Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Fricassee

Regardless of my penchant for sunshine, I will always love the sound of rain on the eaves. I'm not sure what it is about rain, exactly, that makes me feel "writerly."

It could be my natural introversion; my melancholic bent; the resurfacing of my eighth-grade dream of becoming a monk. (It was a bad year.)

But the truth remains that I am utterly content in this morning's surroundings--hot coffee, warm computer, tiny window-view of steady rain.

That, and the satisfaction of knowing that my 1000-words-a-day promise to myself is holding fast. Weekends excluded, of course. At this rate, I will have a completed first draft by the middle of June. Not too shabby, that.

I've also been encouraged by the recent good news from blog readers. I am absolutely certain that this trend will continue. After all, this blog isn't just for the fun of it, right? Sure, we have fun. But in the end, we are investing time here to better ourselves as writers. This blog is a career-booster of sorts.

Yes, I like that. Career booster.

I think that, as aspiring authors, we need to get used to the word "career". We need to use it in conjunction with the word "writer" and "author" and "novel". It's a mindset that's going to keep us on track as we seek representation and, ultimately, the sale of our work.

It doesn't matter what else we do in life--teacher, doctor, IT guru, mechanic, firefighter, Sumo wrestler, pink-Cadillac-touting-Mary-Kaye-consultant, librarian, stay-at-home mom, corporate drone. We've got to think about and talk about our writing as a career.

Because, yanno, we all hate it when someone on the "outside" thinks it's our cute little hobby.

Painting naked ladies on seashells is a hobby. Collecting wooden cigar boxes is a hobby. Penning inspirational limericks in Egyptian hieroglyphs is a hobby.

Writing novels is not a hobby. At least, not for us.

And that, I'm sure, is the main reason most of you are here. You are career-minded novelists with good stories to tell. And you want to get better.

Lo and behold, you are getting better. And so am I.

Thank you! For your willingness to grow and for your willingness to help others grow, I thank you.

And to the continual influx of new readers: Welcome! So glad you're here.

The comment box is open--feel free to continue these thoughts and expand on them. I love the way our Friday comment boxes have been bursting with energy and inspiration lately!

And if you're one of the Silent Types who's been around for a while without saying much--de-lurk! Join the throng of career-minded novelists in the comment box. We'll all be glad to get to know you.

Cheers and hot coffee in the rain!


  1. What a great post to read first thing in the morning!

    I'll gladly raise my own coffee to it, and hopefully the rain will come back again today--I agree, there is just something about it.

  2. *waves*

    This seems like a good post to de-lurk on. :-)

    Well said! I get very tired of explaining to people that no, it's not a hobby, or a passtime. It's my second job, and I take it as seriously (often more seriously, to be honest) than the one that pays the bills.

    I love the sound of rain too, especially on a metal roof. So soothing.

  3. Ah, I love rain, too! I do think of writing as a career. I keep telling my husband that one day all this time I spend ignoring will pay off. Literally. He doesn't believe me yet, but I plan on proving him wrong. :)

  4. *coffee toast response*
    Hi, Authoress and others who make this site soo helpful, inspiring, and positive. I'm relatively new here, but I love the energy and commitment y'all reveal with every post, every crit, every contest.

    Dynamic. Valuable. I'm appreciative. The comradeship is really nice--kudos to you, Authoress!

    Rain...we actually had some this week, too. And since TX is in extreme drought, our enjoyment was almost, well, you know ;-)

    Thanks, all, for being here.

  5. I love the sound of rain on the eaves too -- even after ten years in Seattle. It provides such a cozy feeling, like this blog.

  6. When I started writing a few years ago, I had no idea of the industry side. After I started researching and realized what I was getting into (i.e., got smacked between the eyes with a clue gun), I questioned my decision. Writing comes hand in hand with rejection and criticism. Did I really want to subject myself to that? How much did I want to write?

    Well, I'm working on my second MS, so I guess I found the answer. The difference is that this time I made the decision knowing fully what to expect.

    Writing is both a craft and a business. As I tell my theatrical husband, "that is the difference between a 'job' and a 'career.'"

    Favorite rainy day pasttimes include writing or reading in my comfy chair with a hot drink, a warm blanket, and my cat asleep on my legs.

  7. Rainy days are my favorite for writing too. I think its because the house gets so cozy on days like that. Hot coffee and a nice cozy spot to curl up with the laptop ...that's the best.

    I wish I had a few more quiet rainy days to myself to just write...but alas life is manic more days than not.
    *Snort* And my husband wonders why I like to retreat into my own head some nights to unwind.

    God I love writing. :D

  8. Rain? We're still getting snow! Yay for Calgary in spring. But who I'm I kidding. We've even had snow in August.

    I'm not sure about writing being a career (I can dream though), but it is an obsession. I dream about my characters all the time, and even have a crush on one of them. Just don't tell my husband that ;0)

    Have a great weekend!

  9. Nice Stina... I'm also buried in snow- about 16", that's Colorado in spring too. :)

    It's always an epic day when someone asks you what you do and you reply, "I'm a writer." It took me a while to say that, but I have to admit, most people are amazingly supportive. Maybe it's because I live in the People's Republic of Boulder, where everyone's some kind of artist or forward thinker, but I've never gotten the response of what a cute hobby- even after I admit that I've never published a book. It is empowering to think of writing as one's career however... I'm ordering business cards this week and you know what they say? Writer. It's gonna be awesome. :)

  10. I’m one of the silent lurkers taking up the challenge to join the throng. Hello everyone!

    Personally, I consider my writing to be a hobby, even though I take it very seriously. Unlike my other hobbies it has the potential to be a career, but I’m not there yet. I prioritize writing over many things, but not everything. I have to put my day job first, especially in the current economy. I hope my writing will truly be a career someday.

    I wouldn’t presume to call someone else’s writing a hobby because we each have our own way of defining it. But I don’t think it’s necessarily meant to be condescending when people use that word.

  11. Career...

    See, I think that I've had it trained in my head that writing can never be a career. It is a craft and artful expression that is a release of energy for you or a pocket you can put your daydreams.

    I certainly am going at it like a business woman. Trying to make good decisions as to how I shape my product, and working on understanding the market so I can out-maneuver the competition.

    But if anyone asks me what I do for a living. I will give them the honest answer and leave out the writing.

    People know I write and such, but they tend to look at it the same way I do. It's a worthy endeavor that brings all sorts of rewards - but not always monetary ones.


    It's Beeyootiful here. Sunny, warmish, blue skies, dry. I understand we will have rain and snow on the weekend though. Dang.

  12. I'm a rain-lover, too. It's so soothing and soul-affirming. And, yes, when people ask me what I do I say I'm a writer. I have no qualms about it, after all, it's what I spend most of my time doing. It's my career - I'm just waiting for the publishing industry to join me in this realization.;-)

    To Dana - I have a sister who lives in the People's Republic of Boulder (and, I went to school there for a while). Boulder should join forces with Santa Barbara and form their own Grateful Dead-loving, liberal/forward-thinking, health-oriented, artistic, peaceful country dedicated to generating powerful, healing energy for all the world. (And I say I'm not a fantasy writer!)

  13. I suppose I should de-lurk as well. Just want to say I love this blog and the fact that it gained so much notariety (sp i know) so quickly is awesome. I love thinking of writing as a career, especially since I'm leaving a career as an engineer :)

    Anyway, hello and I will try to de-lurk more often!

  14. Today is a wonderful day to write...five-year-old playing happily nextdoor, two-year-old napping, quiet house, big comfy chair. Hmm...How long before I'm drifting off to dreamland?

  15. Is it okay if I'm not ready to call my writing a career yet? I'll get there eventually, but I'm not there yet.
    Personally, I prefer loud, drumming storms to steady rain. Something about the idea of literal sheets of rain hitting the roof appeals to me. Anyone feel the same?

  16. Hey, Authoress. You were once a wanna-be monk, huh? Have you read Disillusion by C.J. Sansom? I just finished it. It's a murder mystery set in a monastery in Cromwell's England. Really good.

    We had snow here the other day, all the way across the Pacific in Tianjin, China. Kind of a freak of nature for this time of year for us, though. Especially because the heat had already been "officially" turned off. Brrr....

    Thanks for the encouraging post!

  17. Congratulations on keeping your goals, and thank you for donating so much of your time in helping others. :D

  18. Dominique, I'm with you on the storms, but for a slightly different reason. Piano playing, the heavy symphonic music I don't usually play. So cool in a storm.

    I've recently begun to think of myself as a writer, not a wannabe. I guess I'm not at the career level yet because this hasn't paid a bill. But nothing can shut the brain down when thinking about new stories, plot alternatives, or yes, that incredibly great character just imagined. Does anyone else find it fascinating when people describe a character you've created as looking different than s/he is in your mind? And sometimes they're so insistent (which is fine with me) on what the character looks like.

    Glad it's Friday and I can spend time on my obsession! Maybe it's not a career to me yet, but I AM a writer.

  19. I also have not quite gotten to the point of saying that I'm a writer. I almost feel that if I say it, I'll jinx it!! The more I write, however, the more comfortable I'm becoming with feeling that I am actually a writer. Does that make sense??

    A rainy day is the absolute best! My favorite thing to do on such a day is to grab the afghan and a good book and settle down on the couch. Of course, that all hinges on whether or not the kids and hubby are around!!! :0)

  20. De-lurking commenced:

    Hi Authoress - Thank you for this wonderful blog; and to contribute to your collection of good news from blog readers: I just got an agent for my YA novel this morning - best wake up call I've ever received!! Your site has been a wonderful inspiration for my writing. Thanks to you and thanks to all the writers who post and critique here!

  21. Congrats, adrcremer! All the best on the submission process.

  22. When I mentioned on my Facebook page that I had won recognition in a Secret Agent contest, several friends gave me words of encouragement. I feel very supported. People are work are demanding to see my pages before I have done any editing. Day in, day out I continue to produce. It's not my time yet, but I will arrive.

  23. Congrats on the agent, adrcremer!

    I love rain and storms, when it isn't also 33F and likely to freeze on me. :P (Thus, I prefer them in May.)

    Career... yeah. I think of my writing as semi-career oriented. I'm fine with the term and concept, just not actively pushing the 'edit/submit' side of it as much when it comes to novels. Am trying with shorts...

    Gah. I need coffee but am too lazy to make any. :P


  24. I'm de-lurking too :)

    I just found your blog and I love it. There is so much great advice and all the comments seem very supportive, while making great points. I feel like I've learned a lot.

    It's rainy here too and I agree it's prefect tea and writing weather.

  25. Thank you, thank you! Such a great post--I hate it when people call my passion a "hobby" (especially when I admit to being pre-published).


  26. Your blog is a career booster and you're right...if we want to be taken seriously, we have to think of writing as a career. This year when I signed my income tax return, I put "writer" as my occupation. And that felt good.

  27. Officially de-lurking. What a great post!!! Love the setting too. Rain is great and coffee is my best mate.
    Thanks for the good read and inspiration.

  28. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and know exactly what you mean about the rain...nothing quite beats it. And I've recently discovered the joys of coffee.

    Oh, and hello!