Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lori Handeland: 10 Myths About Writing

Like almost author I’ve ever met, I began life as a voracious reader. As a kid, my teachers asked me to “please quit doing book reports.” I did at least three times as many reports as everyone else--and those were only of the books I felt were worthy.

In the summers I’d ride my bike to the library and have a hard time getting all the books I checked out home on the bike. I made lists (still do!) of the books I’ve read with a colored check mark to reveal what I thought of them.

I read every “how to write” book I found, every writing magazine, every article on authors I could find. I loved hearing about how they did what they did. And still, I didn’t have a clue about how things worked in this business.

Here are 10 myths about being a writer that I discovered once I became published:

1. The books featured on the covers of the review magazines receive that exalted space because they are “the best.” (They're paid for.)

2. Author quotes are completely unbiased. (They're usually given by friends, or requested by an author's editor or agent.)

3. Professional writers make so much money they can quit their day jobs and their night jobs too. (The majority of professional writers do not earn a living wage. They do this "on the side.")

4. Once an author breaks into the publishing industry, they’re in for good. (Every book is judged for its own merit.)

5. Authors are instant celebrities. (There is not instant in publishing.)

6. Oprah will call. (She won't. Stop waiting.)

7. The books on the displays at the front of the bookstore are “the best.” (This is also paid for.)

8. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling; that’s what an editor does. (If an editor receives a submission that is poorly written, she stops reading. She barely has time to read it; she isn't going to correct it too.)

9. Your checks will arrive on time. (Do checks ever arrive on time?)

10. Once you’re published, rejections are a thing of the past. (I received more rejections AFTER I was published than I ever did before.)

And here are 10 things about being a writer that make every busted myth irrelevant.

1. The call (I will always remember October 5, 1993 at 12:05. Always.)

2. When you see your cover for the first time. (This is actually cool EVERY single time no matter how many books you write.)

3. Gushing editors (This never get old.)

4. Your book on a shelf in the bookstore. (I still take pictures.)

5. Reader letters (They make everything better.)

6. Writing Friends (I have very few friends who aren't writer friends anymore. They understand.)

7. Writing Conferences (PARTY!)

8. Making any money at all for something you’d do for free. (Don’t tell!)

9. Being able to say, “I’m a writer,” when asked what you “do.” (The expressions on people's faces are priceless.)

10. The book, the book, the book. (Every one is different. With every one I learn something new. I can lose myself there always.)

What are your favorite things about writing and reading? Any myths you'd like to bust for us now?

And speaking of myths--how about the Loch Ness Monster?

Next week look for a copy of my latest paranormal romance MOON CURSED (March 1, 2011) where I take a whole new look at that famous Scottish legend.

In MOON CURSED Kristin Daniels is passionate in her pursuit of the truth. As the host of the television show Hoax Hunters, she’s traveled to the ends of the earth to explore—and expose—life’s most enduring myths. Her latest undertaking is no exception: Kris is bound for Scotland, where she intends to get to the bottom of the Loch Ness Monster legend once and for all. Instead, Kris encounters something far more mysterious... For in the ruins of the lake’s Urquhart Castle lies a heavenly creature—a sleek, muscled man with a seductive brogue named Liam Grant. One look into his eyes and Kris is already in danger of falling in too deep. Is Liam for real? Or has the spell of the moon touched them both?


Dina said...

hi Lori, thanks for sharing those myths. :)

Lori Handeland said...

Anytime, Dina.

Ann said...

What a great read. Myths or no...writing is awful...wonderful...frustrating and fulfilling. Kind of like life.

Nas Dean said...

Great mythbusting! Thanks.

Lori Handeland said...

You got it, Ann!

Thanks, Nas Dean.

Pat Cochran said...

Thanks for the information! LOL
Not a writer, but a voracious
reader! One thing I've learned
recently, there's absolutely no
way I can read every book that
crosses my path! I will have to
be more selective in my choices.
That breaks my heart because I
enjoy the works of so many excel-
lent authors.

Pat Cochran

Mary said...

Loved reading this. I can't wait to read your next book! Big, big fan :)

I remember when I was younger thinking that people who wrote books must be millionaires because the books are just that good. lol

Lori Handeland said...

Pat-you should see my TBR pile. And now that I have a Kindle, the books are piling up there too, but at least they aren't falling onto the ground. It's sad. I need a little more control too, but I haven't found it.

Mary-Thanks! So glad you've enjoyed my books.

Michele L. said...

Hi Lori,

LOL! My TBR pile is 500 or more deep. Control? What control? I figure I will retire someday and will have all the time in the world to read books! :-)

I love anything about the Loch Ness Monster. Definitely will be buying your book, Lori! Not only for the myth interwoven in your plot but just because you are such a fantastic writer! Love your books! I am a huge fan!