Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What Makes Someone an Author?

By Kathy Lipscomb

So, my husband is pretty much the coolest husband on the planet. He might not be my favorite person when he forgets full length, important conversations we've had. I may also want to beat him with a pillow when his snores keep me up at night. But not only does he support me with my crazy writing dreams, he believes in me more than I do.
When he talks about me to his coworkers, friends, or even random people he meets, he tells them I’m an author. He doesn’t specify that I’m unpublished, or that I probably won’t be published for at least a couple more years. He just straight up says with a pride I hardly ever see in his eyes, “My wife’s an author.”
I used to correct him. “I’m an unpublished author.”
Now if you knew my husband, you probably couldn’t imagine him saying “so.” He’s more of the smart-talking, sounds more like a grandpa kind of speech, type of guy. In fact, if I want a character in a novel to sound smart and older, I pay close attention to how my husband talks.
But he’s so dead set on making me believe that the distinction of published or unpublished doesn’t matter that he uses my own more teenager like language to get it into my head.
I’m an author.
Guess what? So are you.
I’ve seen how hard people are on themselves for not being published yet. I’ve done it to myself. Being published is a goal, but is it what will make you happy? No, because we like to write. So who cares if you’re not there yet? You are still an author.
Being published doesn’t make your work magically happen, nor does being published make your work better. You make your writing better. You make it amazing by putting in the effort despite the crazy busyness that is our lives. When you get published, you will still have to work hard. You will still wonder why the heck you’re putting yourself through the insanity that comes with our chosen profession. And you will still wonder if you are good enough (P.S. you are).
So, whether you are unpublished, published, finished with a book, written an entire series, still on your first draft of your first novel, or whatever, remember that you are an author. And don’t let the word “unpublished” make you feel like you’re less of one. Unpublished to me just means I have all the potential in the world. I am not yet branded by agents, nor am I confined to a specific genre. I can write whatever I want. It’s freedom.
So can you have the goal to be published? Absolutely.
Should you let yourself think you’re less of an author because you’re not published yet? Nope.
You are an author.

Isn’t that awesome?  


  1. I loved this! I've just recently waded into the waters of writing and hope to be published someday, and I do find myself not feeling comfortable telling people that I'm an author, even though I am! Drawing has been a hobby of mine for a long time and none of that work has ever been on display and yet with that I have no problem telling people I draw, so why can't I say with the same confidence "I write"? This post helped me feel better. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for commenting. I'm glad I can help in anyway possible. You can draw too? That's amazing! Writing and drawing skills are a powerful combo I don't possess. Be proud of your accomplishments and hard work. :)

  2. I don't always want to tell people I write, but I've had more confidence since I started doing small freelance writing jobs. I am a writer! I still struggle with the idea of explaining some of my fiction ideas. They're rather in-depth and not everyone cares to hear about it.

    1. I struggle with that too! I finally got to the point where I tell people I'm a writer, but when they ask about explaining my books...ya, not so good at that.



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