Promoting myself as an author has been an adventure. It’s strange to think that there is such a vast difference between the title of “writer” and that of “author” , but there it is. Previously, when strangers would ask me what I “do” and I answered “I’m a writer” they would give me bored or even smug looks. Often, this was followed with “So, what do you actually do?” It’s a hard road working as a writer, struggling to get your work published. Of course, friends and family pitch in their love and support, but strangers verbally pat you on the head, dismissing your work as simply a hobby.
Once I announced my first novel, Love of the Sea, was contracted to be published, the responses began to shift. There is so much power behind the statement “My first novel is set to be published this year”. People suddenly perk up and listen. People ask questions, genuinely interested. It was odd, seeing this change in attitude. It took adjusting to be more forthcoming with my new status.
The day my book was released, it was still unreal. I still hesitated to say “I am an author.” as if I was somehow still unworthy of the status. As the weeks rolled by, I began to feel brave, spouting the proud words when strangers prompted “What do you do?” And in the month to follow it became a shiny toy, a high telling people “I’m an author.”
That’s not to say I have lost perspective – far from it. I still have to remind many well-meaning friends and family that I am far from being “famous” or even “well known”. I’m a new author, still clawing my way up the ladder and trying to convince people that my book is indeed worth reading. With the newfound power of “author” status comes the hard work of promoting and growing my brand. Something familiar from my modeling days, yet now it seems all the more dear and serious.
I always knew I had to reach this point, this new beginning. But as I look around, I realise that there is still much I have to learn, have to achieve. Despite the exciting sparkle that comes with the title of author, I implore my writer friends to also treasure their status as “writer”. You are merely in-transit, on your way to this next status. You can do it too, if only you keep going. Don’t let the indifference of those patronizing strangers stop you. You too will reach the status of “author”.