The Rewards of Becoming a Writer
What does it take to become a writer?
The obvious and simple answer is to write something. The second step is to take what you have written and get it published. That means bringing it to the masses. Put it out there for others to read, to learn from, to enjoy and possibly criticize.
Is it worth it?
I have experienced a plethora of pleasures and benefits from being a writer. Here are just a few:
The day I opened the first case of books was a seminal moment in my life. I was reduced to tears. Five and half years of work had finally borne fruit. To this day, that has been my greatest professional event.
An immense amount of pride and self-satisfaction follows a completed, perfected, edited, and published novel. People also look at you with a different set of eyes. They see me as something more than “just” a pharmacist. I have readers constantly asking me, “When’s your book coming out?” And though I was petrified of being asked that question before I was published, hearing that question now is puts a spring in my step and a smile on my face.
Another amazing reward is having a reader completely reverse the complexion of a bad day. As a practicing pharmacist, I spend a good number of hours working behind the counter checking prescriptions, dispensing advice as I counsel patients and performing the countless clerical tasks required of us. Pharmacists enjoy a great deal of trust from the general public. However, we are some of the most over-worked, stressed-out healthcare practitioners on the planet. My days can morph into nightmares easily with frequent insurance problems, disgruntled patients or a flood of unexpected prescriptions because the university across the street encounters a flu epidemic. It doesn’t take long for the frustration to mount and my patience to start dwindling. But, I cannot count the number of times I’ve had patients or readers stop by the pharmacy counter just to say, “I really enjoyed your book. Can’t wait to read the next one.” The effect is almost miraculous, suddenly the world does not seem so dark and the end of the shift is not so far away. It is like a narcotic high.
Another blessing is having the opportunity to meet and speak with book clubs or other organizations. I have addressed numerous clubs over the past three years. I can’t get enough of it. At a gathering about a year ago, I was invited to dinner by a small book club in Newport News. We enjoyed a fabulous home cooked meal (Hint: All food tastes better when you’re the guest of honor!), sharp, intelligent conversation and then my first novel was dissected from dedication to epilogue. I digested the accolades faster than the meal. The criticism was pointed, constructive and sometimes difficult to masticate (more on handling criticism in an upcoming post).
One of the hosts for that evening told me, “You’re not really a writer until someone pays you for your work.” I’m not totally convinced of the accuracy of that statement, but I understand his point. We are all writers. Having navigated the sometimes choppy waters to publication, I am convinced more than ever that every person on the planet has, at least, one book in them.
So again, the question is: What does it to become a writer? And is it worth it?
It takes desire and drive. It takes perseverance and patience. It may seem a daunting task. But nothing worth doing is easy. And it is extremely rewarding.
Let me help you get there!
If you are interested in becoming published, e-mail me here.
©Copyright David Perry 2015