I’ve loved books my whole life, both reading and writing.
I participated in Young Authors’ contests and camps as a child, and majored in creative writing in college. I have stacks of cloth-bound journals in my basement and keepsake boxes with dot-matrix printed poems and papers from middle school through college.
From college through early adulthood, I didn’t pursue writing as a career or even as a hobby. When I became pregnant the first time, I started a journal for my child, writing my hopes, dreams, and prayers. Later, I wrote journals to my other children in their infancy/toddlerhood.
Around 2008, I began freelance writing. I submitted some articles for publication, and landed a story in Chicago Parent magazine. I landed a freelance writing gig for a university in 2009 and wrote web copy, a leadership blog, and white papers. I started my own blog at weavinginfluence.com in 2011 and published ebooks under my business name 12 Minute Media. Eventually, I folded all that content, along with the archived content from my original freelance leadership blog, into the archives of the Weaving Influence blog when I decided to use Weaving Influence as my business name. I have written more personal posts and articles about my journey as a business owner at beckyrobinson.com.
Supporting authors in launching books for nearly a decade has given me a first row seat to authors’ lives and experiences. I’ve coached authors through all aspects of their journeys to publication including. I’ve helped authors craft book proposals, edited and enhanced marketing plans for authors seeking traditional publishing, and talked with aspiring authors about their options for publishing.
When does someone become an author? Have I been an author since those early days of creating my own books with contact paper covers, stitched together with a needle and thread? Or am I a writer because I write, an author only when my book is published and printed?
Whether I am a writer now and an author later, or whether I’ve been an author all along, I’ve reached a new milestone on my journey, with the submission and acceptance of my first book proposal. After partnering with Berrett-Koehler Publishers for so many years and supporting many BK authors, I’m proud and pleased to share the great news that I have secured a book contract with Berrett-Koehler.
Between now and the planned publication date (June 2022), I’ll be sharing my experiences along my author journey, capturing what I learn first-hand and in real time, in hopes that I’ll be a more insightful guide for the authors I partner with through my company, Weaving Influence.
I’ve walked with authors through highs and lows, watched them get stuck and weary, watched them exult and celebrate. I expect to experience a full range of emotions along the way, as well.
How I feel today: joyful, and a bit fearful. A book contract means I actually have to WRITE the book. I’m staring down a first-draft deadline, and blocking out time to write. I’ll also admit to imposter syndrome kicking in, full force.
What do you think? When does an author’s journey begin?
Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I have a friend who is an author — has had 3 books published — her secret was that setting aside time daily to work on it — no matter what else was going on in her life. I hope you will enjoy this season of your life –looking forward to keeping up with you through your blog posts.
Cindy, thank you for taking the time to comment. Writing daily is a powerful practice — not one I currently have!
I am thrilled for your journey to publishing your first book, and honored that you choose to share that journey with us. My thoughts about being a writer and becoming an author are similar to how I feel about becoming a leader. It’s not what you do, it’s who you are. Authorship, like leadership, originates in the heart. How your heart feels fuels what your head thinks, and drives what your hands and habits do. If you feel like an author, you are an author. Writing is the behavior that your hands (and your habits) carry out — to me, an author is the WHO and writing is the WHAT. Thank you for sharing who you are and what you do with the world.