I'm currently hooked on Janet's Plum Series so I gotta read! By the way, if you'd like to find out more about my 5 books you can find them here http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=authors&authors_id=87