Inspiration · Self Publishing

A Writer vs. An Author

So, it’s been forever since I’ve blogged, for many different reasons.

First, we’ve been super busy finishing up the gymnastics season.  We traveled to Orlando, Columbus, Ohio, and Charleston, SC, then finished up the season in Asheville, NC.  Congratulations to my “Spotacus” for being the Level 6 State Champion for her age bracket on Vault, Bars, and All-Around!  She also qualified for Regionals, where she took ninth!  Super proud of her!

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Second, we’ve been mourning the loss of our 17 year old dachshund, Dakota.  This one hit hard.  He was our first baby, and was such a good boy.  We had so much time with him, but it never feels like enough.  We miss you, little buddy.


Third, we’ve been getting ready for summer.  This means making sure the boat is primed and ready for the Lake, and getting the pool opened up for the season.  I’ve had muscles hurt the past few weeks that I never knew I had.  And then I look at the insane things my daughters do at gymnastics and realize I have no room to complain.

It’s been crazy busy, to say the least.  Looking forward to some down time in the summer.

As far as writing goes, I’m pushing hard toward getting my book published in the fall.  I’ve done lots of research, talked to a few hybrid publishers to see what they have to offer, have my cover artist lined up, and am finally working on edits.

Yep, that’s right!  I received edits back from THE REAL WRITER last week on THE RULES OF HALF.  Receiving that email was a monumental moment for me.  It made it all more real, not just a pie in the sky notion I had about someday being published.  I was really truly on my way.  I smiled and giggled and celebrated, and might have had a glass or two of wine.

And thenEdits I opened up the docs and the squees quickly changed to hyperventilating.

It wasn’t the quantity of the comments or the fact that I had more work to do that had me in a panic.  What bothered me was that I didn’t see the things she pointed out until she pointed them out to me.  How could I have missed that?  Why didn’t I think of that?  Do these people not have any other way to express themselves besides raising their brow?  Why the hell do I use passive voice so much?  You mean, I’m not perfect?

Part of me felt a little embarrassed, if I’m being honest. Embarrassed and down.

And then I reminded myself that this is why I’d hired her in the first place.  Because I want my book to be the best book it can be.  Because she can see things I can’t.  Because I’d rather have her tell me these things than readers leaving bad reviews.

And then everything changed.  Parts and ideas started sparking in my head.  All the things I remembered having trouble with when I was writing this manuscript – you know, the ones that don’t feel 100% right, so you kind of skirt them under the rug and hope no one notices – suddenly started to fall into or out of place completely.  I could see a path lighting its way through the crazy maze in front of me.  I no longer felt embarrassed; I felt empowered, determined.

For the first time, I felt like an author, not a writer.

But, Jenna P, you say, what is the difference?

I used to wonder that too.  At what point does one change from being a writer to an author?  Is it when you have something finished?  Is it when you have an agent?  Is it when you earn a book deal?  Is it when you are finally published?  I really didn’t know.  But I finally get it, folks.  I do.

No, I’m not perfect.  Not even close.  And I can guarantee that you aren’t either.  But those that make it in this business are those who can admit it, and tackle their weaknesses head on.  They are those who aren’t afraid to hear what they are doing wrong, and aren’t too lazy to suck it up and do what’s necessary to make it right.  They are those who don’t settle for a dull story when there are clearly ways to make it shine.

That, my friends, is the difference between an author and a writer.

So which are you?


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