Tuesday, December 4, 2012

#IWSG - What makes a writer an author?


Where did November go? I'm so glad I put a Google calendar reminder in for my Insecure Writers Support Group post or I'd miss it completely. Phew!

I have now completed a first draft of two novels, one during Camp NaNoWriMo and one during last months' NaNoWriMo. I'm editing my NaNo novel first, then I'll tackle the editing for my Camp NaNo book. Why in this order? My NaNo novel is a light read, a contemporary romance of just over 50k words. My Camp NaNo novel is a cozy mystery, while still a light read, it's much more involved and is over 72k words. I already have several ebooks on Amazon consisting of flash fiction compilations and one short story. No full-length books yet....

So why do I feel strange claiming the title of AUTHOR as opposed to WRITER? I've always been a writer and once I was published (non-fiction) I should have been able to say I was an author, right? Somehow it doesn't feel right. I wonder if I will feel like an author once I have self-published a full-length book?

What about you? Do you feel qualified to call yourself an author or do you stick with writer?

14 comments:

  1. I've published two books and I still don't "feel like an author." I prefer the title of "writer" or even "storyteller." "Author" has a slightly stuffy feel to it, as though I should have grand literary aspirations. "Storyteller" seems to better encapsulate my goal: to tell a good tale that entertains the reader.

    I saw an image on Facebook I loved: "I'm a wordsmith. It's like a blacksmith, but without all the fire and metal and stuff."

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  2. When I decided to take the step to publish I novel I claimed the title of author but I never really embraced it or believed it until I signed a publishing contract. Now I'm proud of it and not the least bit hesitant. In my opinion once you have a some writing available to be bought, you are an author. Before that you're basically just writing for yourself so you're a writer.

    http://chrissteen.wordpress.com

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  3. I considered myself an 'aspiring writer' until I read a post that said if you are writing you are not aspiring, you are doing it. First hurdled down, I'm a writer! Whew! I self published my debut novel this year and at that point, I considered myself an author. It's done. It's out. I did it! Next stop...Best Selling Author!

    But first I need marketing! :)

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  4. Donna, after being published I finally (tentatively) called myself author when people ask what I do. I think once my second book comes out I'll feel that this really validates my "title." Kudos to you for cranking out 2 novels recently! Happy writing...and editing, author!

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  5. I do consider myself a writer and an author (author because I am published). But I know what you mean. I haven't published any full-length works yet either, so I tend to skim over the fact that I am an author. People want to know about novels, and they seem disappointed when you tell them it's a novella or a short story collection, etc. But we should be proud to put our work out there. :)

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  6. I love the wordsmith quote!

    I think the trick is to call your self something you feel comfortable with. If you don't believe in it then no one else will either.

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  7. I like the sound of the word 'author' so I prefer that to writer.
    I think the idea of having one or two books/novels/novellas in my hands, that can be understood and processed by a reader without any help from me to explain the bits that don't make sense yet, will be the cut-off point between being an author and not.

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  8. I prefer writer over author because I feel comfortable with it. And yeah, November flew by fast!

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  9. Personally, I considered myself a "professional writer" when I was getting paid to write non-fic, but I didn't consider myself an "author" until I was paid for my first fictional short story. I don't think I'll consider myself a "published author" until I see a contracted novel of mine in print and that may never happen.
    But like with readers' tastes, everything is relative. As far as I'm concerned -- you're an Author! Yay! :-)

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  10. This makes me wonder if I'll ever be comfortable calling myself an author. I hope so. It's funny, though, because like you, I've written non-fiction. I've been paid for articles. I even have a story coming out in an anthology. Yet I still call myself a writer. Hmph.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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  11. I write. I have drafts, three, nothing finished, nothing published. Hmm.. I've had lots of pieces published in newspapers but that was for work years ago, nothing fictional or novel-wise. Authors write books so when I have a book published I might deem myself to be an author.. Until then I write. Have you noticed I'm struggling with the term writer? Ahh.. Bless me, I have more work to do.. How do I turn 'I write' into 'I'm a writer'? Add 'm a er.. Need to practice that one.. Happy editing..

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  12. I still feel funny saying author but I will admit it is exciting to be intoduced as an author in Barnes & Noble, schools and libraries, etc...

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  13. Thanks for all the great comments. I glad to see that I'm not the only one who struggles with calling themselves an author. Still have to visit and read other IWSG posts....off to visit some now!

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  14. It took me a bit before I got comfortable calling myself an author. I felt weird and like I was giving myself a title I didn't deserve. I got used to it, but it still leaves me feeling excited to have that claim.

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