Today, I’m a Professional Author, again…still.
What does that really mean to be professional versus a person who writes and says they want to be an author. I think of all those people who dream of being published. Or not knowing what they need to do to improve, they’ve lost patience with the system and say heck I’ll just publish this myself. Their plan to wait until people say things in their reviews, to then edit it to make it better (Boy is that my pet peeve).
I really feel the difference today in a piercing way. I’ve spend many years wanting to be an author. I’ve even been published, how many times…ten I think. Is ten the magic number for this revealing reflection?
But today, and yesterday afternoon I took a work I been poking at for some time, one near and dear to my heart, and I completely gutted it, Hack and slash time. Today I took a really close look at what was left and various directions the plot might go in. I will probably slash some more. Was it fun? No. Was it comfortable? NO. Was it easy? No NO NO! Was it right? Yes, Oh YES! It was very right.
The first story was fine, great story, perfectly acceptable with some editing, just the way it plotted out. I could have let it go as it was. However, the first right answer isn’t always THE best answer. There was a better story hidden in there that I would have missed had I accepted what was comfortable, what was easy, what was fun.
It is like an artist working on a carving for years getting it just right. Then one afternoon chisels it back to a square block of stone and starts over carving again to reveal what was there all along but she’d missed.
So, today I am a professional again, willing to do the hard work up front. So in a few months…someone will read this story and really want to take the journey with my characters. That maybe, just maybe they might feel something so deeply that they are changed.