Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Aspiring Author

Have you ever met someone who said they were an "aspiring author"? Well, duh, who hasn't? It's a pretty common dream to have, after all. Books are awesome, and everyone thinks it would be incredibly cool to write one of their own. But not many people actually achieve that dream, do they?

Before I was published, when all I did was glom every available book all day long, writing a book seemed like an impossible task. It was Mount Everest, and I was a pudgy teenager with acne and zero clue how to strap on a pair of hiking boots. I appreciated the effort of every person who scaled that peak, after all, they brought stories back with them. It was something I didn't think would ever be possible, so I didn't even aspire to do it then. 
By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I skipped the aspiring part and just started writing for fun. For my own entertainment. It turned into a novel. So I started mentally calling myself an aspiring author when I realized that the mountain wasn't as unreachable as I'd presumed. But I was wrong. I wasn't an aspiring author, at that point I had become an author. I'd written the book. I didn't just want to be someone who had written a book, I had actually become that person. I aspired to be a published author, sure, but even though all I had was an unedited manuscript without a decent plot, I was an author. 

Of course, I wasn't a good author. I had a lot to learn. That first mountain peak of finishing something wasn't the end. Actually, in retrospect, that was just a decent-sized foothill. A writing career is a mountain range full of tremendous peaks and perilous valleys. Writing a book is one thing, but making it good? Crafting a compelling plot? Navigating the pitfalls of the industry, from agents to publishing houses to the jungle of Amazon? That's a swath of earth that isn't for the faint of heart. 

But if you've written "the end" on a creation of your own, be proud of that accomplishment. Those people that you talk with about the book they "someday" want to write, THOSE are the aspiring authors. But you? You're just an author. And you should be very, very proud of that. Stand tall on the mountain peak of your first accomplishment, and don't be afraid to forge ahead. There are stories that only you can write. Claim your authorship, and I'll see you in the frosty peaks!

Gina Lamm is the author of THE GEEK GIRL AND THE SCANDALOUS EARL and GEEK GIRLS DON'T DATE DUKES. She also writes erotic romance as Regina Cole. For time travel Regency fun, and the spiciest of erotic encounters, check out her links below!

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  1. I once read an article in the New York Times that something like 90% of Americans would like to write a book one day. Lots of aspiring authors!

  2. Every time I read "aspiring author" I think of a letter I got several years ago wanting me to come and meet with other "expiring authors". I remember asking Husband just how dead I had to be to qualify? Great article, BTW...loved it!

  3. LOL Carolyn!
    I must be part of that 10% then. I have no desire to ever write a book. I am perfectly content to read everyone else's!