It wasn’t just a dream that came true.
Wednesday I had nothing on my calendar so I ‘binge- watched’ the remaining episodes of Jane the Virgin on Netflix. In the final episode Jane an aspiring author is with her friend Rafael. He sees an advertisement listing new books about to be published. One is Jane’s. Rafael tells Jane her dream of becoming a famous author has finally come true. She reminds him getting her book published wasn’t some magical “dream that came true.” It took years and years of hard work. Indeed the sixty-four episodes of the show trace her difficult path to becoming a published writer.
It involved writing three different books, agreeing to lots of compromise with editors, financial hardship, attending workshops, being part of a writers group, turning down a teaching position to focus on writing, getting a graduate degree in creative writing, learning to balance her personal life with her writing, finding the right mentors, serendipitous connections, altering ideals, overcoming writers’ block, rewriting, editing, taking chances and networking.
I was happy to see the series did not sugar coat just how hard it is to get a book published these days. It also illustrated just how hard it is to sell a book even when it has been published. Jane’s graduate school mentor shows Jane closets full of her published books that never sold because they weren’t marketed aggressively enough. She tells Jane she must do whatever it takes to sell herself and her books.
There is much about the series Jane the Virgin that is more like a fairy tale or a soap opera and very unrealistic, but the way it portrays just how hard it is to become a successful published author is very realistic indeed!