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  • Writer's pictureSuzie Anne

Myths About Writing: Become a Writer and Semi-retire

Updated: Jan 6

Beach and notebook with title

“You’ve got time for this, after all, you’re an author now, and that’s like being semi-retired.” Have you ever been told something about your profession or one of your hobbies that’s so funny you want to laugh, but simultaneously painfully inaccurate? My opening quote is one I’ve encountered multiple times since I started telling people my new career. I’ve not found a good way to verbally correct them . . . but I am a writer, and can (kindly) correct the misconception on paper. (All right, computer or phone screen.)

So what does being an author entail? The first—and most obvious—activity is writing. Authors try to work on their manuscripts daily, though they aren’t always successful, to keep the work fresh in their mind. Some may have multiple WIPs (works in progress) at the same time, and some may not be in the writing stage on their current manuscript—so they’re not crafting new sentences to weave a story. However, it’s not uncommon to have to rewrite scenes or add a scene or two while editing.

Editing is the next most-obvious task of an author. No one—not even multi-published authors—are capable of writing a perfect first draft. The severity of editing depends on the author’s writing style and experience level. Many multi-published authors I’ve spoken with edit as they go, and with their expertise, have few plot holes and developmental edits to work on when they finish their first draft. Others, due to less experience or a different writing style, have a lot of editing to do, and may write—or rewrite—large portions of their manuscript. But what else does an author have to do? I’m so glad you asked.

In addition to writing and editing their manuscripts, authors also need to market their work. This happens in several different ways, but one of the biggest is social media. Authors have public accounts to connect with readers and other authors, creating posts and reels to generate interest in their work. The general rule for number of posts per day is three, which is twenty-one posts a week. And then there’s making sure you respond to comments and shares of your posts to start building relationships with your followers . . . not to mention interacting with other authors’ posts as well, to support, encourage, and connect with them. And that’s not all.

Many authors—especially those who are just starting out—also have a blog. These are done less frequently, but require more time to come up with and edit. Add in a monthly newsletter and speaking at conferences or gatherings, and that’s a lot of writing, even if it’s spread throughout the month.

Other weekly tasks include doing critiques for group(s) the author may be a part of, reading—for endorsements, as part of launch teams, to continue their education, to stay up-to-date with their genre, etc.—, and marketing in other ways. Combined with special events like conferences and book signings, these things keep authors very busy. And did I mention the majority of authors have a second job, a family to care for, or both?

All in all, authors—just like the rest of the world—are very busy. If you’re looking for an easy job, I recommend you reconsider becoming an author. If you’ve got an author in your life, and they make spending time with you a priority, know that you’re important to them. But most importantly, show respect for people’s time and commitments, whether or not they’re an author. After all, you don’t want to be remembered as the person who made a funnily inaccurate—but painful—assumption.

God Bless and Keep magic in the mundane,Writing Myths

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