No matter how talented a writer may be, he/she needs to constantly brush up on word usage, grammar, do research, learn new computer techniques and programs, and pay attention to little things like regular backups, a surge protector, and adherence to publisher guidelines. If attention isn't given to these peripheral matters, disaster can wipe out the most beautiful and perfect words.
The struggling artist who lives in an unheated attic and lives on bread and whiskey is as much a thing of the past as my old Smith-Corona. Today's writer who isolates him or herself from life doesn't relate to today's reader. Today whether a book is set on the American frontier, a New York penthouse, or in outer space, readers want to relate to the characters in a personal way.
With the flurry the past few weeks of getting my newest book ready to go to press, I read over the dedication and acknowledgements I wrote six months ago and decided I still mean them. There really are many people besides the author who play a part in moving a concept from inside one person's head to actual words on paper, neatly tucked between a front cover and a back cover. There are the people employed by the publisher who edit, proof read, write a cover blurb, choose a title, design a cover, create a promotion program, and handle the details of production. There are friends, critique groups, and fans who cheer the writer on, read drafts, help with research, etc. And not least of all, there's the writer's family. These are the people who believe in us, pick up the slack in the housework, feed us, and who think being wife, husband, mommy, daddy, grandma, grandpa is our greatest achievement. They think it's great we write books, but take greater pride in our ability to kick a soccer ball, bake brownies, or remember birthdays.