Ethan Cross: How writing has changed my life

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EthanCrossThis is an especially timely post since I have only recently made the transition into being a full-time writer. It’s been a wonderful experience so far and will hopefully only continue to get better. I think the best thing about being a writer is the act of creation. I’m happiest when I’m enjoying someone else’s creation or bringing one of my own into existence. Forging something new from nothing using only your imagination is very therapeutic and fulfilling.

Another exciting part of being a writer is having the opportunity to experience new things, meet interesting people, and travel to fascinating new places. This is, of course, done in the name of research. We’ve all heard the expression “write what you know,” but I believe that it’s actually closer to “write what you want to know.” Through that kind of thinking, a writer can enrich their life and broaden their horizons while also taking their readers to places that they never knew they wanted to go.

Writing novels has been one of the most rewarding adventures of my life, but it’s also the hardest job that I’ve ever undertaken. Creating a book is a labor of love. I’ve worked in several different places and companies doing work ranging from computer programming to roofing and construction work. The job of “author” is the most challenging position that I’ve ever held.

Don’t misunderstand me, I love telling stories, and it’s a dream come true to be able to do so on a full-time basis. However, there’s a lot more that goes into writing than having a good idea and sitting down at a computer. There are countless levels of revision and editing that need to take place. There are marketing issues that must be addressed. There are endless anxieties over everything from sales to word usage to grammar mistakes.

And then comes the worst part…you have to contend with online reviews coming from sites like Amazon. For the most part, I’ve been blessed to have great reviews, but I’m also cursed by an obsessive personality and a true drive to create something that my readers will enjoy and love. This means that positive reviews make me smile and breathe a sigh of relief, but negative reviews truly haunt me. I’ve literally lost sleep over those reviews. The authors of these character executions seem to not realize that the book they read in a few hours took thousands of hours of hard work to create.

And even after all of the work, there are no guarantees. No one can predict what books will sell and which ones won’t, and all that a writer can really do is to produce the best book they can and hope that it is well-received. So far in my career, I’ve had a few stumbles but have also enjoyed great success. My goal is to make every book that I write the best book I’ve ever written and continue to grow as an author and storyteller. Hopefully, this will show through in my work, and I’ll have the opportunity to live my dream for many years to come.



International bestselling author Ethan Cross is The Story Plant’s Author of the Month, which means we are offering sensational deals on his work. You can read more about the program here.

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On March 4, 2013
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