I was talking to a friend recently who referred to me as being retired. I’m not. I did, however, quit the day job to run my own creative business. Between the business and single-handedly raising my kids I work 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. I am most definitely not retired.

I asked what he thought my life as an author is like. No surprise, he’s bought into the fantasy that writers roam around carefree waiting to take dictation from The Muse. Thank you, Lord Byron.

The other stereotype is that novelists are tortured souls who suffer for their art; whose divine gift is so great that it can only be managed with copious amounts of drugs and alcohol. Thank you, Hemingway.

With notions such as these floating around, is it any wonder first-time authors hit the wall? Yes, being a writer is a cool job (a super cool job!), but it’s still a job. How do we break this to new-comers without killing their dreams of writing a novel?

Join me and Rebecca Monterusso for a free (and fun!) 30-day writing challenge in October. For more details, sign up here.

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