On Writing. Being an author.
I’ve struggled with this for some time and haven’t come up with a real answer that feels legitimate. What do you have to do to consider yourself “an author” anyway? Is it as simple as putting pen to page (or fingers to keyboard, whatever) or is there something more?
I rule out being published as a requirement; after all, anyone can technically publish a book these days. In some cases, folks are publishing books they didn’t even write (thanks lax Amazon Copywrite requirements haha), but regardless making money at it really shouldn’t matter.
I don’t necessarily even think you have to be passionate about it to be an author, although it certainly helps when you’re trying to complete a project. Hell, I don’t even LIKE being an author at times, but I always come back to it.
Another thought is do you have to complete a project to be an author? Is that where the crossover between ‘writer’ and ‘author’ is? This also doesn’t quite fit for me, although I know having the staying power to finish a project is an important part of the equation if you want to be successful.
So I’ve been puzzling over this topic for a while and now that I’ve set it as the topic of my next post I’ve had to think back on my writing and wondering when did I start thinking of myself as an author. After a couple of shots of Bourbon and some reminiscing about what got me started in the first place, I came up with a rather disturbing realization.
For me, the decision to call myself an author didn’t come from me but came from other people who appreciated my work. I like to think that I do what I want without letting others influence me too heavily, however after doing some real thinking and a little more drinking about it I really can’t avoid it.
The times when I have most felt like an author were times where I read a review of one of my books or was responding to a comment on a blog post. Times when people retweeted links to my writing or shared my Facebook posts. Times when people asked me when the next chapter or book was coming out. That’s when I most think of myself as an author.
So, for me at any rate, what makes me an author is … well, it’s you. So, thank you.