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Writer vs. Author. Which one am I?

Being a writer versus being an author.

I didn’t realize there was a difference until I began my second career as a professional writer. Sorry, professional author.

I have been a writer for a long time. I wrote fanfiction; I wrote books and stories I never published. Writing was a hobby. I never thought much beyond that, even though I posted my fanfiction on various sites. Once it was posted, I was done. If people read it, great. If they didn’t, well, that kind of sucked. But I was really only writing to entertain myself and get the stories that played on a constant loop out of my head. I posted them because it was fun.

I was a writer.

All of that changed when I took on the mantle of soon-to-be-published writer. I became an author.

According to the publishing world, if your work has been published you are an author. With book number one coming out soon, I guess that makes me an author.

There is a difference, especially in the mindset one develops. It didn’t occur to me that now my writing is a second job, not until my husband casually mentioned that I had two jobs one day. I stared at him for a second, not quite getting it, then it clicked.

I am an author. I have a second job. As a writer. The dream came true.

This has changed the way I approach writing in a number of ways. First and foremost, when writing was a hobby, if I chose not to write, it wasn’t a big deal. I could go days or weeks without writing and it was okay. Now, if I skip a day of writing, I feel a tiny twinge of guilt.

That has forced me to put myself on a schedule. I have a daily writing goal of 500 words. Most days I hit it, some days I don’t. My weekly goal is 3500 (500 x 7 – look I did math). I try to hit that as well, so if some days I don’t write 500 words, I make it up on other days. I’ve been pretty good at making my weekly goal.

I’ve also become a lot more critical of my writing. I put it through multiple edits before I send it to my betas and even more edits before I send it to my publisher’s editor. Once upon a time, I used to read it a couple times and then post it. Not anymore.

I’m also more conscientious of my time. I try to work on all aspects of being an author – marketing, editing, brainstorming, research, reading, and writing. Again, I set daily and weekly goals for myself and I track it in this amazing tool called The Author’s Accountability Planner (available for purchase here). If you want a book to keep you on track and accountable, this is the one. I highly recommend it.

I’ve gone through a lot of personal and professional changes in the last six months. Changes that are making me a better person and hopefully, a better writer.

A better author.

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NaNoWriMo Update 11/23/20

Ah, NaNoWriMo both drives me crazy and excites me at the same time! I love NaNo because it motivates me to write, but I stress because I’m not sure I’ll hit that elusive 50,000 word mark. The struggle is real.

The good news is, I finished the first draft of Run Away Home, book one of my Loves of Lakeside series. It sits at just over 29,000 words, which gives me a lot of room to edit. I’m “shelving” it for now and will begin revisions in December.

I also started book two of my Loves of Lakeside series, an untitled piece that goes deeper into the town and the people who live there. I’m very excited about this series and the possibilities I see in Lakeside.

I hope everyone is doing well and having a safe November!

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NaNoWriMo Starts Tomorrow!

I’m ready to go. I think. 😂

I’m a Plantser, part plotter, part pantser. I know where I want to get to and I kind of know how I want to get there, now I have to do it. I have notes, I have ideas, I have an endgame. For me, getting there is half the battle.

Book one of Loves of Lakeside is waiting to be written. Twenty-five thousand words is my goal for book one. That’s half of my NaNoWriMo goal. If I can get there, I can start book two of Second Chances in Hollywood.

Good luck to anyone who is participating!

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Hello, World! I’m Mimi. And I’m a Writer

According to some people, I’m old. Far too old to be venturing into any kind of alternative career path, or trying to make a name for myself. I’ve even been told I’m too old to write the things I write. Maybe that discouraged me, put me on a path of self-imposed mediocrity. I bought into the idea that I was too old to do something new.

Fate stepped in and made me choose another path. I was ready to try something new.

Or, like Master Yoda says, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

So, I decided to “do”. I wrote earlier how I submitted my writing to a publisher. I figured “why not?” The worst they can do is say no. It’s not like I haven’t been through rejection before. Even if nothing comes of it, at least I can say I did it.

I emailed off the first ten-thousand words of one of my finished books, held my breath, and waited.

When the email came back, I stared at it on my phone for a full five minutes before opening it. I couldn’t stand the thought of being rejected, even though I had prepared myself for the rejection. That didn’t mean I wanted to see it, in black and white, staring back at me. No one wants a rejection, even if you know it’s going to happen.

I opened the email.

They didn’t say no. They said yes.

The last month has been a whirlwind. I’m going slightly crazy with all the thoughts in my head, the possibilities, the opportunities. For the first time, people in my world, my “every-day-go-to-work-nine-to-five-act-normal world” know that I’m a writer. Once upon a time, only a few people knew I wrote. Not anyone I worked with. It had taken years to tell my family members I was a writer. There are still a few who don’t know. But all of that is changing. I can finally say it.

I’m a writer.