By Kristine Carlson Asselin
The first time. It’s hard, right? When are you more than a writer? When are you “allowed” to call yourself an author? The first time you blog? The first time you publish an article? The first freelance project?
My first published work was a short story that started as a picture book. It was selected for publication in an online e-zine. I was ecstatic. But was I an author? I had a hard time introducing myself that way.
A couple years later, I was offered my first freelance project. It was a nonfiction book for the school library market. It was an assignment, not something I’d created out of my own imagination—so in a lot of ways I felt like a poser. Was I an author? Could I claim the title then?
Then I signed with my first agent for my young adult novel. But the novel didn’t sell right away. Author?
At some point along the way, I realized (like we all do at some point) that the journey to publication is a winding road, not a straight shot. There are ups and downs, twists and turns, and sometimes out and out backward motion.
There’s no such thing as overnight success—everyone who is an “overnight” success has worked hard on their craft and has written tens of thousands of words. With each “stop” on the journey, it got easier to call myself an author.
Even now, with fourteen (yay to 14!) nonfiction books under my belt, I sometimes struggle with calling myself an author. Will that change when my novel comes out in the fall? Part of it stems from lack of confidence (“how dare I call myself an author when there are so many better than me!”).
When do *you* call yourself an author?