Becoming a Writer or Author

  Yesterday on Miss Demeanors, I tackled the question posed in Edwin Hill’s touching and candid blog post on Career Authors.  “Was there a moment when you decided you could call yourself a writer?” I think it’s a pivotal moment in a writer’s career because it really means you are standing naked before the world daring to say what you care most about , knowing you could fail. I didn’t want to stand naked alone, so I invited my fellow Miss Demeanors to answer the same question.     Tracee: I don’t remember the moment exactly, but I remember how strange it felt. When I had a day job it was typical to say that’s what I did…. once I left I was forced to say the other words…. However, once said, they were easy. And once I had a book in stores to promote it was very easy. Maybe that’s when I switched to ‘eager’ to say I was a writer!           Alison: Tough question. Last August, I flew to Scotland with my daughter and was faced with a form that required me to put down my profession. I wrote in “writer” instead of “attorney.” I felt a rush of adrenaline followed by feeling like I was posing. I had written in ink, so there was no changing the word on the paper. I still feel a little like I’m playing dress up. I’ll let you know if I feel like a writer on August 7th, when Blessed be the Wicked is actually out.        Alexia: I’m in a bit of a different boat since I’m still actively practicing medicine. Physician is my primary profession. I’ve always thought of myself as a writer. I’d much rather write to someone than speak to them and the difference between my math and verbal scores on standardized tests is freaky. I first felt like an author when someone not related to me and not a close friend bought a copy of Murder in G Major. And it hits me that I’m an “Author with a capital A” every April at tax time when I’m declaring income earned from royalties and deciding whether it’s to my tax advantage or not to list author as a second profession.      Susan: My first job out of college was as a reporter for Fortune Magazine, so I’ve been calling myself a writer for as long as I’ve been an adult. However, one of my most exciting moments came after signing the contract for my first book, which was The Fiction Class, and then I immediately joined the Author’s Guild. I can’t define the difference between being an author versus a writer, but it felt different to me. Tracee:  Susan, I think that’s says it perfectly. The difference between being a writer and an author.       Robin:  Agreed. I freelanced as a journalist, and that’s when I started calling myself a writer, but it wasn’t until I held my first book in my hands that I called myself an author out loud. It still felt weird, though, because my lifelong goal has been “novelist.” I’m thinking of getting myself a t-shirt that says “Author” to help me own it.  

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