However, once I rediscovered a long-forgotten love a writing, all sense of normalcy flew out the window. Thankfully. I've already recapped how I began writing in my column In the Beginning. What I didn't talk about was the "luck" you need to actually make it in this crazy business.
Here are just a few (of many) things that require luck when you decide to become an "author":
Defining your niche. Being able to decide which genre best suits your style of writing. This is something I've never been able to fully define, despite my years in the business, and why...as my tagline says...I jump across romance genres with gleeful abandon. However, that said, deciding on single genre is a better strategy to build a long-term audience. The luck comes in picking the right one and running with it.
Finding an agent. Back when I began writing, agents weren't a necessity. For those of us who have been writing a long time without one, they are still not an absolute. For a new writer who aspires to a big publishing career, finding a partner representative is crutial.
Discovering your strengths. Sometimes we stumble over them. Sometimes they come naturally based on past life experiences. I have no medical knowledge, other than from twenty-odd years in a totally administrative position. I'd never want to write a medical thriller. However, I can write the gritty behind-the-scenes stuff with competence, humor, and creativity.
Repeating a "ground floor" experience for a second time. No matter how a career has progressed, getting in at the beginning of a new venture is always exciting. I was one of the first authors to be published by The Wild Rose Press when they opened their doors over 14 years ago. I was also a year-one author with Entangled Publishing. I still write for both and am eternally grateful for their ongoing support.
Finally, and most importantly, finding a great group of authors and readers with whom you can dish on nearly any subject. I feel fortunate to have discovered the Gems and for having the opportunity to reach out each month on this blog.
Despite the hard work and moments of doubt, there is no more rewarding career (other than family) than being a writer. We have the power to reach out and touch people in a very profound and entertaining way. And, if that's not "luck", I don't know what is.
Until next month ... stay lucky !!