Thursday, June 18, 2009

Unforeseen Consequences

I've been doing a lot of crafty-type projects and one got me thinking about unforeseen consequences. I spray-painted a metal table this week. I did it outside and to protect the grass, I put down clear plastic. On a sunny day. And let the table dry for several hours.

Can you guess where I'm going?

Yep, the grass beneath burned, so I now have a lovely patch of brown near the patio. Fortunately, we aren't having our afternoon wedding tea for about a month, so it should have time to recover from what my husband is referring to as my "scorched earth" policy.

In the interest of full disclosure, it did occur to me that the grass might suffer somewhat, but I never expected it to be burnt to a crisp.

Which brings me to the unforeseen consequences of becoming a published author. I know, I know - everyone who isn't published but wants to be and is working to be is probably thinking, "Cry me a river, sweetheart." But until you're published, you really can't be ready for some of the consequences, even if you think you are. It's like sort of knowing that the grass might suffer, but you don't realize how much until it's done.

For instance....

Selling a book doesn't mean people will necssarily respect what you write any more than before. In fact, it may baffle them even more. If you can get paid to write, why aren't you writing "real" books?

It doesn't mean people will be any more aware that when you are at home writing, you are working. After all, a part of a writer's job is to make the final effort look as if it was easy, to make the author "disappear." So they seem to think that, although you're getting paid, it's still not work. In fact, it may encourage more of those "if I had the time, I'd write a book, too," remarks.

You may think you're ready for a really awful review, but I venture to suggest that until you actually get one, in public on the net or in print, you really don't know how devastating it can be.

But there are pleasant unforeseen consequences, too, like an interview request from a blogger in Italy, or finding out your books are hot sellers in Japan. Or when I called my husband at work to tell him I'd sold my first book and he gasped an expletive, an unforeseen consequence that still makes me grin.

1 comment:

Kimber Chin said...

What I found surprising was how when I got published, my opinions about books suddenly were listened to.

I'm still the same whacko reader!

Also people assume that because I write romance novels, I can write ANYTHING. Ahhh... no... you don't want me to write your great-auntie a 90th birthday poem, believe me!