Tag Archives: unpublished

“Am I Really An Author?”

I had a pretty cool experience a few weeks ago. I still smile when I think about it. I was talking with a new friend when his wife walked up. He said, “Honey, do you know Larry Timm?”

She looked at me and smiled. “Oh, you’re an author, aren’t you?”

I was floored, and momentarily speechless (which is surprising to some people). An Author! A split second later, grinning like a gassy infant, I managed to say, “Well…um…I…I…that is…yeah, I’m a writer. I haven’t been published yet, though.” Then I giggled.

What a dork.

I’ll bet she walked away absolutely impressed with my command of the English language. But I still think about that moment with fondness (except for the grin and giggle). I’d never been called an author before. In public even! She seemed very positive about the entire idea. Like it was a compliment or something.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the whole thing is pretty cool. I liked hearing someone say the word. But can I claim to be an author before I’m actually published? I’m a writer, and I’m working hard to become a published author, but I haven’t experienced that honor yet.

What would have happened if I’d said, “Yes. I. Am. An. Author.”? Out loud. In public.

Many scenarios run through my over-active imagination: Like the police pulling me over later and saying, “Mr. Timm, you’re under arrest for impersonating an author.” And then they taser me just for the fun of it. Then I imagine being shaken awake and looking up into the eyes of my perturbed mother. She kicks dirty laundry into the only uncluttered corner of my boyhood room and says, “Wake up, son. You must have been having a wild dream. You were giggling like a nut, and mumbling author…author…author…shhhhh, they’ll hear you.” Then she hands me a paper towel. “Wipe that drool off your cheek, for Pete’s sake. By the way, I put the zit cream on your dresser. Get up and get dressed for school. And what’s that smell?” Or I see myself stretched out on a couch. Next to the couch, a stuffy looking lady with glasses is sitting in a padded office chair and looking down her upturned nose at me. There’s a diploma on her wall that says, “Dr. Ugotta B. Kiddinme, Doctor of Mental Stuff.” She slides her glasses off and taps her pen on the thick file perched on her lap. “Now, Laurence, we’ve been through this before–many sessions ago–you’re not really an author. Do we need to increase your meds?” Or I picture sitting rigid at a table, wires taped to my hand, chest, and head. A guy leans over a machine and stares at the lines being drawn on a paper. “Yes or No…are you an author?” I’m sweating under the overly large light bulb dangling above my head. “Yes or No, Mr. Timm? And, by the way, we’ll know if you’re lying…and man are you going to be sorry if you are.”

Soooooo, I’m needing some guidance here. I’d appreciate your comments.

Is there a difference between a WRITER and an AUTHOR?

What do you think about that question? I know that all authors are writers, but are all writers authors? And how did it feel the first time YOU were called an author?

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Filed under Christian Fiction, editing, Larry W. Timm, reading, Writing

Why don’t YOU give up?

No one is born a published author.

I’ll wait while you slip back into your chair.

Brace yourself, because I’m going to rephrase it: Every published author was unpublished at one time. So how did they eventually get published? What do you think were the common denominators for them?

As an unpublished writer, I’m working hard to study the craft, sharpen my writing skills, and build my “networking” muscles. I’m investing in my writing by entering contests, hiring a freelance editor to edit my just finished book, driving an hour to the closest ACFW chapter, going to conference, buying books, etc…. Why do I do all of this? Because it’s part of the journey.

And there is one thing I know with absolute certainty:  I’ll never be published if I give up.

Let me check my calendar/planner…just a second…nope, no plans to give up penciled in anywhere! Nor will I invest a lot of time and effort in whining about how hard it is or how unfair the process can be or whatever else would make for one whale of a pity party. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with venting and snacking on huge amounts of comfort food, or of crying on a trusted friend’s shoulder. But I don’t think any agent or editor would ever say, “I decided to publish that writer’s book just to shut them up.”

What do YOU plan to do to keep pushing for publication? Share your thoughts, please, because your words may just be the encouragement that another writer is needing. Thanks.

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Filed under Christian Fiction, Christian Growth, Christian Life, Writing

Salute to Christian Fiction Writers

I’m not sure if it’s harder to become a published author or to remain a published author. But I do know that I have immense respect for both realities, though I myself have not experience either one. With that gratitude in mind, I offer the following “Thank You” list to all Christian Fiction Writers:

  • Thank you for the sacrifices you make so that we readers can enjoy the thrill of being taken on a worthwhile journey.
  • Thank you for you respect for your audience, which is shown in the many ways that you labor to connect with us.
  • Thank you for your humble and teachable spirit that motivates you to continue to study the art and craft of writing.
  • Thank you that you seek to show God’s truths in your stories, because you know that His truth can make your story powerful and life-changing.
  • Thank you that you believe so much in the value of Christian Fiction that you take time to encourage and mentor writers who are working to become published authors also.

 

There are no doubt many other reasons to say “Thank You” to your favorite published authors. Can you tell me what some of those reasons are? And after you post your reply here, would you take the time to send that author a note too?

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Filed under Writing