I’ve been an author for quite a long time. In that time, I’ve noticed that not many people have any respect for authors unless they are outrageously famous & make millions a year. Even then, the respect isn’t very deep. It’s rather superficial & sometimes not even true respect, but envy, because people admire their ability to make so much money while having what is considered such an easy job, or not even a “real job” at all.
If you’re an author, like the bulk of us who aren’t outrageously famous & don’t make millions per year, probably you have had a similar experience to me. When someone asks what line of work I’m in, & I say author, they often look disappointed. Sometimes they say things like, “Must be nice to make a living just playing on a computer all day”, or “Anyone can claim to be an author.. have you published anything?” They also may say they think we need to write a book about some topic that is important to them or that we should include them in our next book. Many people also have no respect for an author’s time. They think writing can be interrupted at any time, failing to realize that authors get in a “groove” & need to focus on writing at the time of that groove because that is when our writing is at its best.
Can you imagine talking to someone in another field this same way? Imagine telling a doctor how to do his job when you have zero knowledge of anatomy or medicine or telling a teacher her job is so easy, anyone can do it, even though you have no experience teaching anyone anything. Yet, this is how people routinely talk to authors.
People just see finished products, & seem to think they just magically happen. They don’t realize that there is a tremendous amount of work & so many details that go into being an author. It’s not just some silly little hobby that anyone can do. It takes way more than a couple of hours to create a book. There is a lot of work that goes into writing, formatting, cover design & marketing when you self publish like I do. Or, if you use a traditional publisher, there are different pressures but plenty of them nonetheless. You first must find a publisher who wants to publish your work, & decide whether or not to hire an agent. Then once you have a publisher, there are deadlines, book signings & other pressures to deal with as well as watching someone else edit your book & possibly change it into something that you barely recognize as your own work.
If you’re an author, I just want you to know I respect what you do. It’s not an easy job or one people respect, but is a rewarding one.
If you write fiction, I truly admire you! That is such an impressive skill! You clearly have a great imagination but you also have the ability to turn your imagination into written words that people want to read. That takes a lot of talent! It must be so satisfying to see that idea or dream turn into a book.
If you write nonfiction, I admire you just as much! Writing nonfiction takes a lot of time because you must learn all you can on a topic. Then you must take what you learned & write it down in such a way as to be easy for readers to understand without talking down to people. That isn’t an easy feat.
I just wanted to let you know today that if you’re an author, no matter what other people think or how little respect they may have for your profession, I think you’re doing something pretty special! Ignore the disrespectful people & be proud of yourself for doing a job that isn’t easy & brings a lot of good into the world!