When is a writer a ‘real’ writer?

TypewriterGirl-Vintage-GraphicsFairy1With the release of my first novel becoming a reality, no longer just a One-day Dream, I started thinking…….when does a writer become a ‘real’ writer?

Is it publishing that is the entrance to the title of writer?
If so, then what is the definition of ‘published’? Well, technically, anyone who has put work in the public domain, with or without payment, is published. Through my various places of employment, I have produced a number of non-fiction works: reports, papers, research, training manuals, articles etc. In a non-paid capacity, I have written for and been an editor of a small magazine (pre internet days), I currently blog and post short stories, and I’m working on a number of manuscripts.

Am I a writer? Yes, and no. Anyone who has ever looked at entering writing competitions, or certain writing associations, will know that there are many definitions out there; some quite rigid. On the eve of publishing my first novel, I’m not concerned about what these definitions are. I’m more interested in how does it feel to finally be able to say that I am a published fiction writer.

Those little moments of satisfaction
Throughout 2013, I have enjoyed a few moments where I felt like a ‘real’ writer, and where I have publicly declared myself to be a writer. In January I started this blog. There were two drivers: 1) to build an audience for my writing, and 2) to toughen up and jump off that cliff. I could no longer say ‘I’m going to be a writer’, as I sat at my computer, churning out short stories for competitions, working on draft novels. I had to get my work out there, and I had to be open to feedback. Blogging is a great way to do this, once you get over your nerves. It is also a steep learning curve.

Another steep learning curve is indie publishing. Gone is the stigma of self-publishing of past eras. Now, with enough skill, perseverance, courage and ‘out-sourcing’ tasks to experts, almost anyone can write and produce a decent novel. Sure, it’s not easy but its possible.

A more recent moment to feel a tad good about was the moment that I wrote The End on my first novel. I know it wasn’t the end of the writing process, as that came months later, after many repetitive hours of editing. So that moment I sent the manuscript to my proof reader, that was another milestone.

Last week, when the first cover concepts came back from my cover designer, that was certainly a moment. Although they were only in draft form, seeing my name on something that looked like a real front cover of a book was pretty exciting. Showing them to friends and family, for feedback, also was a moment when this all started to feel real.

When I seen my book online for sale, and hold a print version in my hand, then yes I will feel like a published writer. However, the moment a complete stranger buys either a e-book or print version, that is when I can truly call myself a published author.

This is no longer a dream. This is a milestone, a long-held dream, that I will be able to say that I achieved in 2013.

I wrote a book? Pinch me…..
If all stays on track, then my first novel (which started out as a simple novella) will be available for purchase by the 22 December 2013. Both print and e-book versions will be made available through a number of on-line distributors, as well as direct from the author (me!). I will post details on my blog closer to the release date.

In the meantime, the cover design is being finalised and its looking wonderful. I can’t reveal the cover just yet, so instead here is a quick blurb about When Rosa Came Home:

When Rosa Came Home – a novel by Karen Wyld

When they open the door for their wayward daughter, Rosa’s parents are not prepared for who else turns up at the Ambrosio family vineyard.

.…the spirit of a poet, nurses who crochet magical rugs, a beautiful bearded lady, elephants from the dreamscape, a médecin sans medicine and his dancing python, a jealous stable-hand, acrobatic pirates of the dark web, a sleeping beauty with a secret or two, and a young girl who longs for a new sister…….

Angelita Ambrosio narrates the stories of her secret sister’s time on the road, and yearns for adventures of her own. Amid precious tales, graciously shared by Rosa’s eclectic friends, a fractured family is reunited.

Not everyone is pleased to see Rosa return, and peril lurks in dark places. Fear not: with a sprinkling of cosmic dust, a cloud of sawdust and a touch of magic, a new dawn will bloom, now that Rosa has come home.

Karen Wyld lives by the sea in South Australia and, from there, she can see the world. She has created a captivating first novel. Borrowing from genres such as fantasy, magic realism and vintage children’s fairy tales, this contemporary novel is unashamedly whimsical, frivolous and thought-provoking.

Psst…..buy my book…..its coming soon!

5 thoughts on “When is a writer a ‘real’ writer?

  1. Diane, Jim, Barb and Anne
    Thank you for sharing thoughts and experiences from your own writers journey. I really value how much I have learned from other writers, especially those gutsy indies, over the last year and a bit. I hope you all reach your own goals, whatever tag or definition you choose to use.
    Karen

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  2. This past year I finally decided to take the plunge and explore the world of writing. Classes have built the beginnings of a foundation. My weekly blog posts get my bum in the chair (smile) and as I churn out more pages (and build more confidence) I will one day cross over from “I am exploring writing” to “I am a writer”. Will this crossover come when I am published? When someone else says I have arrived? I’m not sure. For now, I’m choosing to reserve the title “I am a writer” to those who have published.

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  3. Congrats, Karen. This is a big accomplishment. You can consider yourself a writer. I used to wonder about the same things. After all those occurrences that you mention actually happen, then you’ll question if you are a writer … again. That’s when you’ll embark on your second book. Good luck.

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  4. I’ve been blogging for 3 year but earlier this year I said goodbye to it. I lost the urge and the ability to find the words. I decided to come back and I’m so glad I did. I joined Readwave and started putting my writing “out there” with good feedback.I have also been a guest on another blog, My blog followers were thrilled and I’ve gained new followers who seem to enjoy what I write. Now I feel it so I am considering myself a writer. Once I get my memoirs written I’ll be an author.

    I am also so very happy for your dream come true Karen. I can’t wait to read it. It sounds very different and I need to get out of the crime/mystery box! lol

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  5. Hi, Karen. Like you, I started my blog back in January and the topic of when we can define ourselves as a writer has been one of my favourite posts. Some feel that the fact you’re writing means you’re a writer; others put the bar much higher saying you have to be making a living from it. I decided I make my own criteria for being a writer – but what I want is to be a novelist.
    Good luck with your novel.

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