I knew today would be a light writing day. This morning, I went to Branson, an hour ride, to be at the Taney Hills Library Author Day, a book signing event.
A dozen authors of widely different genres, including some of us Jack Masters types who write in many genres, attended.
We each had to bring our own table and chair. I only had a TableMate, so my horizontal space was limited. So what did I do? Go vertical.
Thankfully, I have a plastic display stand I used for my books. This gave me hight. I also have a plastic sign stand, which let me advertise a bit. I put out a bowl of licorice for people to take, in honor of the plot twists in my stories.
Even though I have written several books and contributed chapter, poems and short stories s to over two dozen more, I don't think of myself as a seasoned writer. I'm always working to improve my stories, and I'm involved with a number of superior authors with many more books and much more experience than I.
Sure, I have many dozens of articles published and materials all over the web and I write in different genres, but still, I'm always seeking to improve my writing, to go deeper into my characters, to pack more into as few words as possible. I don't often take top prizes in writing contests. I never feel good enough.
I met William Leverne Smith, an author with a half dozen or so novels, a couple s hort story collections, and loads of online stories, at the Author's Day. We talked about the difference between those of us with numerous books and the one-book authors.
I hadn't thought about it before, but there is a difference. Now, I'm not being condescending or better-than-thou about it. The honest truth is that when William and I were single book authors, we were in a similar place to the others. Now, with many books, things have changed.
So if you're a newer author, either pre-published or with one book, you might check out these differences and cultivate the experienced author mindset:
There's no shaming, no put-down. It's all a beautiful journey worth taking!
Motivation: Newer authors tend to look outside themselves to write. If you've ever said, "I have to feel inspired," then you're in this category. If you cannot write without certain conditions being met, then you're looking outside yourself.
So much of writing is about applying yourself, butt in seat and fingers on keys, to your craft.
Describing Your Book: Newer authors tend to take forever to explain your book. I remember well those days. It's important to sum up your book in a sentence, because then the listener can decide right then and there whether it's for them.
A pre-published author to whom I spoke took over 3 minutes to describe his novel. That's an eternity.
Connecting: The newer authors spent a lot of time sitting behind their table and spoke more with other authors than with the readers wandering through the event. The more seasoned authors stood to speak with people and found out what they like to read.
One of my favorite moments was when a mom told her 2 kids they could each choose 1 book. Her daughter chose my novel, Rue the Day.
Planning: Most of the one book authors had no table decoration or covering. Some did not have change to offer customers making a purchase. Some had no website or business cards.
Again, none of this is criticism, because everyone live and learns, in that order, but it was interesting to notice those differences.
There's something more subtle than all that.
The more you write and publish, the more you know whom you are as an author. Even if you, like me, work in multiple genres, you know your style.
I call myself a teller of transformational tales on my business cards, because that's what I am, whether in nonfiction or fiction. That's what I mean about knowing yourself as a writer.
So, keep writing and be exactly who you are.
Here's my progress in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
I hope you'll find ways to reach out and connect with readers. If you would like stories, sneak peeks, and a chance to win free prizes, join Ronda's Readers right now WriteOnPurpose.com/read.