by Austin Aslan
THE ISLANDS AT THE END OF THE WORLD
Random House/Wendy Lamb Books - Aug 5, 2014
How publishing a book changed my life (Short answer): It didn’t.
Thank you very much, everyone. Have a good night.
How publishing a book changed my life (the long (and socially graceful) answer):
I think I get where this question is coming from, but the answer is pretty simple: my “life” has changed very little. I now write for a living. I get to claim movie tickets as tax write offs. That’s about it, folks. I dreamed and dreamed and dreamed of becoming a published author, and I half expected my life to suddenly transform into glitz and glamor once I finally realized my dream (don’t we all daydream about that?). But the truth is that I believe that circumstances don’t change who people are.
Change in one’s life comes from within; it’s rarely external. The good fortune I’ve had so far hasn’t changed who I am or how I act or who I hang out with. The biggest difference for me is that I’m now able to make writing my job. But I don’t actually feel that I’m writing more often than I used to. I’m just getting paid to do it now. So, it has freed me up somewhat, but that just means I have more time to attend to the thousand other responsibilities of raising a family!
And, really, let’s not get carried away, here. When it comes down to it, all that has happened is that two (TWO) people liked my book. First, my agent. Second, my editor. That’s it. TWO people liked my book, and suddenly all these doors are open and everyone else assumes my book is good and everyone’s been so great. We’ll see how well that holds up once the book hits the shelves! Until then, holding pattern, at best.
How publishing a book changed my life (the long (and come on, now, let’s all be honest with ourselves) answer):
I now write for a living. I NOW WRITE FOR A LIVING! I avoided a mid-life crisis by THIS much. I spent last June (LAST JUNE THAT’S RIGHT THE WHOLE MONTH) gallivanting around Costa Rica (which I almost certainly would have done anyway but, hey). I no longer shy away from that “What do YOU do for a living?” question at parties. I’m cuter. I’m younger. AND…I get to hang out with this completely amazing group of Fall Fourteen debut authors who are all so kind and smart and gracious and generous and, and…