And yet, just a couple days ago, this was doubted.
After some grueling work, I went to my favorite MMO (AKA, online game) to wind down, relax for a while. A common thing as it’s my best de-stressor, as well as a great way to get my head out of my own fictional world so I can take an honest look at it the next day. The faction I’m in is tight knit and feels very much like a family. The people there know me, and we call each other “friend” very honestly. This allows me to vent about a bad day at work or whatever. Not so much angry per se. Just releasing the stress as we all do with our friends.
During such a “vent”, one member asked me, “aren’t you an author?”
It stopped me cold. Only for a moment, but it was still there. Am I an author? I thought I knew. I even quickly responded, “Aspiring Author. It’ll be a while before my fiction can support me.”
Yet, the name I hold for myself appears to be in flux.
What you don’t know, is as of recently I have decided that come hell or high water, I’m going to launch my Kickstarter campaign on May 1st. That’s the crowd funding website I plan to use to raise the money I need. It's also a good way for you to pre-order the novel (and some cool extras too). This is the first, biggest, and most imposing step toward self-publishing Luna, The Lone Wolf. If I get the funds I need, there are no questions of “if”. It’s only “when, and exactly how will it unfold?”
So what? Am I an author now? Will I be when the book is printed? I don’t know. I thought I knew. Not that long ago I could have said flat out yes or no. Now… I don’t know. I’ve begun to think I may never really call myself an author, for it feels more like a title than a description. A badge to be earned, exactly how is unclear, and thus highly debated. The term “Fiction Writer” seems more accurate. I am a person who writes fiction stories. Author or not author will never change that.
Then again, I can see myself, with several novels under my belt, being asked what I do or who I am, and replying with pride, “I’m an author.”
If that comes to be, when? Have I reached it already? With all the work I’ve been putting in lately, I can’t deny it’d be nice to have the effort mean something. Just in the last week I’ve dealt with the artist I’ve commissioned, my content editor, my first choice for self-publisher, a company that makes bookmarks, another that does posters, and I’ve started work on advertisements for when the book is for sale, as well as a couple for the Kickstarter campaign.
When I look at all that, I certainly feel like an author. Like I’m more than just a guy tossing words around on a page. Yet, even now, I don’t think my reply to my faction mate would be any different.
“Aren’t you an author?”
“Aspiring author. It’ll be a while before…” I think it’s what comes next that stopped me. It’ll be a while before… what? A part of me thinks it knows. Another isn’t so sure anymore.