Is it a crime to call yourself an author when you haven’t published anything?
I never know what to call myself. Writer, author, a dabbler, a wannabe writer, an aspiring author, the list can go on and on. The fact of the matter is, I don’t know what to call myself, so I just avoid answering that question. My default answer is just that I love writing. Frankly speaking though, I want to say “I’m an author” because it has such a large presence and stability to it. It sounds right to my ears.
But if I were to say that, the next thing they say is “Really? You have a book published? What’s it called?”
“Well, no. I’m not published.” Then the conversation dies down like I just revealed I kicked a puppy this morning or something.
And it’s not just with the word author. I’ve told people that I’m a writer, and they’re responded the same way. So what’s a girl supposed to do?
If you look up the definition of an author—it’s “a writer of a book, article, or report”. If you look up the definition of a writer— it’s “a person who has written a particular text”. (Both according to Google).
So wait, let’s take a step back.
Sarah, have you written a book, article, or report?
Are you a person who has written a particular text?
Does that mean you’re an author or writer?
Do you see my dilemma? When do I get a plaque with the title writer or author on it? When do I get permission to say it aloud without people staring at me as if I grew a second head? Shouldn’t I be able to call myself a writer or an author without feeling like I’m lying? There is no hidden loophole in the definition of author or writer that requires us to have something published. And if there is a hidden loophole, will someone just kindly point it out because I would love to just cut it out and burn up that section.
Really? Is it a crime that I want to be taken more seriously and want to call myself an author or writer? Shouldn’t I be proud of the fact that I do have several manuscripts? Just because it isn’t published, doesn’t mean that I didn’t write them. They exist. I swear they do.
Shouldn’t we be proud and add that title to our name? Look at Daenerys. She is “Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of Andals, and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.”
Why can’t I be Sarah, author of several unpublished manuscripts?
Tell me what you think? Do you guys have trouble with what to call yourself?