What does it mean to be an “author”?

Seriously. Can anyone tell me, because I seem to have mixed ideas.

Okay, it may help if I start from the beginning. See, as you all know, I signed my Entertaining Angels series with Vox Dei Publishing. I’ve been working on edits and proofs these past few days as I get ready to republish Entertaining Angels come April. As I was dealing with deadlines and the like, I thought, Man, this is what it must feel like to be a real author. Did I seriously just think that? I did, and I was disgusted with myself.

Why should there be limits put on how we see ourselves as authors? If you wrote a book and published it, you’re an author. You don’t have to have a publisher, or be traditionally published, for you to be able to label yourself as an “author”. Did you write a book? Yes. Did you have your book edited? I hope so. Did you have it proofread? I really hope so. If you said, yes to all of the above, then you’re an author.

author definition
Google definition

 

But still, we put ourselves in boxes, much like we do everything else in our lives. We feel like we have to do things a certain way in order to be considered a “real author”. There are people who are going to disagree with me on this, and that’s okay. I just think with the way the publishing industry has changed, we should be able to change our thoughts with it.

When people ask me what it is I do, I always tell them I’m a writer, but why can’t I call myself an author? Why can’t I say “Hey, I authored that book.”? Because I’m scared of the label. I’m afraid that people won’t see me as “real” author.

writer definition
Google Definition

 

I’ve been writing books since before I published Piercing Through the Darkness in 2011. I guess in 2011, I’ve been “authoring” books.😉 I’ve put my dreams to good use, and I’ve published them.

I do things to support me financially (proofreading), but being an author is more than a hobby to me. It’s something I can seriously see myself being able to do as a full-time career in the near future. It’s something I’m working towards, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t call myself an “author” now. I wrote books. I published those books, and I’m seeing it through. It’s about time that I started calling myself an author.

4 thoughts on “What does it mean to be an “author”?

  1. I was going to link to Kristen Lamb’s post, too, but I see I’m late.

    The point there, and mine also, is that if you write you’re a “writer” (which is pretty basic, really). If you don’t write, you’re not.

    What Kristen is really going after is “aspiring” writers. Ick. Don’t aspire — just do it. I’ve been writing (and, therefore, by definition, a “writer”) since around 1970, and I’m not aspiring — I’m doing exactly what I do.

    (It’s probably just me, but I think “author” always sounds pompous. Would Hemingway have sat around calling himself an “author”? Probably not. Better to just write and be a writer.)

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    1. I can understand how author would sound pompous, but it doesn’t change the fact that’s what we are. I still don’t call myself that, though. Lol I always call myself a writer. I guess what I was trying to say with this post is that we shouldn’t be afraid of labels and what people think of them.🙂

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