Day: September 3, 2017
Current Job: job I currently hold, better known as, soon-to-be-author
OK, so I’m not famous right now, but a boy can dream!
Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) that provides more in depth knowledge about me.
- Weeks 1 – 5: Primary ethnicity groups and nationalities
- Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
- Weeks 11 – 15: Colors with an important meaning
- Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived
The current set of 5 Sundays covers the major groups of roles / jobs / positions I’ve held over my career. Though I have had about fifteen titles over the years, when I broke it down into smaller groups, week five is all about the job I currently hold: AUTHOR.
When I first organized this series of Sunday posts, I thought I’d end with the last one (technology), but I decided “a look to the future” was more important than a “summary of the past.” I had a post months ago with the word ‘writer‘ and don’t want to repeat myself. In that one, I talked about the steps a writer goes through. Today, I want to discuss the type of author I plan to be, as well as what I believe the role of an author should be among the crowd of a very saturated field full of brilliance.
Every job has a purpose and a client. Nobody works without a reason or without someone to serve. It’s easy when you have a boss who guides your goals and work ethic. It’s not so easy when you are on your own trying to figure it out, or worse yet, have hundreds of people to satisfy. As an author, you are tasked with delivering a little bit of everything to a variety of personalities with a limitless set of perspectives and opinions. It can be quite scary or it can be very fulfilling. When I think about why I want to be an author, it’s fairly simple. I enjoy making people happy. And people includes myself.
As I go about my business each day, from cooking to mailing a letter, my mind is always active. I see characters, hear conversations, conjure up conflict. All because I am highly creative when it comes to building a world for other people. It’s almost like auto-pilot in some respects. When you have a physical or tangible job, you often don’t focus on each step, whether it’s lift the bucket, mix in the cement, pour the water, spread the paste… whatever it is you are doing as part of your job. It’s the same for me as an author. My fingers hit the keys. The pen releases ink. The words get saved. And somehow, a few hours later, there’s a finished chapter full of fantastic and not-so-fantastic content. It’s not as if I’m consciously typing away, thinking about every little word. Sometimes a character shows up with green eyes, and when I read it later, I wonder how did I decide on that? I didn’t stop while I was writing to say, “should they be blue or green?” When I edit, I might stumble upon a theme where I consciously change descriptions to present a more holistic image. But during that initial draft, it sometimes happens without me even knowing it.
In reality, I do know it. I know it because when I put the garbage out last night, I might have seen a green box in the recycle bin and stored it away for later use. It happens all the time. I heard a word someone says on the street and it shows up in dialogue the next morning. I feel a pain in my leg while working out and somehow incorporate that into a scene the following week. Things just happen for authors. At least for this author. It’s a beautiful thing, but no more beautiful than all the efforts everyone else puts in to complete their jobs day-in and day-out. What’s different for an author is figuring out how to make your readers happy. And that’s the important part for me. As much as I want to get some praise, build an amazing piece of literature or earn money, those are never the first things that come to mind when I think about why I want to be an author.
People need a break from life. They need to be entertained. They need to find knowledge. They need alternative opinions. They need to be inspired. They need to feel loved. They need to cry. They need to know things might not be okay at first but there’s always a tomorrow to look forward to. When I started the 365 Daily Challenge, and it was about my own thoughts and future, I was a little bit nervous to share so much about who I am. While I’m basically a good person, I have made mistakes, hurt others and failed to do the right thing. But so has everyone else. And so have the characters jumping from my head and on to the pages you read. And that’s where it comes together for me. I want my writing to speak to people in a way they didn’t know they needed. I want someone to find hope in their own struggles by seeing what happens to another person. I want to find inspiring words to help people figure out how to move forward with every aspect of their day. It might seem odd, but it’s what runs through my mind as I develop plot, setting and character descriptions.
When I’m officially published in less than two months, I feel I have a responsibility to carry this effort forward not only as a writer but as an author. And there’s a difference in those two words, at least for me. A writer creates fiction and non-fiction. But an author is someone who gives his/her life to their readers in a way that establishes a relationship. I want to be able to interact with readers, hear ideas, understand what they like and dislike. I enjoy getting messages across all the social media platforms making connections with people through every medium possible. Life is too short to sit in a locked room for hours every day, writing and writing until you get to the point that you have a brilliant piece of work, but no one to read it, to feel it, to embrace it… to share it with.
My goal as an author is to publish 3 books per year. That’s a lot. But I’ve always been an over-achiever. It takes me about 2 months to write and 2 months to outline and edit. At that rate, I could be successful in reaching the 3-book goal. Maybe it’ll be 5 every two years just to play it safe. In between, there is so much more. From networking to building a bridge with readers, not just online but in person. And for me, it can’t ever be about sitting in a bookstore signing a copy and saying “next.” That’s not who I am. I’d rather sell less books and meet people more frequently. I’d rather make enough money to survive and be happy before earning millions simply because people flock to it. What good is it to me if someone reads the book and I don’t know how they felt about it? I know I can’t connect with every reader, but I’ll certainly go as far as I possibly can with trying to.
And I hope some day to expand beyond fiction. Sure, I can write a mystery or romance or fantasy novel if I set my mind to it. But what if I can cross platforms through something that both helps people navigate their day and tells them a remarkable story. I woke up the other morning thinking about a book I feel the need to write. It’s basically “The Adventures & Lessons of X.” We are all “X” in this novel. Like the 365 Daily Challenge, it would be a frequent and regular story full of characters just like us, but with an opportunity to show people the brighter side of life. And I feel like that’s what could set me apart from being just “another writer” versus “an author who make a difference.” And I mean no offense to writers in the former description. They are brilliant and valuable for everything they deliver. But that’s not who I am. My mind is already plotting out the next iteration of the 365 Daily Challenge. I think it needs to be an electronic-only installment series based on fictional characters who go through life, facing the challenges we all face. Maybe meant to start with someone in teenage years, learning all about how to live the best life possible. Not a self-help book. Not a list of things to do. A shared connection between me and readers that helps us all find someone to relate to on many levels.
Perhaps I make no sense. Perhaps this resonates. In the end, the only truth I want to get across here is that my greatest hope in this new and hopefully final role of my career, which will extend for a very long time, as an author, is to truly deliver what readers want to receive. With that, I’ll sign off, as I’ve gotten more philosophical than I planned. Thank you for listening and being so incredibly supportive. I am blessed.
About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”
I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.
The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.
Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.