Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal

The Wolf Princess by Karen Whiddon

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Writing Life

A lot of people (non-writers) have a lot of misconceptions about professional writers.  Last year, I quit my office job to write full time.  Since then, my friend and family's responses have run the gamut from thinking I should be wearing diamond tiara's to asking how much I pay to get my books published.  When I say that the publisher pays ME, they look astounded.  (That just happened to me yesterday, so it's fresh in my mind.)

Being a full time writer is a lot like any other full time job, except you don't have a reliable paycheck schedule.  Royalties are generally only paid twice a year and the other payments are an advance, which is payable in thirds - 1/3 for signing the contract, 1/3 for turning in a synopsis which must be approved, and 1/3 for turning in (and revising until it is also approved), the finished book.

This all works very well until something happens to mess up the well oiled machine.  Sometimes editors get busy and take a loooong time to approve a synopsis (recently I had one take 3 months, between revising and resubmitting).  Your check gets delayed and never mind that your electric bill is due.  So you've got to have a back up plan for finances.

But on the whole, I love writing full time.  I have no excuses - absolutely none - for not making a deadline.  I can structure my time how I want to, not work around a day job and exercise and TV time with the hubby, and all that.  I get to spend time with my dogs, write outside if the weather is nice, and my stress level has gone WAY down.  Yesss!  (Fist bump here).

There is a lot to occupy my time that is writing related, and not just actual writing on the book.  Blogs like this one (self promotion), self-publishing backlist books (designing covers, editing, etc), and of course revising and doing line edits and Art Fact Sheets for the covers.  

Still, I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Because end the end, I can write books like The Wolf Princess (out October 1st from Harlequin Nocturne) and the companion book The Wolf Prince (April 2013).  I adore the reader emails and letters and can't think of any other job I would want to do.   What about you?  What would be your dream job and why?