We Alumni talk. We began this journey so long ago, spent time here at NAF growing with each other, and now six of us have made it to the other side. In just a couple months, four of us will have two books under our belts.
We’ve learned a lot about the way things are. I’VE learned a lot.
I’ve learned that the second book doesn’t have as much time to be polished as the first. But at the same time, the second book comes out just a little cleaner first time through. I’ve learned that your “first” child is always the one you’re most partial to. I know parents aren’t supposed to have favorites…but when it comes to writers, you just don’t have as much time to build attachments beyond your first book.
I’ve learned that fans are awesome, though I’m still not quite sure why they read my stuff. And reviews are like Bertie Botts…you never know when you pop one in if it’s going to make you smile or cringe.
I’ve learned that being an author is hard, even if writing isn’t quite as much. There’s so much expected of an author…demanded even, that it can be overwhelming. Especially if you’re with an indie publisher.
I’ve learned that making a career out of writing is a near impossible task…one which I’m willing to struggle for.
To the unpublished writers out there, let me offer you this little glimpse behind the curtain. Look around you. Find the writers that are on your level. That is your “class.” One day, many of you will graduate, if you stick with it. And it will be a joyous day. It will be the culmination of many years of hard work.
But graduating on that scale only means you enter into a higher level of education. School isn’t over…it’s just begun.
Writers fight to break the glass ceiling of publication, only to find another one looming just beyond, like salmon who struggle up one waterfall, only to discover an even larger one just upstream.
I’m not sure how to get beyond the glass ceiling of career writing…most of us Alumni are trying to figure that out. But I know I want to. It’s the next step…the next graduating moment. What glass ceilings lie beyond that? I don’t know. I’ll let you know if I ever find out.