Blogger: Michelle Ule
Location: Back in the Santa Rosa office.
I’m not only “our” editorial assistant here at Books & Such, but I’m a writer myself.
I’ve written at least five novels (with others lying around in various states of undress), three family histories, three travel tales, and one memoir. You probably haven’t heard of me before (which is a shame, because the New York Times crossword puzzle really needs my last name), but that doesn’t mean I’m not a writer.
I used to visit my children’s classrooms and talk about being a writer. I’d show the kids articles I’d authored, talk about writing letters and about describing things to other people–being a storyteller. Then I’d pull out several “books” I’d written. Their favorite was always Daddy’s Book, written for our toddler, which tells the story of my husband going to sea for three months while my second child grew in the womb.
“See,” I would say, “you can be a writer, too. You can put your words together in a way that means something to someone you love, and illustrate it with your own pictures.”
But that wasn’t good enough for my then-seven-year-old, and it may not be good enough for your spouse or family members. “When are you going to write a real book?” she asked. “One I can check out of the library?”
I don’t know.
I just have the drive to put words on paper, to tell a story, to communicate truth. You probably do, too.
A writer is a person who writes, not a person who is published. (That individual is called an “author.”)
Still, the ambition to see your words in print pushes you on. But if your project doesn’t interest a publisher in this extremely competitive market, what’s a writer to do?
For immediate gratification, many writers blog or comment on blogs. I get a lot of my thoughts into cyberspace at World Magazine’s blog.
But if that’s not good enough, the options for holding a physical book in hand are myriad. Yes, we like the idea of finding an agent and selling a book to a royalty-paying publishing house. But the world is changing. You can take your same manuscript to a self-publishing house, you can create word and picture projects on Mac computers and have them printed, or you can go to the old spiral-bound version I’ve used several times.
It may not look like a real book to some, but you’re still a writer.