Everybody has a book in them, or so the saying goes. I always knew I had the capability to write good reports, descriptive e-mails, and engaging university papers, but having now completed a 21,000 word short biography of my four years in the oil industry and a 47,000 word science fiction book, does that make me an author yet?
My answer, to myself anyway, will always be that I’m just a regular guy who takes it upon himself to write as a hobby rather than a profession.
Balancing a job and my family activities against writing, winemaking, and various other hobbies is what makes me lean away from ever calling myself a writer. I’m an engineering technician in the food and drinks industry first and foremost, because that profession is the one that pays my bills. Until the day that my income from writing overtakes that job, I wouldn’t imagine I’d ever call myself a professional writer.
I’m the epitome of Average Joe; just a guy who writes a few blogs and enjoys tapping away at a book between playing online games of FIFA on the X-Box.
One of the other criteria that I’d hedge as important before I’d ever consider calling myself an author is that the content I created was coherent, enjoyable, and read by a reasonable amount of people. Without a warm review of your work, it’ll always be difficult to gauge whether you have what it takes. Personally, I think my writing is decent, flows well, and it delivers a story that is both believable and engaging. But that’s me. You may have other opinions, and that’s why I place peer review of my writing as being of primary importance.
Nevertheless, putting together 47,000 words to tell the story of a few characters that you imagined out of thin air is an achievement in itself, and that sense of achievement is what drives me onwards to write another book as I fritter away the hours in my converted garage.
Now I get it. Now I get why I’ve always tried to make every message and e-mail I’ve ever sent as perfect as I could. Writing is more than a job. It’s more than a profession.
It’s an art; a glimpse into the author’s soul.
Maybe that’s why I can’t bring myself to ‘come out’ as a storyteller to my friends either.
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