Friday, January 13, 2017

Committing To An Editor Or Agent Can Be Scary

For the last 2 weeks, my son has been completely wearing us out. We have been going through the whole college search thing and he has had several offers sitting on the table for him. These are all great schools and we would be happy with any of the choices. Still, he was not making a decision.

During this last week, we finally had things down to just two schools (there was a third but financially, they could not come up with the $$ to be competitive). He had one school that he said he just want not that eager to go to, so therefore, the decision on the other should be pretty clear. The swim coach wanted him, the honors program wanted him, the financial aid package and scholarship covered close to 75%, and still... he would not make a decision.

We spoke to him a lot about this and even brought up the question if this was just one of those scary decisions. Although he said no to this, I do believe that was an issue.

I bring this up because authors should be facing the same fears when getting ready to sign that contract with an editor or agent. Not that this is going to be something they regret later on. This is really an issue of taking their career to a new level. This is not about being a hobby writer, but now, it is about being a professional writer.

This is a big commitment. You will now have deadlines beyond those that you set for yourself. You will now have to become a public figure and not simply hiding away at your writing desk with your favorite characters. You will now have to face the wrath of those people who may hate your books and give it bad reviews.

I have worked with several authors who were overly excited about the prospect of writing professionally. Once they got into all of the work we had to do, they suddenly panicked. The "fun" writing they used to do now wasn't so much fun. Getting feedback from editors on rejections really hurt. And, in the end, they walked away.

I think it is important for authors to really take some time before making the decision to be a published author. Sure, the temptation of BIG MONEY (ummm, not) is great. but you have to be ready for it.

Just think before you leap.

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