While preparing for my FIRST EVER book signing this evening at Grounded, the coffee shop in the barn at First Baptist Church in New Philadelphia, Ohio, it occurred to me that there’s a difference between being a writer and being an author.
By definition, obviously, a writer is one who writes. This could be writing for any purpose — thank-you notes — personal letters or, more likely today, emails — jotting kind words in cards to ailing family and friends — notes to your kids’ teacher at school — entries in your diary — diatribes in which you vent your frothing emotions, then delete or tear it up before anyone reads them — journaling your spiritual progress as your study the Bible — writing stories you hope one day may be published but are currently only read by your family and/or critique partners.
An author, on the other hand, writes for a wider audience. And as such, an author must take responsibility for what he or she writes.
Like a lot of writers, I’m shy and introverted. I don’t like drawing attention to myself; I’d rather use a pen name and remain anonymous.
But practically speaking, I can’t. I have to stand up and admit to what I’ve written. And worse yet, I have to promote it. Even if I didn’t care about marketing for my own benefit, my publishing house has made an investment in me, and I’m obligated to do my best to help them recoup that.
I don’t know where this obligation will take me — where I might travel on my book signing adventures, who I might meet, what response my books might generate, who I might offend. But I’ve now moved from the frustrating but (now that I look back on it) rather comfortable position of being an unpublished writer, to being a real author. With all that the appellation entails.
Pray for me!