I was trying to think of something to write today and couldn’t. My mind was blank. Then I saw this blog post come up in my email box (this one)
I like the blog, I subscribed to this blog and I enjoy reading it whenever one of the authors put out a post. You should read it. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Ok, for those of you too lazy to go read it (ha!) Michael Helms, who by the way is a very good writer, asks, ‘when is an author an Author? Then he goes on to explain that he read an e-book that he felt was terrible. It was short, so it wasn’t even technically a novel, it was also badly (if at all) edited. So does this make the person who published it an author? He says, no. And I agree with him. It doesn’t make a person an author if all they publish is a bad short story. That’s not the reason I’m writing about it.
The reason I’m writing about it and pointing the post out is this……..
Am I an author? Or just a wannabe? Or maybe I’m ‘just a writer’.
You see, I’m not against what Michael says in his post. I’m more challenging some of the comments on the post. It’s the age-old debate…..does self-publishing make you an author or someone who just self-published? And if a writer puts out a book that isn’t professionally edited with a professional book cover does this automatically make it a bad book?
As most of you know my books were NOT professionally edited nor do they have professional book covers. Although I must admit I think the kind friend who did my book cover could be a professional at book covers. Anyway, the point being….does not having ‘professionals’ involved in the process make it a bad book? Automatically?
I think what got to me the most about Michael’s post was it hit a nerve with me. It hit my self-doubt button. That sucker is never far from the surface anyway.
Am I an author? Or just a wannabe? Am I a fake because I self-publish?
In my comment to the post, I admitted that I did not have professionals involved in the process of publishing my books. Not because I didn’t want to. Because I’m a poor person. I just don’t have the money to hire professionals. Which brings me to another question. Are you a ‘professional’ just because you get paid to do something? I imagine you must have experience too. The couple of people who helped me edit my books are not paid to edit. But, one is a writer with many books under her belt and one was a teacher for most of his life. Does not THAT make them ‘professionals’?
Besides, I’ve seen traditionally published books with lots of editing mistakes. Does that discount their professionalism?
I’ve been having lots of problems getting my third book going. I have self-doubts as I mentioned. I am tired most of the time…….I could make dozens of excuses as to why I’m not writing. The bottom line is the doubt. Am I a writer? An author? Or a fake?
I know this feeling will pass. At least I hope it will. It’s not Michael’s fault that his article brought up these feelings. Nor the commentators on his post. It’s all mine. I own it.
Do I have to be traditionally published to be taken seriously as a writer? Some would answer that last question with a resounding yes. Why? Because that’s how it’s always been done? Times change folks. I’m old, but not too old to change with the times. Self-publishing is not a bad thing and yes it’s here to stay. Get used to it.
Now all I have to do is get myself in gear again and start writing, whether I’m an author or not. Because I refuse to let my fears or other’s opinions keep me from my dreams.
What’s your take on this debate?