Monday, August 3, 2009

Getting ahead of myself

Well, I prefer to think of it as being prepared for the future.

Because my family is my priority, I try to think of the best possible scenario for my success as a published author in relation to them.

What does success truly mean to me? I look at the craziness that surrounds someone like Stephenie Meyer, and have to ask if that's what I want. The answer is an easy no.

I choose her as a comparison, not because I think I can write cocaine-laced prose (I think she's a fabulously addictive storyteller), but because she's a mom who ended up with a crazy best-seller, and you can't have that kind of success without it taking a huge toll on your family.

It's important to have some idea of how far a person is willing to go with promoting, etc. Without a plan, it's too easy to be taken by surprise. Before I have time to realize, something important will have been compromised.

Another example I see is Aprilynne Pike, whose recent blog post confirmed my suspicions. You really can't have a huge amount of success without sacrificing something. Let's face it - it's usually family time. Kids are extremely vulnerable to these sorts of changes, and will act out.

Shoot, I know that even though I'm at home 24/7, that if we don't make an effort to be together as a family, the kids are cranky, the parents are crabby, and the underlying peace that ought to be there goes out the window.

I can't live like that.

So, does that mean I can't be a very successful author? I certainly hope not!

In fact, thanks to the examples of other mom-writers, I am in a better position to judge what will work for me. I think it's great that Aprilynne and Stephenie both have a husband who can be there full time for the kids while they toil away at those future best-sellers.

It just wouldn't work for me, because I know that I need to be with my kids just as much as they need me. My husband doesn't have that need and would likely go crazy if he had to be with the kids non-stop.

That's why my plan includes writing with the kids around. If I can't write in the middle of the chaos, and be there for the kids in a way that I'm comfortable with, then I may as well not write at all.

Of course, going on tour for a book is going to take me away (remember, I'm envisioning future success...). I have plans for that too...but that's another post for another time :)

That's why it's good to put the cart before the horse a little bit. It gives me a chance to develop a plan for success that includes the needs of my family in a way that I can be happy.

And I owe it all to the highly successful mom-authors who are (hopefully) living their dream!



Stephanie Faris said...

I've always said I just want to make enough to have a comfortable living and be able to write full-time. I was in a forum where my blog was quite popular and it gave me a taste of the backlash that comes from writing for a daily readership of thousands. I just don't think it's worth it. It was almost painful at times to read the things people wrote about me...then there was comment spam and nasty comments. And that's just a SMALL taste of what a Stephenie Meyer goes through. We just see the good side of her life...she puts up with a whole lot of crap being as popular as she is.

Tracy said...

I'm sorry you had to go through that, Stephanie. That's not something anyone should have to deal with.