When I was studying photography, it wasn’t until I sold my first shoot and made a profit that I was technically a professional photographer. But it took years for me to say that out loud, to actually describe myself as one. To date, I have shot well over two million photographs for work, and several hundred thousand personal photographs from family holidays, to art projects, to just trying out new techniques. And it still took me years to embrace the title.
Writing is oddly similar. Power Divided is my first published book, but did it make me someone who writes or an author?
My editor keeps saying that I am indeed an author, and it always sounds so weird.
With photography, I started with film cameras, and that was expensive so you had to get it right. I researched the best textbook there was to offer and went to a seminar. The very best piece of advice I got from that was when you put the camera to your face to shoot, you should know what the image you want to take is. In other words, you don’t pull the camera up without a plan.
That advice works in almost everything you want to do well.
When I started writing, I wrote more by train of thought. Eventually, after extensive reading, research, trial and error, I finally came to a place where I felt I could show it to someone other than the person who is legally obligated to tell me what I want to hear. Haha! That’s what husbands are for, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
What was so great about working with my editor, Gina Salamon, is that she tells me when I am doing something wrong in a way that helps me learn without smashing my efforts to bit. I don’t think anyone will ever stop learning when it comes to becoming a writer, (in fact, Gina says we all learn and grow as a writer with everything we write and everything we read) especially if you want to become a published author.
The most important thing I have learned about writing is the definition of success is what you decide it means. In writing, there are so many fields, just like photography. Just because a portrait photographer may never reach the numbers an event shooter might, doesn’t make them any less professional or knowledgeable.
The same goes for writing. Power Divided is my first outing into the published world of novels, but I for one, accept that I am an author and while I head toward my goal of success, I know that learning will always be an integral part of whatever I write.