How Many Hats...?
Do you remember the children's book Caps for Sale? My brother and I used to read that and act out the story. We loved how the main character shook his fist at the monkeys. So funny!
I started thinking about the number of hats an author is required to wear...and I don't think that man in Caps for Sale has enough hats to cover it! As I begin to pull together content to teach a writing course, I figured this might be a good place to explore those "hats."
Hat #1--Dreamer. This is fundamental to a writer. Without dreams and imagination, even if you're writing non-fiction, you're sunk.
Hat #2--Architect/Construction Worker. You get to put this baby (your book) together. You get to develop it from the ground up--character, plots, setting. It's a fresh slate!
Hat #3--Delivery Guy. If you don't have the basics of writing down, you won't be able to properly deliver your story. This includes grammar, composition, story structure, vocabulary, and so much more.
Hat #4--Loyal Fan. Writing a book takes dedication and passion. If you don't love your story, why are you writing it? If you can't stand to live in your world for the two weeks (yes, some people are maniacal writers!) to ten years it may take you to write this baby, let it go.
Hat #5--Business Man. If you're lucky enough to have representation to make heads or tails of contracts, congratulations. But you still have to know a little about the business aspect of publishing.
Hat #6--Marketing Guru. These days, writing the book itself isn't enough. You have to sell, promote, raise a flag, buy a billboard to get even the smallest bit of attention for your book.
Hat #7--Suave Celebrity. Someday, you'll have someone so excited to meet a published author (you!). It's a pretty awesome feeling, I must say. But keep it cool. Wait until you get home to freak out with joy. Handle book signings with grace and dignity. Be kind to those who come.
Hat #8--Freelance Agent. Opportunities to network (goodness, I don't like that word as a verb) are all around. Even if you have an agent, always be ready to pitch your book. You never know who you might encounter!
Hat #9--Teacher. You will come to a point where you realize, yes, you still have much to learn, but you've got a firm hold on those basics mentioned before. You can do something with this...like help other aspiring authors learn!
Hat #10--Realist. People will approach you with their ideas. Certainly encourage them, but don't feel obligated to take on something you don't want to do. This also applies to you, the author. Don't allow your brain to hype you into believing you're the next J.K. Rowling. If you are, fantastic! But publishing takes a long time and a lot of hard work. Don't be afraid to get dirty.
Those are just a few. How about Researcher, Manager, Organizer...? And these don't include any personal hats. I have a few others--wife, mom, sister, daughter, radio producer... Each one requires a different set of skills and knowledge, and each one holds its own rewards.
But aren't you glad we don't have as many heads to go with our hats?
What other author hats can you think of?
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Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3