here. Beth used this method to query with a 50% full request rate before signing with Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency.
Today author Anna Silver is here to tell us about the perks of being an author. Take it away, Anna.
I’ve been a writer a long time, though I’ve been a published author only for a short while. The OTHERBORN series has been such a blessing in my life and writing is what I love to do. It has its benefits and its drawbacks, but here are just a few, in no certain order, of the things I love about being an author most.
1. Speaking your truth
Even if you write fiction, there is a little heart and soul in every word, and a little piece of you embedded in every character. Every book is an opportunity to speak your truth, to share some part of yourself or your experience with the world at large. And there is nothing like the feeling of being vividly, fundamentally who you are. It’s terrifying, it’s exhilarating, and it’s something I live every day.
I think this supremely important faculty is sadly underrated in our world. I tell my children, imagination is the hallmark of true genius. Nothing happens in this world—art, music, or invention—that wasn’t imagined first. If we have a divine link, it’s our imagination, because it is our creative heritage. As a writer, I get to tap into this magic daily as part of my job. It’s become expected of me, and I love doing it.
This may seem superficial, but try it and you’ll understand. No pantyhose. No uptight, starchy business suits. No teetering heels. Just me, a cup of coffee, my favorite yoga pants, and a giant t-shirt. That’s my uniform. Comfort cannot be overrated.
4. Being your own boss
Author aren’t 100% their own boss. We do have people we have to answer to—agents, editors, readers. But ultimately, we get to call a lot of the shots. And certainly, we never have to deal with someone trying to micromanage us. There is nothing I hate worse than someone coming between me and my work, telling me how to do it. So, I love this perk. If I want to write from midnight to 3:00 a.m.—I can. If I want to take a nap in the middle of my work day and catch up later—I can. Most of the time, I get to be my own boss, and I’m pretty awesome to work for.
I don’t know a writer who didn’t fall in love with reading first. Imagine taking your favorite leisure activity and making it your job. Basically, I can’t write if I’m not reading. At least not well. So, that makes reading a genuine part of my job. If I want to write well, I must be reading. Nobody chastises me for having my nose stuck in a book anymore. In fact, they want it there. Sheer awesome.
There’s this whole aspect of being an author nobody tells you about until you get your first book deal, and it’s called promo. It boils down to promoting your own work. Which, for many of us, isn’t what we want to be doing. I’m an introvert, so social gatherings aren’t my favorite thing. But the cool part is that when I do signings or cons or something of the like, I get to hang with the best people on earth: readers. I heart readers, big time. They’re my peeps. It’s made promo one of the best parts of my job instead of one of the worst.
What’s that saying? Physician, heal thyself? Well, writing is a serious self-help method. I am an HSP, highly sensitive person (it’s a real thing, look it up). That means I get all the feels, all the time, in a big way. It kind of sucked when I was growing up. I didn’t always have the words for what I was going through, and I was often misunderstood. Plus, it was constant upkeep to hold the emotional tide in. Writing is an awesome release. I get to pour my guts onto the page and let it go. Probably, without writing, I would have ended up as something tragic—like a sociopath or a street vendor.
8. Tax write-offs
This one sounds lame. I know. But whoever told you all writers were independently wealthy was either lying or delusional. This is one of those jobs that often pays you in a lot of other ways besides money, like validation and creative expression. Unfortunately, my mortgage company doesn’t accept creative expression. So, I have discovered the beauty of the tax write-off. I save receipts the way hoarders save old newspapers. Hopefully, I don’t get audited after this guest post!
Self expression is one of those things I value highly. I’ve tried to work places where I wasn’t allowed to really be myself and was expected to conform to a mold. They make me insane. Literally. I can’t do it. Remember I mentioned being HSP? Yeah, well I need to let my geek flag fly high, or else I spontaneously combust. I have to embrace the things that inspire me to keep creating. As an author, I’m not only allowed to be as eccentric as I want to be, it’s kind of expected.
10. Did I mention imagination???
I know I already said this one, but it bears repeating. When I go to work, I go to some magical place in my head where anything is possible and everyone does what I want them to. If I didn’t have this job, they’d probably lock me in a padded cell. The best part is, everyone else really wants to go to that place too, but most people are too afraid or they’ve been taught that it’s childish and silly. The truth is, it’s available to all, and it’s absolutely critical to our development individually and collectively. There is no quality more valuable, to my way of thinking, than an active, exercised imagination. No matter who you are or what you do.