Wednesday, September 8, 2010

When are you a writer?

This week I have been reaping the benefits of The Blog Trifecta, that is bloggers Jennifer Daiker, Elana Johnson, and Alex Cavanaugh. They have been offering up amazingly useful advice on getting your blog up and at 'em! Suggest checking into what they have to say and taking it from me that it works! All of it!

What I have been curious about for a very long time(since I fell in love with writing actually) is: When can I start calling myself a writer?

When I joined my critique group they wanted my info to put on the website but I wrote an email back asking that I not be represented at all. I remember, 2 years-ish ago, that my reason was because I didn't want to jinx myself.

I thought if I was put on that website, declared myself a writer for all to see, I would fail. I have a firm belief that when I put my intentions for my life out there before I get an anchor in the wet ocean bottom of my feelings, I will always let people down. I will never finish and people will say "we knew she wouldn't/couldn't do it" and I will be a public failure.

But if I kept it to myself and I failed I wouldn't disappoint(or confirm my lack of talent) to anyone.

My mother tells me I have confidence issues, that I'm better than I think. Maybe. Maybe that's just mom talk though.

Either way I decided I wasn't going to consider myself a writer until I was recognized by someone else as such. And by that I mean someone with a check in their hand with my name on it.

It took me ages just to make a blog for myself. And almost as long to describe myself as a YA writer. It feels like I might as well hop on top of a building and declare myself a superhero and try to fly.

I still don't know if that's right or wrong of me to feel that way. But I do wonder what other people think.

And just because I promised it a long time ago, my portrait of Matthew Gray Gubler:

For anyone who has been keeping up, I LOVE The Hunger Games Trilogy. Found a great poll(if you have read the last one as spoilers abound) HERE on the Adventures In Children's Publishing blog. (spell check is telling me "Children's" is spelled wrong. LIES.)

And last link for the post: I have linked her before but shes worth mentioning again.This Chick debuts her first novel, Across the Universe, in January! On her blog you'll find links to a couple contests to win a copy. Also she has the first chapter posted for all to adore.

So, being a relatively new blogger I have a stupid question: what is ARC? And how are books that haven't come out yet being recommended to me to read? What am I missing here, cause it seems big and really really good.

Stop back Friday for some fun and a chance to win something that rhymes with Schplook.

Happy Wednesday!


  1. I'm not a writer. I'm a scientist who has blogging and writing as a fun hobby >:)

    Cold As Heaven

  2. I think you're a writer when *you* feel like one. However you want to classify it. I became a writer when I was young, scribbling stories and song lyrics in my notebooks (while failing math class).

  3. Wow, I feel exactly the same as you. It took me forever to finally tell people I was wrting a novel. Even now I still have that "what if I suck?" mentality. But what I've found over the past year of writing my book and keeping up with author and agent blogs, is that you have to be convident in yourself and your writing. It's been really hard for me to accept that, so I know how you are feeling.

    I think I can call myself a writer now, but not an Author. I will be an Author when I get something published. But you are a writer even if all you have to show is a blog and some word documents you've been fiddling with.

    And ARC's are Advanced Review Copies- these are the copies of the book that comes out before the hardback gets published and goes to reviewers to read and write reviews. Most of the time its before it's been sent to the copy-editor so there will be small typos and the cover may not be exactly the way it will be when it officially comes out. Librarians and bookstores get them, as well as bloggers. They can't be sold, but the author can give them away, and the publisher does as well. As a blogger or book reviewer you can write the author or publisher and ask for one to review I think.

  4. I know exactly how you feel. I'm always nervous to tell people that I've written a book, and even more nervous to tell them I'm trying to publish it. Even though I'm incredibly proud, a part of me is afraid of becoming That Girl Who Wrote a Book That One Time, Whatever Happened With That?

    As for calling myself a writer, it took a while, but now I feel comfortable with it. When I finally get paid for my writing, then I'll be proud to call myself an author.

    An ARC is an Advanced Reading Copy, and I have no idea how people get their hands on them, other than contests. It's something I'd be interested in finding out.

    Glad to have found your blog! I also adore the The Hunger Games, and am currently in the midst of Mockingjay.

  5. Cold, lol nice.

    Candy, me too!! guess I am a writer.

    Thanks guys! Appreciate the encouragement, feeling better about it now.

    Kelly, another blogger explained that librarys, book stores, and reviewers get the ARC's. And that she thinks, if you're a reviewer, you can write to the author or publisher and ask for one. Veeerry Interesting.

  6. Thanks for mentioning the poll! We've had 84 responses so far and are eager for more. We'll be compiling results for a discussion post on Tuesday.

    ARCs are basically uncorrected proofs that are given out to blurbers (other authors usually), reviewers, and people who can help influence public opinion in favor of the book. The book's author is usually only given a few copies to give out, so they are kind of like gold, but contests are a great way to get your hands on them WAY in advance of the book's actual pub date. Our Monday giveaways will sometimes include ARCs of YA books coming out the next day, or authors may offer up actual commercial copies of the book. It all depends on what their publication and publicity packages look like. Definitely come by next Monday! We have six author interviews scheduled, and each author is giving away a book.


  7. Also, ARC stands for "ADVANCE READER COPY," and it's exactly that, released before the gen-pop gets it.

  8. First...hello. *waves* Nice to meet you. :) Welcome to the writing world and the wonderful blogging community of writers.
    Second, if you write regularly, writing is something you MUST do because it is your passion, and if you are constantly seeking to improve your craft, you ARE a writer. Say it aloud with me--a WRITER. :) Say it proud.

    As the above friends mentioned, ARC (advance reader copy) are given out by the publisher to gain early buzz and press prior to the release date. They are often sent to reviewers, but can also be had by attending book conferences.
    Often, writers/reviewers who attend the conferences read them, review them on their blogs and then hold contests to give them away. This helps to create buzz for the book. :) We love to support our fellow authors, especially debut authors.


  9. Aren't you the sweetest blogger ever!!! Thank you so much for the blog love, and I'm so glad to hear that our advice is making a difference. In the end I hope people realize it's the voice that makes all the difference, which is something you possess!

    As far as knowing when to call yourself a writer, I can completely relate to being afraid to admit it, you don't want to let people down, but when you realize that writing is all about you and what you want out of life you don't mind telling the world. I now am very confident to tell people I'm a writer. I think it made a huge difference when I finished my first novel I knew it was real. I read somewhere there are stages you can call yourself a writer. There are those who just call themselves one but never put in the effort and those who finish that grueling first story and are actually ALLOWED to call themselves one. It's all opinion, if you feel it, if writing consumes your mind, you my dear are a writer and should own it.

    As everyone mentioned ARC's are Advacned Reading Copies, I didn't know that until a few months ago so don't feel awful! I will say that along with publishers and conferences there are other way to snag copies! I do a lot of interviews on my blog and with the blog following those authors often ask if I'd like to review their novel, I of course say YES! I have also found a local bookstore of mine and because I'm a blogger they offered to lend me their ARC's for new novels if I give them shout-outs when an author is in town! It's a pretty sweet deal, I was able to read Firelight by Sophie Jordan, You Wish by Mandy Hubbard and Matched by Ally Condie all because we were able to strike a deal! It's worth a try if you're nearby a small shop!!

    If you have other questions I'm just an email away jenniferdaiker(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. BTW - Matthew looks awesome!! You did a fantastic job!! I'm addicted to Criminal Minds!!! Seen every episode and own all the seasons!

  11. Ooh, excellent question. For me, I became a writer when I started calling myself one. I put "Author" after my name, and then I had to live up to that. If you're not ready to do that, it's fine, but that's what it took for me.

    And nothing really changed. Just the eyes I saw myself through.

  12. Lola,!! I just can't ! enough. Thank you for the advice and add. :) And welcome!

    Thanks Martina, That clears up everything nicely!

    Jen, you guys are sportin the advice, I just posts whats I sees. Thanks must go to you all!

    And I agree about the different types of people who call themselves writers. If i go by that I have earned the "writer" right.

    Elana, I think thats HUGE. Being able to see yourself differently just by that one word must make a lot of difference in your life and writing I would imagine. Might have to try that.

  13. I didn't consider myself an author until I got a book deal, but I was definitely a writer before that time. You're working on a book and you write and 'publish' a blog - so you are definitely a writer! (And no, I'm not your mom.)
    Glad you're enjoying the series!

  14. The answer was right above my comment and I didn't even see it! How terribly unobservant I must look. Thanks for pointing it out!


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