It’s amazing to me how many people write and no one knows it. I’m fully aware that there are a bazillion published books out there, from self published to what I call professionally published, but it always blows my mind away when people share with me that they have written a book too. I’m finding that there are many different levels of ‘being an author’.
You can be the defeated author, who writes but gives up fairly quickly when you face adversity and therefore, you leave your works unfinished, in the computer, or worst yet, the trash bin. You can be a personal author, one that writes for personal enjoyment and keeps most of your work to yourself and those close to you. You can be a trophy author, who just wants the satisfaction of having their book on a shelf somewhere, even if it’s just one copy and gathering dust. You can be a self-promoted author, one that’s willing to go out there and do your best to spread the word of your book. Then there is the professionally published author. These people are the ones that their publisher does everything for them to make them a success.
Obviously, there are other types out there that fall in between some of the extremes but in general I find these to be the main categories of authors I’ve encountered.
So, the first step you need to take is to decide what kind of an author you want to be. Each level has its challenges and its rewards but you will need to decide where you want to end up in the process before you can know which direction to invest your energy. And trust me, going forward with a book will take energy. It’s not an easy process, so if you are content to keep your works private, that is absolutely acceptable. But please, let others share in your talent and enjoy the works you’ve written.
If you have decided you want to do more than private writing, decide how committed you want to be to the process and then you can go to the next critical step: editing.