Question of the week: “When did you first think of yourself as an author?”
There are many avenues in writing.
I can talk about when I first believed that I could write, when others thought that I could write and when I finally thought that I could write a novel.
But what is an “author”?
I wanted to interview a nice young man in town, someone who was also a ‘Brought-in’, because he said that he was an author. I back-pedaled after we spoke for a while because when I asked what he had published, it was just little musings posted in a local free newspaper.
No way would I consider that ‘being an author’.
I always assumed that “author” was the title of a ‘book writer’, and even that should mean when one had been published.
Does ‘self-publishing’ count?
Then yeah, I guess I was an author as a child, because I first wrote when I was probably 8 years old, made books which impressed teachers and family. I was shy, but secure in when I wrote. I stopped, (perhaps I became more shy?), but I knew that what I had done was more than OK.
However, the term “writer” will always be what comes to my mind about what I am, with all of the different forms my compositions have taken, (and which have been published).
My sister had been writing most of her life and entering a prestigious music contest in a couple of the lyrics categories. In my late 20s, (and bored to death in Idaho), I tried my hand, liked what I did and sent in four; I won the equivalent of an “Honorable Mention”. (I finally framed the certificate a few years ago). My sister never got over me getting the judges’ attention first time out and in the years she tried, she was never contacted by them.
I knew then that I could put words together.
I knew that I could call myself a lyricist. But breaking into music is too much trouble.
Later on, I fell into writing articles for newsletters, organizations, and for places of business, such as menu descriptions and services offered. (You think those are just lists? There are subtleties to reel customers in.) I did stories for blogs, articles for e-zines and got a box in a book of compilations of ‘tips’.
Fast forward: A writing friend told me that she was submitting writings for a major religious organization’s annual Christmas card, and the runners-up would be printed into an inspirational book, and that I needed to give it a try. They used my poems; they used none of my friend’s. She could write, but hers didn’t fit their needs, I suppose. My point is, they did not publish all that came to them. The shrine did it again the next year, and the four that I submitted were included once more.
I was a published poet.
I did more and more blogs. I wrote stories, I told stories. I was determined to write a series of three books with practical advice and true anecdotes. There is no room in publishing for even my first book, which was based on letting people know that they actually could cook and entertain, but if you are not a celebrity, you cannot get that kind of book published. It doesn’t matter what kind of a celebrity you may be; you just need a ‘name’. (The other books would be likely to have the same problems, although they were not food-related.)
The original idea merged into a blog, although I found that the stories were not as easily assimilated.
I was asked to do this blog; I jumped at it before the foundress changed her mind.
Then I got a big break in a fancy, glossy magazine. I put it together and then the publisher decided that he wanted to put it in a “readers’ stories” category and it needed to be a third of the size I had written. I asked him if I could put a link to the full article. He asked to see it in toto, “to see what [he] could do with it”. He published it as I wrote it, in full.
That was certainly validation of my writing.
NEVER did I expect to be a novelist.
Until I was inspired.
And I knew that I could call myself an author to myself, and others could call me one when I finished.
That novel has had to take a back burner to life.
It’s taken a backseat to a play, which needs to once again be redone into a story; (I did it badly the first try.) It’s had to wait for a children’s story that needs to be resubmitted, (I didn’t realize that my main publisher of choice does not like rhyming stories.)
The novel is always in the works, and another one is behind it, trying to get out. Three other stories keep rearing their heads.
So many characters vying for my attention.
I am determined to get them done.
I owe it to them.
I owe it to me.
And I feel strongly that I owe it to The Hound and all of the Foxes , past and present, for keeping me here.
Am I a writer? Yes. Am I a poet? Yes. Had I even been a lyricist? Yes.
In the works. I feel that I am ready now to let others find out.