I recently received a comment on one of my posts from fellow writing blogger Christine Henderson correcting my use of the term "aspiring author". She said:
"Remember, you are not an "aspiring" author if you have already written a story. You are just an yet to be published author."
Is this right? What's the difference? Does it matter?
In the words of Reverend Lovejoy, "“Ooooh, short answer yes with an if, long answer no with a but…”
I love to cook and, if you'll allow me a moment to brag, I'm a pretty good cook. I also watch a lot of the Food Network. Here's the thing: nothing brings the contrast between what I do in my kitchen and what an actual professional chef does better than an episode or two of The Next Iron Chef or Chopped. I am not a chef, I'm a cook. If I spend the next few years honing my culinary skills, improving my techniques, and training with a master chef...then I will still be a cook (just a way better cook). During that time I will also be an aspiring chef because I will be aspiring to become a chef. At the moment that my phone rangs and Bobby Flay asked me to come work as his sous-chef, THEN I will be a chef (actually I would be a sous-chef but those people rock too). In other words, when you get paid to cook, when you've actually made it, then you're a chef. At no point during that process would I be a chef that has yet to find a place willing to pay me to cook. That just doesn't work.
So until I get something published, until someone is willing to pay to read what I write, I am a writer and an aspiring author.
Am I being nit-picky? Does it matter?
Yes! At least it matters to me. I want very badly to be an actual, full-blown, genuine published author. Earning the title "Author" will mean that I have done what I set out to do. It will mean that a goal has been reach, and that matters a great deal to me.