When are you no longer an amateur?

When I shared this little blog with my friends in an online writing group, several of them suggested that I might be denigrating myself by using the term “amateur author”.

That got me to thinking; “When are you an author?”

I’m sure this question has no limit of answers depending on who you ask, but in the end the only answer that really matters is the one that you subscribe too. While I do have a couple short stories published in print anthologies (the book launch of one of them happens to be today!), I hesitated to call myself an author because I was compensated in contributor copies rather than hard cash.

But does that make any difference?

In the end, I decided that published is published, and how I was “paid” didn’t matter. So then why did I still struggle to call myself an author?

I started thinking about the other writers I know, men and women who have reams of work to their name, novels published, ongoing series, hundreds of followers, and award winners! How in the heck can I put myself in the same category as them?

BINGO! I’m comparing myself to everyone else!

I guess this is human nature, comparing ourselves to those around us, and while it can be helpful in certain situations, I have been shooting myself in the foot on purpose and “limping” as an excuse. I’ve come to realize that the only writer that I need to be better than, is the guy I was yesterday. If I can do that, than I can call myself “author”.

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