Robert knew that being a writer was hard.
After all, being a writer was never a simple thing.
It was creating something out of nothing.
Using words to build a world or describe reality, whatever the wordsmith chose.
Sitting in his home in England he looked at the manuscript that he had created. It was something different than he’d done before.
He knew that it needed to stand on its own. He was filled with the doubt that many writers feel.
The doubt that eats away and tells even a great writer that they are a fraud.
Perhaps his other series had been a fluke after all.
He leaned back in his chair and looked at the glowing screen that held his manuscript.
The words were stark black against the crisp white glow. Laying across the keyboard were several papers.
Each white page was typed out with a few handwritten words, either his name or the letter writer’s.
They were letters saying his work was not for them.
One even suggested that he take a writing class.
That one in particular amused him.
If they had known his real identity they would probably never had made such a suggestion.
Well, that was not entirely true, sometimes a receiving editor could be a snob. If it wasn’t James Joyce’s Ulysses, it was nothing.
Editors had rejected that novel too.
No, Robert was sure that this new story had merit. With an intriguing protagonist and a fascinating mystery, it had an audience.
For a moment, his fingers hovered over the keyboard.
Perhaps, he would send the query letter again this time using his true identity.
That would make the publishing executives see books being sold.
To them, it had little to do with the story, just what they could sell. Robert wasn’t really concerned with how many books he sold.
After all, he had sold a series of books before.
Those books had been very successful, so successful he would never have needed to lift a pen again or put his fingers to the keyboard to write.
That series had been so successful that the pressure was there to make something just as magical and far-reaching.
His first novel beyond that series had readers very critical.
Robert moved his hands away from the new query letter. He was going to see this book stand on its own.
Robert knew it just had to find the right editor.
His first series had gotten its share of rejections as well.
He buckled down to the process of sending the manuscript to more publishing houses, waiting for one to decide the book was worth taking.
Eventually, a letter came through for the sale.
Robert got to work with the editors, cover designers, and the publishing house to make it the best work that it could become. The process completed, the book made its way to bookshelves around the world. A crime novel in the midst of many crime novels. Robert watched it settle into its stride, a mid-list novel, an accomplishment that would make many authors happy.
Starting on the next book in the series, Robert let the book’s sales and position settle in the world.
He kept writing. A writer always writes.
He wanted the next story and the next.
Then the book hit the top of the bestseller list.
At first, this seemed completely out of the blue.
Then it turned out, the cat was out of the bag.
Robert’s identity had been revealed.
In truth, he was not Robert Galbraith, settled behind his lofty desk telling crime stories that came from his military experience.
There was a real reason he never made public appearances, he was really Joanne Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.
Someone had let it slip.
At the end of the day, she didn’t really mind.
She had accomplished what she had set out to do, sell another series on the merit of the writing, not trading on the big name that she had created through the Harry Potter books.
Rowling was a writer in the truest sense, writing for the love of it and letting the words stand on their own.
She carried on as herself and as Robert and got the worlds she’d created to audiences that love her the world over.
Being a writer is hard, but with persistence and belief in one’s work – anything can happen.
In her own words:
It is impossible to live without failing, unless, you live so cautiously that you might not have lived at all.
In which case, you failed by default.
I’m proud of what i’ve done.