For # 1 New York Times bestseller author Marissa Meyer, writing provided a creative outlet that ultimately became the foundation of her career. Meyer, who is the author of more than 14 books, including the famous science fiction fantasy series “The Lunar Chronicles”, the “Renegades” trilogy and his latest version “Gilded”, which deals with the progression of his career in writing student to published author as well as her background in the publishing industry.
“I have always written. I’ve always been writing stories since I was little, ”Meyer said in an interview. “Growing up, I would get involved in poetry, news, plays… all kinds of things.”
Like many young people, Meyer first explored creative writing through fanfiction, a facet of storytelling that draws on existing characters and literary universes. Through fanfiction writing, Meyer developed a distinct style that inspired his later works.
“I wrote [fanfiction] for years, and at that point it was still a hobby, but I had definitely started dreaming of one day being published, ”Meyer said. “Then I tried to write my first novel at the age of 16 and I spent[t] the next ten years, between trying to write an original novel and writing a fanfiction.
During this period, Meyer attended the Lutheran University of the Pacific and earned a BA in Creative Writing and Children’s Literature and later a Masters in Publishing from Pace University. Despite his obvious passion for creative writing, Meyer still had to overcome doubts about continuing his career.
“You hear so many stories about how so few writers are successful and how even if you end up getting published, the chances of living are low,” Meyer said. “Yet every time we talked about authors, I really felt like I wanted to be the author in this script, not the publisher, not the publicist.”
It was with this mindset that Meyer finished his first novel “Cinder” and began interviewing literary agents for representation. After receiving a mix of acceptance and rejection letters, Meyer signed off with the first agent she interviewed: Jill Grinberg. Shortly thereafter, the Feiwel & Friends publishing house purchased “Cinder”, the main novel from “The Lunar Chronicles”.
However, Meyer notes that not all post journeys are as streamlined as his. Often it can take months or even years for a book to reach bookstores. Given this general timeline, Meyer was surprised at how quickly “Cinder” was able to reach the shelves.
“There are a lot of steps, and not all books follow the same path,” Meyer said. “Because I knew so much how the industry works and I knew the stats, I really went into the questioning process feeling emotionally prepared for. [rejection]. “
While queries may prove to be the most nagging obstacle for many writers, Meyer’s unique writing style and plot concept immediately caught the interest of agents and editors. She recognizes the importance of knowing your writing skills and using a writing process that works well individually. For Meyer, that means writing plot graphics and novel outlines.
“I love doing outlines, and the extent to which I include detail in the outline varies for each book,” Meyer said. “I know ‘Winter’ had a very detailed plan – probably sixty pages, and it was really broken down into each scene. For ‘Instant Karma’ and ‘Fairest,’ I started out with a plan anyway, but I didn’t. didn’t need to break it down for each chapter. “
Equally important to the writing process is the balance between writing and other facets of life. In addition to writing full time, Meyer also teaches his twin daughters, Sloane and Delaney, and trains for long distance races.
“We have to see ourselves as full people,” Meyer said. “Being a writer can be an important part of who you are, but it can’t be the only part of who you are. I am constantly trying to find ways to bring more balance and energy into my life.
When considering a full-time writing career, Meyer stresses the importance of time management and organization. While writing full-time offers a relatively flexible schedule, it can be difficult to take a break when there are no imposed work limits.
“There are days when I feel like I have this… and then there are days when you never know how it’s going to be,” Meyer said. “I try to have a plan and to stay organized. I am one of those people where I like to live a full life and I have many interests, many responsibilities. When you love everything you do, you find a way to balance it all out.
As with any job, circumstances are subject to change. Over the past decade, Meyer has learned to adapt to the lifestyle of a writer, balancing family life with work while maintaining a creative rhythm.
With the release of his latest novel, “Gilded,” Meyer looks forward to all the other opportunities that writing will bring.