Anyone who works for themselves, especially from their home, knows that life often creates unexpected challenges, and most of us know that moving through transitions is only to be expected. But it isn't always easy.
A writer will go through several transitions in his or her career. First, they must transition from hobbyist to professional. This means they must treat their writing as a career, as if they're making money already. They must model success and see themselves as a professional writer, so that others see them that way. This transition starts in the mind.
It's one thing to dream the dream of being a bestselling published author, but it's a whole other ballgame to actually pursue it. A writer must first prepare for this transition. This means taking writing courses, perfecting the craft of writing and getting their work critiqued by others. Writers must also prepare by learning everything they can about the book industry. What's happening today? What are publishers looking for?
The next transition is accepting that you most likely need help to get where you want to be. You'll need a publisher and possibly an agent. Or you could decide to self-publish. Even then, you'll need help. In this stage, you'll want to make connections and network with other authors, publishers, agents, marketing coaches, editors, etc.
Transitions may be nerve-wracking at times, but they can also be exciting. Once you've secured an agent, you've transitioned into another level, one where people take you more seriously and where you have a partner who is invested in your career. Once you have a publisher, you have another team player who wants to see you succeed.
Becoming a published author will have its ups and downs. Being a published author has them too. You'll learn to transition from solitary writer to shameless self-promoter. You have to--if you want to succeed in this industry. Promotion, like anything else, is something you can learn, even if you're a shy introvert, like I used to be.
In recent months the greatest transition for most authors has been the sudden shift into ebooks, and the ease of publishing ebooks on your own, without a publisher or agent. Yes, the times are a-changin'. And they're not going to wait for you to catch up. Right now, authors and publishers can jump on the ebook train or risk the chance of missing it or being lost in the crowd.
A writer's life is always in a state of transition, simply because we never know what's going to happen next. Will a film producer contact you out of the blue and make a film offer? Will an agent ask to see a manuscript? Will a publisher offer you a two book deal?
I've learned to roll with these transitions, to deal with them as they happen. As long as I'm moving forward, the transition is a good one. The writing world is changing rapidly and life as a writer is exciting and unpredictable. I wouldn't have it any other way. I love a good mystery!
Please help me celebrate one of my transitions--my move from Cheryl Kaye Tardif, writer of suspense thrillers, to Cherish D'Angelo, writer of steamy romantic suspense.
Lancelot's Lady by Cherish D'Angelo:
A Bahamas holiday from dying billionaire JT Lance, a man with a dark secret, leads palliative nurse Rhianna McLeod to Jonathan, a man with his own troubled past, and Rhianna finds herself drawn to the handsome recluse, while unbeknownst to her, someone with a horrific plan is hunting her down.
Lancelot's Lady is available in ebook edition at KoboBooks, Amazon's Kindle Store, Smashwords and other ebook retailers. "Cherish the romance..."
You can learn more about Lancelot's Lady and Cherish D'Angelo (aka Cheryl Kaye Tardif) at http://www.cherishdangelo.com and http://www.cherylktardif.blogspot.com.
What transitions have you made recently, and how do you feel about them?