I've written a novel. I think it's pretty good. It's off being read by someone I trust and I think I'll be sending out queries to agents in the next couple weeks. Does that make me an author? Do I have to be published before I can say to people, "I'm an author."? Or do I just not say that because it sounds priggish and egotistical?
I know I'm a teacher. For one, I'm employed to be one. But that's not the main reason I believe it of myself. To be completely frank, there are people I know who are employed as teachers who are no more actual teachers than I'm a lumberjack (and I'm okay...). They are, in many cases, assigners. They assign reading or problems or tests or whatever. But no real teaching goes on. I know in my heart that I am a teacher. It's baked right in. I believe I would be a teacher even if I were employed as a ditch digger. It's not what I do--it's what I am. I teach because I'm a teacher, not the other way around.
I guess the question is at what point I will feel like I'm a writer. I guess writer is a more accurate word than author anyway. Or is it? I write. But so does nearly everyone else in the world. But what I wrote was a book. Not many people (comparatively, at least) can say that. So what is it about writing a book that makes me more of a writer than someone, say, who writes letters or writes down recipes, or whatever else people may write down? So maybe author is the word I seek. Is published author different from author? Or is it like being a teacher? Do I write because I'm a writer or am I a writer because I write? Do these questions have any meaning? Will knowing the answers change me in any real way? I have no idea. But I do ask them of myself and of anyone else who may stumble upon this entry. If you consider yourself an author, what makes that word true in your mind?