Anyone who has ever tried to write a novel or non-fiction book understands how very difficult it can be. Long hours plotting, crafting characters and scenes, research trips, double-checking facts, re-writing, marketing to publishers (sometimes dozens, even hundreds before acceptance), and then promoting sales of the book itself.
As someone who has attempted (sufficient to grasp the process) but not yet succeeded in completing and publishing a novel, I have utmost respect for those who have.
Donna-Lane has published eight novels, a ninth is due out in March, she's editing the completed draft of the 10th, and she's already writing sections of her 11th. She is without question a very successful author. (http://donnalanenelson.com/) This is all since she allegedly 'retired.'
Today - as part of a major 3-day literary festival in Switzerland - D-L was on a panel with three other writers at the invitation of the Geneva Writers Group. They discussed the craft of how they work, the challenges of trying to fit writing (and reading) in among other jobs and family responsibilities, and the value of the GWG in encouraging their literary efforts in the 20 years since the group was formed. Each author also read a passage from their latest published work.
You can read D-L's perspective of the event on her blog: http://theexpatwriter.blogspot.ch/2013/09/sometimes-it-humbling-is-good.html.
The event would have been informative and fun in any setting, but as a bonus this one was on a cruise ship which lazily steamed up Lac Leman from Geneva to Morges, where the main portion of the festival was set up. We drifted past the luxury hotels, the famous jet d'eau fountain, Corsier Port where we live when in Switzerland, groups of sailboats, a water skier, the outer marker radio beacon for landing airplanes, several magnificent lakefront chateaus, and innumerable swans, ducks, and seagulls.
It had rained all night, and the forecast for the day was for light rain, then heavier rain, then thunderstorms. However, when we arrived downtown at the boat quai, the rain had disappeared, blue skies were breaking through, and the moisture held off until we were ready to catch the train from Morges back to Geneva.
I'm obviously quite proud of my wife, the author. And of all the other authors who persevere to tell the world the story and message they feel compelled to write.