5 Truths for Newb Novelists #IWSG

Happy May IWSGers! Believe it or not, I actually started writing this post ahead of time - and then I forgot to schedule it, d'oh. Anywho, here I am now. Lately, I've been thinking about the reactions I didn't anticipate before my first novel was published back in 2010. For the benefit of any about-to-be-published-for-the-first-time authors out there, I'm sharing 5 things I didn't learn until after my first book came out.

For you experienced published authors, I'd love to know - do these "truths" hold for you, too?

1. No matter how many times you tell your friends and family that your main character isn't you, they won't believe you.

2. Once you've written and published one book, and no matter how many you publish after that, you will forever be asked, "When are you going to write a new book?"

3. You'll be amazed to learn how many people you know who've also thought about writing a book.

4. Friends who bought your book will suddenly stop making eye contact with you - because they've been busy and haven't read your book yet and probably the book isn't even their preferred genre, so you're totally cool with them not reading it, but they think you're lying, so they continue to act weird around you, enough so that when you publish your second book, you hope none of your friends buy it.

5. People in your daily life will treat you like some kind of hero or celebrity, even though all you did was indulge in your very favorite pastime ever (but let's keep that second part to ourselves so we can continue basking in the first part, eh?)

The optional question this month is about finding inspiration in spring. I really don't feel inspired by particular seasons. Places are what seem to inspire me most. Last week, I felt all kinds of creative vibes flowing amid the architecture, history, character, and beauty of New Orleans. The absinthe helped, too. ;)

This post is part of the monthly blog hop/therapy session known as Insecure Writer's Support Group, founded by the one and clonely Alex J. Cavanaugh. Click below to join the group!


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Hope you had a great time in New Orleans! I went once many years ago and thought it was amazing. :)

Crystal Collier said...

LOL! #4, YES! I honestly don't even want to know if people have read my book. I don't need to know what they think, and that's perfectly fine. Of course, if they're online, they darn well better leave a review! Hahaha.

Jennifer Lane said...

Like Crystal, I also resonated with #4! And I would add to expect more support from strangers than from friends and family. Once I accepted that this is true for many authors, I stopped feeling as hurt about it.

Hooray for some chappies coming my way soon!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Half the people I know in real life don't even know I wrote a book! But I am amazed how many say they want to write one.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing!!! These are great insights as I am just working on my first fiction. I have only written one other book, and it was about me, so I feel like my writer journey is taking on a challenging path!!! Thanks for sharing your experience :)

Chrys Fey said...

1. My family and friends don't even read my books.

2. I've never actually been asked this. Hmm...maybe I'm not "big" enough for this question. lol

3. Yeah. Many people will say they thought about writing a book or always wanted to write a book the moment they know you're a writer/published.

4. As I said in #1. None of my friends have read my books. One used to say she would, but I suspect she never got around to it.

5. Ha! Not at all. In my real life, I'm sort of looked down on for not having a real job...although I am legally disabled. :\

Carrie-Anne said...

I can relate to #4. It's nice to want to support a friend, but if you buy their book, you can at least make an effort to read and review it, or just buy it period.

Olga Godim said...

#4 - oh, yeah! #1 - never, but then, I write fantasy with magic.
I'm green with envy at your New Orleans adventure. I always wanted to visit that city. Hopefully, a new book will spring from it.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I love New Orleans. I don't know if I get asked those specific questions a lot, but the one about when is the next book....

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Yes to #4! And tell them you have published a second book and you get that look - "Ohhhh. Do I have to buy that one, too?"

Pat Garcia said...

My manuscript is in its final revision before I submit it to the NWS in the U.K. My FB reader group swears that the main character is me. No matter what I say they see me in the main character. I've learned to accept it because they won't believe me anyway.
All the best.

Shalom aleichem,
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

S.A. Larsenッ said...

I can relate to most of your '5' on some level, but #2 resonated with me the most. It's like after you have a new book released there should be fireworks and tons of relaxation that says 'You deserve a break' and 'You did a good job.' But really all I've felt after both my books released was What's next? Get moving. You're taking too long. #sigh Self pressure can be tough.

dolorah said...

It took a while for my family to get used to my "hobby" as a writer, and even longer to give it their approval when writing did not launch me to riches on the best seller lists. The first question I hear when I admit I finished a new story or got one e-published is "how much did you make off it?" And then there is the "I don't have to read it, I like it cuz you wrote it."

Ah well; some day the accolades will arrive. In the mean time, my family's lack of interest leaves me plenty of time to write :) And yes, so many people I know suddenly became aspiring writers.

I agree, some places just naturally inspire stories. I would love to visit New Orleans. I'd forget to do any writing though. I'd enjoy the atmosphere too much.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I must admit that sometimes I wonder if the main character is based on the author. For example, when I read the dedication to Judy Blume's Summer Sisters novel, she dedicated it to her real-life "summer sister". That made me think that the story was at least partly autobiographical.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Nicki,

New Orleans?! How fun! Girl, you do get around.

LOL, on the five facts! Too funny!

Are you back in CHI? In Orlando until beginning of June. Have to finish the first draft of MK before the daughter has a major anxiety attack. She is SOOOOOO into her story, which is great, BUT, I need time to filter it all through and work at my own pace. I was able to write the first draft of my second book in six weeks. But it took years of polish. This one, I want it to be a very strong first draft, so I won't have to take so much time fixing it. You know how that goes. On page 50 now. Only another 150-200 to go. LOL.

Hopefully you take a trip into the city this summer. We missed last year. LOL....

Michelle Wallace said...

Hi Nicki!
I haven't published a book, yet.
But your 5 truths have made me a little nervous. LOL
As it is, I don't say much about my writing, so it'll be even worse for me when certain 'close-minded-community-members-who-don't-venture-beyond-their-carefully-enclosed-comfort-zones' discover I have a book (one day in the future...)
Writer In Transit

Jennifer Lane said...

Looks like we both missed this month, whoops!