Friday, December 6, 2013

Writer vs Author

Before I was published, I read several articles by authors who encouraged unpublished writers to enjoy their time without deadlines and expectations, to enjoy getting to be a writer, someone who polishes words and crafts stories and spends time prancing around in their characters’ heads.

Every time I saw an article like that, I thought: Easy for you to say. I assumed they didn’t remember the rejections, the worry, the doubt that the words they had bled over, the characters they loved so much, would never be seen by anyone else. I assumed they forgot what it felt like to doubt themselves.

They had not.

Both writers and authors still deal with self-doubt. They still aren’t as good as they want to be, and they worry they never will be. They still hate their first drafts (or maybe that’s just me).

Maybe what I’m saying isn’t true for everyone, but it is true for me. In my mind, the difference between being an author and being a writer is the business part. And for me, I love being a writer.

I want to immerse myself in my fictional world. I want to write new words, discover new characters, follow them on new journeys. I want to revise. (I really love that part.) I want to take the mess I’ve created and make it better. Smooth it out. Erase the wrinkles. Tuck in the corners. Tidy everything up.

I want to be a writer.

But sometimes I’m an author. Sometimes I have to answer interview questions. And work on marketing. (I’m not very good at that part.) I’ve done book talks and signings and Skype chats with classrooms. And I loved every single minute of it. I’m grateful for bloggers who are willing to interview me. I want people to hear about Reclaimed and read it. I adore my readers and am so very thankful.

And I absolutely love meeting with and talking to teens. They ask the best questions.

But if I’m not careful, being an author will start to siphon away the time I need to be a writer.

At the end of the day, it’s hard to take your art and make it a career. I’ve always had to horde my writing time, but that’s even more true now that I also have to carve out time for the author side of the equation.

Reclaimed has been out in the world almost two months now. I am so very grateful for readers, and bloggers, those who’ve emailed me how much they loved the book, and those who’ve written reviews. I’ve had a blast meeting you, answering your questions, sharing book recommendations. Thank you for taking this journey with me.

But now, I have to go write. It’s who I am after all.