What Is an Author?
An author is someone whose written work has been published. In addition to producing published work, people who write are considered authors when they originate the ideas and content of their written work. For this reason, most authors are writers, but not all writers are considered to be authors.Masterclass.com
Anyone who knows me probably knows a couple of things about me:
- I’m a writer. I had a local newspaper column for 25 years, so some people even recognize me from the photo sig. But I’m not an author, at least by the Masterclass definition. People keep asking “when are you going to write that book?”
- I’m an introvert. I’m self-conscious and uncomfortable with public speaking, and tend to keep to myself. I’m more of a listener than a schmoozer.
My wife is much more likely to go mixing and mingling. So I wasn’t surprised last week when she returned from the library in our neighboring Connecticut town and handed me a pamphlet.
“Wanna go?” she asked.
“Okay,” I said, reluctantly. I usually get something out of writers’ conferences, in person or virtual, if I can listen to the presentations. I’m not so good at the networking part.
On the other hand, it’s hard to keep my wife away from any place where books will be for sale. We went, arriving just in time for the keynote speaker in the gallery.
Plenty of authors
This Authors Day featured a lot of them–35 exhibiting and selling, probably more incognito. Nan Rossiter wasn’t the only one. She was just the first up.
“I never thought I’d be a keynote speaker,” she told the audience, right up front. She said that she, too, is an introvert. It seems to be a common trait among writers, who prefer to be alone with their thoughts rather than out pushing their product. Many in the audience nodded in self-recognition.
Yet that sort of thing–the book fairs and the sales tables like the ones in the main reading room–are part of the business. Traditional publishers expect it. Self-published authors have to do it because nobody else will do it for them. That explained the gantlet leading to the gallery, crowded with authors who were probably as uncomfortable schmoozing as this writer was.
Rossiter’s secrets for success as an author were what she called the Five P’s: Patience, Persistence, Perseverance, Pluck, and Prayer. The first four seem related. Many writers (and artists and athletes and other personal achievers) talk about them. They were mentioned several times during the panel discussions. “Serendipity” came up more than once, too.
Prayer, though: That’s a tough one. Rossiter is a woman of faith who makes an effort to include God in every book. That doesn’t sit well with some major publishers these days; editors with her publishing house have suggested that she take her future works to a Christian publisher.
I caught up with her after her talk to say that I appreciated her focus on faith. I’m probably not a candidate for a Christian publishing house, either. But when our pastor asks us to pray about what good we can do in the world, a voice whispers in my right ear: “Well, you’re a pretty good writer.”
Perhaps by this time next year, I’ll be an author as well.