You see a lot of it on Twitter, well, certainly the bits where I hang around. I think I currently follow about two hundred or so “aspiring authors”. Why? Probably because I like knowing that there isn’t just one person out there as insane as me, there’s stacks of them! We all want to be published and, preferrably, get paid for it too.
To be honest, I feel like I’m not even a proper aspiring author. Of course, the key word is “aspiring” – technically it means we aspire to be authors, not that we aspire to be published authors. But my brain has translated it to mean “authors that are published, either traditionally or by themselves, and make money at it”. At a pinch I can make it mean “authors who write as well as do other things”. Which is possibly quite a lot to ask of one word, but there you go.
I joined Rachael Harrie’s Second Writers’ Platform-Building Crusade, which I now think was a mistake. Not because you have to follow and actively take part in a lot of blogs in order to fulfill the spirit of the crusade, although it is time-consuming and I’m not very good at it. No, I’m regretting it because there are so many authors on there with things like “So I submitted my third contracted book today – hope the editor likes it” or “I just got an agent – SQUEEEEEEEEEEE” or “I have published 2 books with XYZ Publishing and am currently working on my nth contracted book”.
For someone who hasn’t even submitted anything to an agent, let alone have one, and who has never published anything at all anywhere, the SWPB Crusade is a rather scary place to be. I found out this morning that in order to qualify for prizes in last week’s challenge you have to follow every Crusader’s blog. I got through about thirty of them before having to take a break. These people are scary! They blog, they write, they query and they submit – they also do it while looking after thirteen Vietnamese orphans, eighteen zebras and two aliens from the planet Oogaboo (also often referred to as “children”).
These are the aspiring authors that I think of as being successful. They have lives! As well as the writing! My critique partner homeschools her five children and is ill and is still writing! Is it really any wonder I feel inadequate?
After all this stress I took my single, childless self off to look for chocolate. Which I don’t have any of and can’t buy because I forgot I don’t get paid today, I get paid on Monday. This weekend the International Bank of Mother will be buying my chocolate. I hope. I bet those other successful aspiring authors don’t have to get loans from the IBM to buy their chocolate…