On being a real boy…

So what makes someone a proper author, and not just some wannabe hobbyist? It’s not the money. We all know that with a few exceptions, traditionally authors don’t make much. Now we can self-publish, is it just uploading to Amazon? Not so sure about that. Anyone can put up a single page containing nothing more than the word fuck written 200 times just for a lark. So the action of self-publishing may not be enough. Is it just the fact that you wrote The End at some point in your manuscript, whether you did anything with it or not? Is it only that you consider yourself a proper author?

I spent a long time feeling like I was just another hobbyist. Just one more wannabe author, scribbling away at a manuscript and stuffed with grubby little hopes that it might be moderately successful. Well, now I know I am a proper author, and it’s not because the book is available on Amazon, and it’s not because I’m making much money. I’m a long way from making a living from this. So far my earnings don’t even cover my coffee habit at my weekly writers’ group.

So what makes me finally feel like I’m a proper author?

Readers.

I have had some incredible reviews and emails come in in the last few weeks. This is going to sound a little odd, but the best thing about sending your work out for review by total strangers is that you know they have absolutely no reason to be nice to you. Even if they are the nice type, if your work sucks, the best you’ll get is a lied: ‘Um yes, I quite enjoyed it.’ They’re certainly not going to rave about it. And I’ve got some raves. My ego may be going through the roof in fact. (I just corrected a typo on that last line. It originally read: my ego may be going through the foof, which is a different thing entirely, and also a somewhat curious concept)

So yes, I finally know I’m a real author (I’m a real boy, Geppetto) and not someone just playing at it. So a big thank you to all those readers who have taken the time to contact me and say nice things.

You are all fabulous. Thank you!

 

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