So my agent and I just went through a pretty intense round of edits on "Before White." She went through my first book with a fine-tooth comb, admitting she was being picky, but tearing the book to pieces. She gave me a ton of suggestions for places to improve grammatically, character motivation, showing things (holy cow I told a lot I should have shown back when I wrote this!), and, most importantly to me, showing me places to cut things down.
In the end, the book is about 10,000 words shorter than it was and much more streamlined. Chapters have been moved, events are now SHOWN and not told, and hopefully the grammatical mistakes are corrected. I will admit there were a few changes made I didn't quite understand the purpose of (such as rewording some sentences), but I went along with her suggestions since everything else seemed to be so right on the money.
She has the book back now and is reviewing it for any final changes. She'll then write a query letter and try to get the book out in front of publishers. Caitie has often joked that it would be something if we managed to sell this book after all the other writing and attempts haven't succeeded. I sincerely hope she's right and we can get my writing career going.
And I'm so ready to get it going. We've discussed numerous possibilities for what my future holds, and ultimately the one career I feel I most want to do is to become a professional writer. Being able to set my own hours to write is very appealing. I don't mind being on deadlines - I'm great with deadlines. If anything (and I would guess Rachael would agree with this) I work too quickly more often than not. The idea of going to writing panels and seminars, speaking in front of schools or bookstores or what have you sounds like a ton of fun. Yeah, I know the traveling would be hard, but I think it would be exciting and an adventure - something my current career certainly lacks.
I think the idea of signing books looks like fun. My wrist will hurt, sure, and I'll get sick of it after a while I'm sure, but I don't know that meeting fans and meeting people who are excited to read my stuff would ever get boring.
Being a media presence on twitter and a blog and Facebook? I could absolutely do that. It sounds like it might be frustrating in terms of balancing time, but I tend to write in spurts anyway. There's no reason I couldn't do that as well, and do it fully.
As for the money, certainly I would hope to be able to sustain myself on what I get from writing and from any fees accrued through speaking. If I need a part time job to support myself, freelance writing or some other job wouldn't be too terrible until such a time as writing could be my focus. It might be difficult for a little while for us, but it's better than complaining about work every day, is it not?
Am I missing anything else a writer would have to do? Is there some aspect of the job that I'm not getting? Is there any reason that I shouldn't have this as my dream? Is it unattainable for me? I certainly hope not...
I certainly hope not.