READER: “What part of being a professional writer presents a challenge (fun or onerous)?”
Ed Greenwood (author of Elminster Must Die): Cash flow. Even if you’re making enough to live well, on paper, there are never ample funds on hand to pay bills AND support a satisfying reading and gaming habit. Once upon a time, there were, but then I was slim back then, too . . .
Erin Evans (author of The God Catcher): I am terrible at focusing when I don’t like what I’m doing. There’s definitely a point in the book where I don’t like what I’m doing (I know I’m not alone here), and at that point I will try to surf the internet, read other books for “inspiration,” watch TV shows—essentially anything but write. So I have to head that self off at the pass. My Tivo has almost nothing on it that I can watch without my husband and I have a program on my computer that will block my internet access. Because whether I like it or not, I’m going to focus and finish that book.(Friend Erin)
Richard Lee Byers (author of Unholy): What part doesn’t? I don’t want to play the tortured artist, because everybody’s life and career present challenges, and nobody forced me to do this. But I will say that being self-motivated so that you get work done on a regular basis, coping with rejection, and handling financial uncertainty are all issues that weigh on many writers at one point or another in their careers. (Friend Richard)
Philip Athans (author of A Reader’s Guide to R.A. Salvatore’s Legend of Drizzt): Paying your bills is an onerous challenge when a big payday is $5000. It’s a crap way to make a living. I also have difficulties with self-imposed deadlines, which I’ve recently blogged about. The fun challenge is the writing itself. (Friend Philip)
Erik Scott de Bie (author of Downshadow): The self-driven marketing sometimes gets tedious. It can be fun, but there are only so many hours in a day. Ah, what I wouldn't give for a publicist! (Friend Erik)
Richard Baker (author of Avenger): Well, my day job is working as a game designer, so there are days that I do a ton of writing at work and then come home needing to do a couple hours more to stay on target with a novel. As far as the part of the process that’s most challenging, the outlining step is the toughest for me. I try to work out most of what’s going to happen in a book right up front; I’m afraid I’m not very spontaneous, and I can’t easily just write and see where it goes. Once I’ve got an outline that describes a story I want to tell, it gets a heck of a lot easier. (Friend Richard)
Rosemary Jones (author of City of the Dead): Keeping up with deadlines. Selling that next work. Not being discouraged by rejection. But that’s just part of the business. On the other hand, I would never give up writing: it’s what keeps life interesting in so many ways. (Friend Rosemary)
James P. Davis (author of Circle of Skulls): Though patience is a virtue I find the time between writing a book and seeing it show up on shelves to be almost unbearable. Time in publishing is counted in months and years, definitely not days, heh. (Friend James)
How well do you know your FR Authors? Every Monday you can expect an update to the author roundtable, featuring many of our best Forgotten Realms authors’ answers to the world’s most important questions, right here on this blog. Submissions for new questions welcome through private message.