One and Done

Are you writing a book, or are you building a career as an author?

There’s a huge difference between the two, and in my experience, most people fall into the first category. They have a song in their heart, or a family history they want to capture in print. These are perfectly valid reasons for putting pen to page which in no way lessen the value of the final product.

But there’s a distinction between the two approaches and it’s found in the writer, not in the writing.

The person who refers to himself as “writing a book” is usually writing one, then he’s done. He may spend years on the thing, agonizing over word choice (not realizing that story needs form), wringing every ounce of meaning from it he can. There will only be one book, so it has to be perfect.

Those of us building careers understand that our current work-in-progress is one of a long list of books that we’ll write. We know that it represents our best work in this moment, but that our next book will be even better because we’re constantly studying our craft and applying what we’ve learned.

We understand that this career requires an apprenticeship.

(I’ll talk more about apprenticeship tomorrow.)

About the author 

Valerie Francis

Valerie Francis is a bestselling author, literary editor, and podcaster with a passion for stories by, for and about women.

Each month, Valerie recommends books from literature’s best female authors. Selections come from every genre because women write, and read, in every genre. The Women’s Fiction category offers up some terrific novels, but these days there’s a strong female presence in thriller, horror, crime, and other genres traditionally dominated by male writers. No matter what the publishing companies may think, in the 21st Century, Women’s Fiction is whatever we want it to be.

stories for women, by women, and about women