Douglas Milewski (dacuteturtle) wrote,
Douglas Milewski

Not an Aspiring Writer

The more that I hear the term "aspiring author," the more that I doubt that the term is useful at all.

I have written four books and a novella, and have two more in the pipeline. I have done utterly horrible at actually selling them. So, am I an aspiring author? I don't think so. I think that I'm a very successful author who's written some very readable books. Whether those books have sold or now is not the point. There are many signed authors who write books that don't sell, with the only difference being that they got paid advances.

The truth is that I am an aspiring salesman. The truth is that I am an aspiring businessman. The truth is that I am an aspiring cover artist. These are the areas where I am challenged and need work.

I took me six years to admit that I'm running a business in being a writer. Now that I've admitted that, I can take back the "aspiring." I am a business owner and I am running a business. I am not "aspiring" to run that business. I pay money, get a few bucks in income, pay bills, and make decisions about how and where to spend my limited funds. There's nothing aspiring about that.

The same is true of being a cover artist for myself and being a promoter. I am actually doing these things as opposed to pretending or wanting to do these things.

"Aspiring" belongs to people who aren't getting things done. Once you're getting things done, you are doing the job. It's gate keeping to label "aspiring" onto the people getting things done.

Now, what words should we use to distinguish us bottom feeders of the literary world? I have no clue. Using "new" doesn't work, because an author may not be new. How many years do you spend as new before you aren't new any more? I'd accept "Bottom List" or "Low List" author. That much is true. The difference between me and everyone is sale. (Okay, they might tell better stories or be in more lucrative genres, too, but don't tell anyone.)

That brings up where the cutoff should be. How do we determine the A, B, C, and D lists? I don't know. Who decides these cutoffs? Again, I don't know.

Damn this new and innovative world. Why won't it just sort neatly into categories for us?


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