I Am An Author

Started by Nadir, February 07, 2010, 10:13:20 PM

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I am an author.

More than that – I’m a published author.

I’m not gloating. I’m confessing. Let me explain.

First, I need to tell you what it is to be an author. Oh, I know, I know everyone here, every player, is an author in their own right. Rightly so! You create vast, breathtaking worlds; a thousand personas of all different kinds; gritty, glorious adventures and elegant romances, dizzying mysteries and heart-rending tragedies. You are all authors. You know how it is to write, create, to gash yourself in the heart of your mind and bleed the wonder and beauty out through your cells down to your fingers where it is drummed into the keyboard, scribbled across a page, given solid form. The words you bleed out are art. Are something so sacred and unique, it is more intimate than sex.

You are letting what is inside you be seen. You’re letting it free. You’re giving it life and exposing a part of yourself at the exact same time.

How did you feel when you first did it? For me, it was a thrill, a delicious uplifting, a gleeful pound and an eager itch to give more, to do it again and again… and the soft, cautious fear. As if, one word would make me stumble. Desire for recognition coupled with a whisper of stark terror as I waited, wondering if I did it right, if there was something I missed, or failed to do, if I were wrong to write it so…

And yet, I did it again. And again. As do we all. We give deeply, brave the disgust of others because there is something inside that wants out. Craves release.

That is being an author. Being published… well. It is becoming even more exposed.

I have rarely felt so sick then when I submit pieces of my work to publishing houses. Knowing the precious slices of my mind are being scrutinised in the most graceless way. Knowing my work is being weighed and examined to see if it is what can be sold.

It feels degrading. In that time between sending off the work and receiving a message back on whether it is acceptable or not, it makes me feel foul. I can’t do anything with myself until I find out. If it isn’t what is wanted I nurse my wounds and write again. If they do want it, I wait until they tell me what they want to change. And I want to cry. They slice apart my dreams-made-real. And force me to reshape it to how they desire. So I do.

Worst is when there is nothing. Just silence. The waiting goes on and on and what am I to think? Was my work deleted or accidentally thrown away? Was it so terrible they laughed over it? Was it too intense, not the right style, too deep, too much? Or worse, was it not enough?

Was it bad?

And those thought keep chasing and chasing and chasing until they are like a dog gone mad and the only thing to do is take a gun and blow it away –

And then I turn back to my desk. Lay my hands on the keyboard. And stare.

Nothing comes. Nothing.

I can’t write. I am in mourning.

Ridiculous. It’s a piece of work. It’s saved to my hard-drive. Send it to another publisher. Or put it in the graveyard folder for all the bits and pieces that died before their time.

It doesn’t get easier. In fact, it gets harder to write, harder to trust myself, harder to believe that what is in my head deserves to come out at all.

I re-read a lot of my old work last night, to try to confront my fears. I have been scared for a long time that I wasn’t a good author. That I shouldn’t be published at all.

That is my confession. I wished for a long time I wasn’t - not just not published, but not an author at all. I wanted to not be what I was. I thought I loved every aspect of my being but I forgot that inside my mind was just as much me as the shell it is housed in. Comfortable in my body, yes, but loathing what was in my head for no better reason than being ignored by people I had never met or even been in contact with.

It takes time to heal from something so deeply self-inflicted like that. I have not written for publishing in over a year. I have not written for my role-plays in nearly six months (given a few exceptions). I had hurt myself thinking that I didn’t deserve what I had. I hurt myself holding my work so close.

I need to learn to distance myself. It will be difficult but I think it is do-able. When I worked on the farm, I had to get blisters on my hands before the skin got tough enough so I could work longer, faster, better.

So it is the same with the mind.

I am a published author.

Now, that was a gloat.


Bravo and I adore it, Eden.
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Someone in the Twilight thread said it best: if that silly tart Meyer can get published, you certainly can.  Don't doubt yourself; you are worthy.

Sugarman (hal)

Damn wonderful. You should gloat to the heavens.
"And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love you make."

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Thufir Hawat

Kudos for the confession, Eden! It takes a special kind of bravery to admit how you feel.
That said, either I'm not an author, or I'm some rather different kind of author. Nobody can be objective towards himself or herself, so I can't really say which one is true. My point is, I know what you describe is real, I've read it in other authors memoirs!
Still, it's not even close for me.
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I am not a published author, nor even much of a writer, but still I feel all the same agony every time I hit the post icon. I applaud every member here, every time they send out their words into the public view. Thank you Eden for stating it so well, for giving us all a commonality. *hugs*

She led me to safety in a forest of green, and showed my stale eyes some sights never seen.
She spins magic and moonlight in her meadows and streams, and seeks deep inside me,
and touches my dreams. - Harry Chapin


Beautiful insight Eden.

I do hope you find the inspiration to write again, and clear the torment that swirls the crowded mind.
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Imagine what he would do to me if he smiled!

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And that my dear Eden is why I myself never send anything I write to publishers even though several people say I should, I just don't considder it good enough


Eden, loved your blog!  I am pre-published (sounds better, doesn't it?), but I have several proposals to send in, hopefully this weekend.  I have been to several seminars and conferences, and there is one thing I have heard several of the experts say:

Becoming published is not as much about talent as it is perseverence.

The more you write, the better you get.  Two more things I've learned: 

(1) The difference between a published author and everyone else is--the author didn't give up.
(2) Agents and publishers are just like you and me.  They all have preferences for what they like. If they don't care for what you wrote, someone else will.

Stephen King had 30 rejections before Carrie was accepted.

Anyone--please feel free to borrow my motto:

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
                                            Thomas Edison


I will officially be following your blog from now on.


Thufir Hawat

Quote from: Meri on April 03, 2010, 01:41:22 PM
Stephen King had 30 rejections before Carrie was accepted.

Anyone--please feel free to borrow my motto:
I think this is an important thing to remember ;D!
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I know I don't know you, but I am gonna *glomp* you anyway.

As I read what you wrote, I felt my mouth become dry and my heart begin to race.  That blog was so perfectly apt.  Though published, I will say I am a scribbler, that I dabble, whatever.  It seems so hard to get that word, author out. 

Thanks for the great piece.