So am I an Author yet?!

It’s a question which plays on my mind every time I cross an international border …

An act which, the more you read this blog, you’ll understand happens rather a lot in my life!

Admittedly, these days the safest occupation to write on immigration forms seems to be ‘Student’, however every now and again I get the urge to fulfill my childhood dreams, and admit that my current occupation is a ‘Writer’ or even an ‘Author’.

But at what point can I genuinely say I’m a bona-fide author?

What exactly qualifies you to be an author?

Is it simply the act of writing a story?

Because in that case, I checked that box when I was eight years old!

The story was called ‘The Magician’s Mistake’ and was entered for my local village Eisteddfod.  It won second place.  I’m sure I wrote stories before that one, and I know that I won first prizes in later years, however it will always be that story which sticks out in my mind.

But whilst that story might have solidified my love of writing, and even classified me as a ‘writer’ on some level, it definitely didn’t make me an author.

So how about writing my first book?

I wrote my first novel ‘Flicker’ in five months and across ten different countries.  It was an idea which had been in my head for at least three years, but which only properly blossomed into a full story once I had travelled down the east coast of Australia, in December of 2008.  I finally put pen to electronic paper in New Zealand, in February 2009, and  was half a world away, in Ecuador in July 2009, when the story was finished.

I can remember sitting on the back of the buses, typing away for hours, and catching the attention of my fellow travellers.  Frequently they would ask what I was up to, and rather sheepishly I’d reply that I was writing a novel.  The reason I was sheepish was because I knew the question that would inevitably follow.  ‘Oh, so you’re an author?’  Hmm.. Well kind of??? I mean, I was writing a book.  But for all I knew, the only people to ever see that book would be the travellers peering over the bus seats for a glimpse at my glowing laptop screen!  Did that really make me an author?

Even once I had finished ‘Flicker’ and was busy hassling literary agents for the opportunity to be represented, I still didn’t feel like an author.  An ‘unsigned writer’ maybe … but surely writing 180,000 words, and sending out a few speculative emails didn’t warrant that mystical title just yet?

What about when I got an agent?

And so as an ‘unsigned writer’ I began my quest for representation.  I remember reading somewhere that these days, the writer’s search for an agent is akin to a search for a publisher in the old days.

Because these days, very few writers deal directly with the publishers.  And so the quest for an agent is the only time when a writer has to turn into a publicist, marketing herself and her work, so that someone else can take on that role.

In hindsight, my own quest for representation was relatively short and painless.  Admittedly I DID send out a lot of emails, and realise that persistence is definitely a virtue!  But within three months of finishing ‘Flicker’ I had attention from some of Britain’s largest agencies, and on my arrival back to the UK, in November 2009, I signed with Agent ‘S’, at Peters, Fraser & Dunlop.

I had an agent.  So clearly someone believed in me.  Someone believed in my story.

But did that validate me as an author?  Or simply change my status from unrepresented writer to a represented one?

There’s a very big difference between ‘having an agent’ and being represented by one.

And this was something which took me several months to truly understand.

I finished Flicker in July 2009, and was signed to PFD in November 2009.  At this point Flicker was 180,000 words long … warranting my first request from my new agent.

She asked me to cut it in half!

The advice was sensible.  These days teenage fiction is dramatically shorter than the epic later Potter novels.  Publishers ask for first books to be between 70,000 and 90,000 words.  Which meant, having spent five months coming up with 180,000 words … I now needed to cut out at least half of them!

This first edit took me around six weeks.  Aided mainly by my stubborn determination, and by my new job –  I had moved to the Canadian ski resort, Whistler, and had found my niche as a nanny.  Not necessarily a career I had ever seen myself writing on immigration forms (!) but one which allowed me to earn a living in a way which encouraged me to write.  I wasn’t really using my brain during the day, so I thrived at night.

After I edited the length of the novel, ‘S’ then asked me to edit its content.  She provided me with a list of  changes to be made, which took me around another six weeks.

My second, agent-driven, edit.  Completed February 2010.  If I’m honest, at this point  I was beginning to feel a bit like an author.  Someone was reading my work, and giving me feedback on it.  My writing experience was no longer an exclusive relationship between me and my own characters.  Someone else had entered the equation, and as a result, Flicker was transformed.

And then ‘S’ let me down.  Out of nowhere, following the second edit, she told me to give up!

Not writing altogether … but Flicker.

In a total turn-around from her attitude just four months beforehand, ‘S’ told me Flicker wasn’t the book to launch my career, and whilst I shouldn’t doubt my own writing, I ought to start a new project.

Which I did … though somewhat battered and jaded.  I wasn’t an author.  I was a spurned writer, with a newer, more bitter, bit between my teeth.  Because Flicker had been my story.  The book had become my life for a year.  And I had seen the story beyond the first book, and was looking forward to exploring it.

And then a few short weeks later, everything changed.

Peters, Fraser & Dunlop merged with MF Management, and Agent S was one of the casualties of the merger.

I was technically agent-less once again … however, what should have been a disaster actually became a godsend.

My account was transferred to ‘S”s former assistant.  The wonderful Lucy Dundas.

And with my new representation, came a new realization.

I finally discovered what you need in order to FEEL like a bonafide author.

You need someone who is genuinely passionate about your work.

You need a loyal reader!

I think Lucy officially became my new agent six months ago.  And of the past two years, I genuinely feel like those six months have been the most productive.

I have dramatically re-edited Flicker, and Lucy submitted it to thirteen of Britain’s most prolific publishing houses.

I completed  the ‘new project’ Agent S suggested I work on … The Dream Navigator.  And then, with Lucy’s guidance, doubled it in length.  I officially finished the novel last week, and it will hopefully be submitted to publishers in the very near future.

And finally, I experimented with a completely different genre of fiction.  Psychological women’s fiction.  Watch this space to find out where My Ten Future Lives might take me …

Right now, as I sit waiting to hear back from publishers, and crossing fingers and toes that my work might finally be given the opportunity to reach not just tens of readers, but thousands, I genuinely feel like an author.

I live and breathe writing.  All day my mind ticks with stories, and every night, no matter how late I get in, I find the time to commit them to Word documents.

And when I cross a border, or someone asks me casually what I do, I finally feel confident, and legitimate enough, to tell them that I’m an author.

Because I know I have a dedicated readership.

Even if, at present, it only consists of my wonderful agent, and the dear group of friends who willingly read every word I write!

C-C xx


Check out some of the blog responses to this blog post HERE!


Filed under C-C Lester, Writing

317 responses to “So am I an Author yet?!

  1. An agent, dear friends and lots of new Freshly Pressed masses! Congrats!

    I have yet to embark on my own agent search, though the basis for my first book can be found on my blog — an account of my crazy, unexpected, blindsiding divorce and its crazy, unexpected, blindsiding aftermath.

    I hope to find a loyal reader and rigorous promoter like you did sometime soon.

    Until then, I remain a writer — and an author-in-training.

    Great post … best of luck! 🙂

    • Thanks Mikalee 🙂 Promise to check out and comment on your blog as soon as I finish replying to all these amazing new comments 🙂
      Thanks for your feedback
      C-C xx

  2. Sigh! I want to be an Author when I grow up too :)! Congrats on being FP on your third post! K

    • Thanks so much! I’m so new to WordPress I actually had to google FP to find out what was going on, and why overnight my inbox was suddenly so full of comments!!!
      C-C xx

  3. Writing has been an essential part of who I am, and an important tool that I use to understand myself and what I actually think about things, from the time I was very young. I rarely publicly acknowledge how important it is to me– it makes you so vulnerable to admit that something is sincerely meaningful to you. I would never classify myself as “a writer”. To hear that someone who has had the confidence to full-on commit to their art and believes in themselves enough to show their work to others and try to bring it to the public, has those same doubts, is simultaneously disheartening and reassuring. Maybe we are all writers. Maybe the day you can openly admit that you are really a writer is the day you stop really trying.

    • I think it might just be the day you stop worrying about what other people think – when writing becomes so inherent to who you are, that it is as much a part of you as the colour of your hair, or the sound of your voice … and thus something that others HAVE to accept because it’s you … rather than choosing to accept it, as if it were an opinion about yourself ….
      Does that make sense at all?
      Thanks for reading and posting,
      C-C xx

      • I am new to wordpress as well, in fact as of yet, I have not posted. I have been writing a blog on blogspot for over two years. Only recently have I really found some momentum. I am commited to writing daily and posting at least 4 times a week. I have always considered myself a writer. I have been a stay at home Mom to 3 kids for 16 years. My marriage is now ending and I am a single Mother at 47, something I never expected, and always expected. I gave up so much of myself over the course of 17 years that I hardly recognized myself 2 years ago, when I finally put an end to my long dead marriage.
        One large part of my core was buried within my relationship, my writing. I let go of my dream and now I have rediscovered it.
        Your words in the previous comment describe to a T how I feel about writing.
        I am a writer, always have been, now I will become an author. I have an agent of sorts, in the form of a man that came into my life in November. A fellow writer and sometimes editor, he helps me to find my voice and the courage to share my writing. He told me awhile ago that you are not a true writer until you share your work with others. Sage advice, and so my journey to author has begun. You can find me at blogspot,, and soon you will find me here on wordpress,
        All that you say here makes a world of sense to me. I follow with pleasure and hope that you check out my work as well. Best of luck with getting published! Cannot wait to read your books!
        Jenni in Philadelphia

      • I love your post and really dig this reply. I can relate so well. I have been writing since I was 12 yrs. old but only my closest friends knew how much this meant to me. It was a secret side of myself that I nurtured quietly. I didn’t have the confidence to proclaim to the world that I was a writer and face rejection.

        What changed? Me. Life opened a door and I found the courage to step through it which disintegrated my doubts. On the other side waited a blossoming world of possibilities. Each step I take, empowers me and strengthens my Voice bringing me that much closer to a truer actualization of self. It’s like breathing. I write, therefore I am. What waits for me? A reality that reflects inner and outer coalescence. We create what we believe.

        Thank you so much for sharing your journey and inspiring others. Best of luck to you!!! Peace, C.

      • Thanks Jenni 🙂 When all the hype has calmed a little around this blogpost, and I’ve had a chance to reply to everyone, will definitely take a look at your work 🙂
        And likewise, please check out my fiction work, located on the other pages of the blog, would love to know what you think!
        C-C xx

      • Thank you SO much Coco! Great to be able to talk with and touch and inspire other writers! Am very new to this kind of blogging, but absolutely loving the reception my rollercoaster story is evoking 🙂
        C-C xx

      • Wise words. Now if only I knew how to get there. Writing is an essential part of me, but a part of my private self, a part that I am always very careful to protect. Though, to be honest, blogging seems like a first step onto the path to wearing my inner writer on my sleeve, because it feels so innocuously anonymous. It’s so much easier to just hit “publish” than to read your heart and soul aloud, hands shaking, before the 10 other people in a workshop, who are all eager to judge you to pieces. But there is the potential to reach so many more people, and every positive response ups my confidence.

      • jennigetsit … i cant find any of your blog posts? one link comes up empty, and the other one suggests a phishing scam? can you post a link to your wordpress and i will happily tune in 🙂
        C-C xx

  4. When you start believing it, so will everyone else!

  5. GutterWriter

    Wow- you really get it!
    I’m still in the process of gathering together material, bits and pieces, that I hope some day can be compiled into a book of some sort.
    I never know whether this qualifies me to be called a “writer”- it’s not something that I would consider to be my career but it is definitely a dream and aspiration of mine. I only recently began blogging as an excercise to keep my creative juices flowing, so to speak.
    I think that your story is inspirational; congratulations. I must ask, though, any advice? I know that there is no secret to finding an agent: your writing must genuinely be good for people to accept and publish it. However, do you have any beacons of light for the would-be-authors stuck in the dark tunnel of a first draft?
    Cheers 🙂

    • Hmm … honestly, I think just being persistent. When I was looking for an agent, I definitely wasn’t half-hearted about it. I spent hours researching all the different agencies, not just in the UK, but around the world. I created Excel files so I could properly record who I had approached, when, and their responses. I made sure that my applications were personal to the agent I was writing to, and didn’t just come across as if I was spamming the same thing to hundreds of people, and I just kept believing. It really is a case of selling yourself, so think out of the box, and bear in mind, that they will definitely google you! ‘Agent S’ managed to dig up my Challenge Charly videos within a few days, even though on not one of those videos is my surname ever tagged!

      Hope that’s of some help to you. Unfortunately the other requirement appears to be patience … something which, as I wait to hear back from publishers, I realise I’m not very good at!!

      C-C xxx

  6. Congrats on finding Lucy. And on being Freshly Pressed. I like you blog.

    • Thank you 🙂 She’s awesome, as is Eric, my unofficial editor. Now that my blog is actually being read (something I didn’t necessarily forsee!) I realise he needs some internet love too 😉

      Thanks for taking the time to read it!
      C-C xx

  7. Jennifer Barricklow

    I believe you have indeed hit upon the only thing necessary to being an author: a loyal reader. More than one is preferable, but it really only takes one because that one will share her enthusiasm for your work, and before you know it, you have more readers. Admittedly, this is not the fast track to the best-seller list, but it does make one feel…well, like an author.

    Congratulations on being an author, and on being Freshly Pressed!

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am in the works to writing my first book. It was written, finished, and now being “chopped” up again. What you shared really inspired me to keep moving because days have been super tough. My friend has written and completed his self-pubished book and here I am still working at mine and hoping that an agent will take notice. What you said really gave me some much needed fuel. Thanks so much 😉

    • Thanks Lakia, that’s so great to hear 🙂 Being a writer can be such a lonely activity, so it’s great to know there are other people out there experiencing the same things.
      Best of luck getting signed and published
      C-C xx

  9. 2blu2btru

    This is one that I’ve wrestled with a lot in my writing life. Although I’m not nearly as far along in my writing journey as you are, I drew a lot of inspiration from this. Good luck with the rest of your publishing journey!

  10. theveryhungrybookworm

    You know, I’m not really sure when you would begin to label yourself as an author. Maybe it depends on what you want to get out of it? If you are using author as your profession, it would probably be the time that you started making money. If you are doing it for the joy of doing it, I would say that when you were 8 and wrote your first real story, you could be an author then 🙂

    • Hmm … I think for me, i want to be an author to have a chance to touch other people’s lives through my writing … which as a lot of people have commented, can these days be done via the internet.
      And, thanks to Freshly Pressed, and evidenced by my insanely full inbox today, it looks like my blog managed to do that today, at least to some small degree … so I guess, rather ironically, my blog post achieved my idea of author status 😉
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment 🙂
      C-C xx

  11. i once read somewhere that you are a writer the day you want to be one. 🙂
    so you sort of qualified at the beginning of your story. nice story though!

  12. Writing is hard. Re-writing and editing even harder so good for you for keeping it going 🙂 And with anything creative, sometimes the hardest audience to convince of your talents is yourself.

    • Definitely! You’re only an author, when you yourself genuinely feel like one. And so, for that reason, maybe everyone’s bar is different?

      Thanks for taking the time to read and post 🙂
      C-C xx

  13. great post about your passion: writing! which, in my eyes, makes you an author: writing is your passion! so go and spread the word: as an author 🙂 would love to read your stories, by the way!

    • Thanks Rike 🙂 Check out the start of my three books – all found on pages of this blog, let me know what you think, and I’ll try to post more excerpts soon!

      C-C xxx

  14. I’m on a similar path as you my friend. You’re an author when you make a living, however humble it may be, off of your craft. By that definition i’m an actor — hellouva lot of good it’s done me. Keep on trecking! (Wish me luck)

  15. colleenriordan

    I am so grateful for you sharing this. I am currently considering a career change into the field of publishing. So many of those in the field are jaded. It is completely at odds with the authors they work with who live their work so passionately.

    • Thanks Colleen. I think my problems with Agent ‘S’ perhaps stemmed from the fact she’d been in the business too long. Lucy, my current agent, is just starting out, just like me, and for that reason she has a real bit between her teeth. Call me soppy, but part of the reason I would love my work to get published, is so that I get the opportunity to continue working with her as both of our careers develop. Writing is a very lonely pastime, so it’s great to have a partner in crime 🙂

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment 🙂
      C-C xx

  16. jesswords10

    What wonderful words to share with this blogging world. Thank you for sharing your story about your writing travels, your publicist adventures, agent hunting, and editing process. It’s fascinating to hear how much of yourself you’ve devoted to your passion, all while still traveling the world and working at various jobs. If you need a stowaway on your future travels, I’d love to come! Finishing a novel in Ecuador sounds downright thrilling!

    Best of luck on your book, I’m crossing my fingers you’ll get a bite soon!

    • Thanks so much Jess!!!
      Will try to restart Challenge Charly so people can virtually stowaway on my next adventures … and don’t worry, all my books include very strong travel aspects 🙂
      There are samples of all three books on my blog pages – please let me know what you think, it’s great to get feedback.
      Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment 🙂
      C-C xx

  17. Aletta Leannan

    Inspiring. 🙂 Personally, I like to think that being an author is something that isn’t dependent on outside validation but on personal understanding.

    • Thank you – inspiring people is one of my biggest desires for becoming an author. (That and obviously JK Rowling’s bank balance 😉 )
      I think you’re right, I think it’s about finding the point where you are confident enough in yourself and in your writing, to call yourself an author. Personally I found that through Lucy (my agent)’s support, and from the support of a dear friend and dedicated reader – Eric Kimelton (who I feel bad for not thanking in the original post!!)

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment 🙂
      C-C xx

      • Aletta Leannan

        Oh the bank balance is definitely a good bonus to reach for! 😛 If anyone toils away in such a lonely profession, beating themselves up and racking their brains for the right words, I figure we all (meaning writers) deserve a hefty living. Those hours, days, weeks, and months will never come back and seeing as writers can’t spend that time doing other things, it’s only fair to aim for the big bucks. 😛

        I have to admit, my reasons for writing are more selfish than wanting to inspire people. I write to get it out of my system. If I don’t, it’ll probably drive me insane over time. If I can inspire someone or make people think, that’s definitely a bonus but it’s a secondary bonus. A couple of my dedicated readers are my loved ones/best friends (one of whom has a Master’s degree in English so she knows what she’s talking about) and they encourage me and eat up my words, but it would be helpful to have encouragement from others. I think, ultimately, the will to write and succeed no matter how difficult it is makes one an author.

        Keep writing. You can do it. 🙂

  18. I have similar feelings about being a composer — to the point that I try to avoid that term and go with the more childish “music-writer.”

    But I definitely feel you — getting that set of people who will consistently go “nice shit dude,” especially if they have the power and gumption to actually promote you — is the best and most legitimizing thing for any professional artist.

    Nice post.

  19. You’re an inspiration. Your story makes me want to get back to writing my story that I almost gave up on.
    Thank you 🙂

  20. Wow, I know exactly what you mean. I am a writer as well, working on a novel and working an internship as managing editor for some website. I’ve published one poem, one short story (forthcoming) and a bunch of articles at my editing job. Yet, I still work part time delivering pizzas, the same job I had all through college.

    When people ask me what I do, it really depends on my mood. Sometimes I hang my head and say “I deliver pizzas”. Other days I get cocky and say, “I am a managing editor!” And yet what I really want to say is “I am an author,” but the best I can muster is “I am a writer”. It is an odd feeling, stuck somewhere in that limbo.

    I’m glad to hear you’re out of that, that you have reached that point where you can call yourself an author! That’s a great accomplishment, and I hope to join you soon in the not so distant future.


    • Thank you 🙂 And thank you for reading and commenting. Being a writer can be a pretty lonely pastime, so it’s great to hear there are other people experiencing the exact same things 🙂

      C-C xx

  21. grimaud50

    I really enjoyed reading your post! It is amazing at the power others have over each of us and how our lives/careers will progress. Congratulations on all of the exciting changes and opportunities! I hope you find your publisher soon!

    I also followed the link to read the excerpt from your novel. Great stuff!

    • Thank you SO much!! Feel free to comment on all three of the novel excerpts up on the blog – it’s great to have feedback – good or bad – and I’ll try to post more as I get to grips with the blog! (third day on WordPress!!!)
      C-C xx

  22. I enjoyed reading about your journey in becoming an “author.” With all of the books published every year I began to wonder if publishing a book had become easier, or if more people are just “discovering” their talents. Thanks for sharing!

  23. As I printed out and leafed through the pages of my finally finished first draft of my novel this very morning, I thought – wow, it almost looks like a real book! This may be one of the earliest baby steps towards finally feeling like an author and, small though it was, I have to say it felt GOOD! Congratulations on your successes so far. 🙂

    • Congrats on finishing the first draft!!! I definitely know that feeling!!
      (and be prepared for at least a week of feeling rather lost and like there’s nothing to occupy yourself with anymore! That was the reason I actually started this blog three days ago!!!)
      Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂
      C-C xx

  24. Great blog. Good luck on your book and many more to come! I looke forward to reading more.

    • Thanks so much 🙂
      Check out the excerpts from all three of my books, located on the other pages of the blog, and feel free to comment, good or bad! It’s great to have feedback!
      Thanks again
      C-C xx

  25. It sounds to me like you were BORN an author! This is a well-deserved Freshly pressed, something tat will give hope to thousands of scribblers out there, and show what can be achieved with persistance. Your big milestones were: Having the book-length idea, writing the WHOLE THING DOWN, getting off your butt once you’d completed the MS and sending it out, over and over, doing what your agent said and then HAVING THE NEXT IDEA. You deserve a medal for each and every stage, and if you don’t get picked up by a major publisher, then there ain’t no justice. I’m not even going to mention the fact that you’re having a real life at the same time. My hat is off to you.

  26. What do they say – what doesnt break you makes you stronger. Good luck with it all! I look forward to seeing it in print! 🙂

    • Thank you! And SO bloody true!!
      The start of each of my three finished novels are on the other pages of the blog – pls feel free to read and comment, it’s great to get feedback 🙂
      Cheers again,
      C-C xx

  27. I’m so very glad I stumbled upon your post this morning. I am a pre-published writer, looking to call myself a true author, as well. Your life is incredible, and I admire your yearning to travel and experience various cultures. This is what I think all people should do: see the world, because we can!

    Anyway, one more thing: “I live and breathe writing. All day my mind ticks with stories, and every night, no matter how late I get in, I find the time to commit them to Word documents.”

    This sums up my life as a writer, and I want to thank you for finding the words. Good luck on your travels, and may you discover many wonders of the world.

    Take Care,

    • Thank you SO much for your words. Best of luck with your writing, I’d love to see some, and feel free to comment (good or bad!) on the samples of my work up on the blog, it’s great to get feedback 🙂
      Cheers again,
      C-C xx

  28. I am a 20 year old college student at University of Houston , studying creative writing, and all my proffs say that anyone writes recreationaly is a writer. And I agree, there is way too much talk about the true qualifications of a writer/

  29. I really liked this post. I, also, am an aspiring author. Although “unrepresented writer” is probably the more accurate term currently for me as well. I look forward to reading more of your posts about your journey, and wish you the best of luck in your newfound authorship!

    • Thank you 🙂 Great to hear you liked it! Best of luck with all your writing, and I just hope my future blog posts will live up to this one! (pretty scary getting Freshly Pressed on my third day on WordPress!!)
      Cheers again,
      C-C xx

  30. uhh hi i am new to the writing thing i want to become a writer after reading your blog i think u r gud i wrote a paragraph today i.e my first blog ! would you read it and help me plzzz ??

    • Hi there,

      Thank you 🙂
      Things look set to be a bit hectic over the next day or so, as am trying to reply personally to all the comments, but will try to remember to check out your blog and give you some feedback later in the week 🙂
      Thanks again,
      C-C xx

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  32. I don’t think ‘author’ is always synonymous with ‘book’ anymore, and that creates opportunities; if you have a readership–even online, no book, no ebook–you might call yourself an author. Be well!

    • I think you’re right 🙂 And today, thanks to Freshly Pressed, I got at least a day of feeling like an author 😉

      Cheers for taking the time to read and comment,
      C-C xx

  33. Yikes! I didn’t realize there was any question about when someone ‘becomes’ and author. For me it is pretty simple: If you have had at least one book published and distributed to the masses, and you are being paid to write another one, then you are an author. If you are being paid as a nanny on a ski resort and write in your free time, then you are not an author – you are a nanny who would like to be an author. The difference isn’t in what you write or when, it is in how you make money. Authors make money writing, everyone else just writes.

  34. Thanks so much for this post! I loved reading it because it gave me hope that my book will be published someday.

  35. Great story and gives hopes to aspring authors like me! Good luck with getting published 🙂

  36. Congrats on Freshly pressed! First time reader of your autobiographical work and it made me smile. I dream of writing a book- for now though, I’ll stick with the blog- as my vocabulary and creativity aren’t quite up to fiction par ;o). Best wishes in your writing career, author!

    • Thank you so much! I literally started the blog 3 days ago, and didn’t even know what FP was when people first started commenting!!! Ironically the post was originally gonna be about how, as a fiction writer, I’d never felt valid to be writing blogs and making social commentary! Kinda glad I wrote about this instead 🙂

      Cheers again,
      C-C xx

  37. Great post. Have lost count of the number of manuscripts I have in my rubbish bin, half-written but lacking confidence. Congratulations on having such a strong resolve!

    • Thank you 🙂
      And try to stick to it … even if you don’t think something’s going quite right, the age of computers makes it so easy to go back and re-edit, so why not just start by getting the story out in rough form, and then go back and refine?

      Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂
      C-C xx

  38. Yes, you are an author. You wrote something. In my opinion, even if you piece was unpublished and unread, you still authored it.

  39. Wonderful post. This question seems to come up so much in writer’s lives, and what I dislike is the ego that gets attached to answering ‘author’ instead of ‘writer’. As if a writer is a lesser being. Regardless of the label attached to us, we all, as a friend said once in a poem, capture words and lay them down on a bed of paper. Best wishes for your publishing future.

  40. Thanks for sharing this story. As a person who can’t imagine a day without writing yet who often wonders if she’s allowed to call herself a writer, I found some solace in your story. I hope one day I will find an avid reader! (But I still think you are a writer if you write, nevermind what anyone thinks.)

    • Thank you for reading it 🙂 and for taking time to comment.
      I definitely know that feeling – whenever I finish a draft, I know I need to leave it for at least a week before I look back at it … and for that entire week, I am genuinely lost!!!
      C-C xx

  41. Thank you for sharing your journey, C-C!
    I became obsessive about editing my most recent short story, and that thing was only 4000 words long. There were parts I didn’t want to cut, but ultimately they weren’t necessary, since the story is a stand-alone. When you whittled “Flicker” by half on your first agent’s suggestion, did you find yourself saving the redacted portions for future books in the series, or did they just hit the cutting room floor? -Jen

    • Do you know what, actually my first cut turned out to be overly brutal! My motivation to put Flicker to paper came from being dumped, and needing an outlet for my general heartbreak. (The story opens with Flic having just been dumped) However, almost a year on, when I came to edit it, I was so over that part of my life that I began to realise how dwelling and self-concerned Flic had become as a result of my own experiences, so I cut out a whole heap of stuff about her relationship with her ex. As a result, my edit was rather frenzied, and I actually realised on my third or fourth draft, that I needed to use some of the sections I initially cut out!

      The way I write, I keep files with every draft version in, so that I can always go back and replace sections which might have changed between drafts.

      Hope that helps answer your question?
      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment 🙂
      C-C xx

  42. Tricia Allen

    I rarely read a post as long as this, but I read every word. I look forward to reading more of your work. I would certainly agree, you are an author.

    • LOL you can tell I’m an author/waffler, rather than a blogger! Very new to all this (day three!) but so touched by all the feedback, and very happy you didn’t get bored by my waffle 🙂
      Thanks so much Tricia. Please check out the samples of my fiction work on the blog – would love to hear your feedback, positive or negative 🙂
      C-C xx

  43. carleennimrod

    Great post! Very encouraging as someone who is considering ‘taking the plunge’ into being an’author’ and travelling while I do it. All the best to you!

  44. I’m pretty simple with my definition of an author: a writer with at least one book published for a general audience. That’s how I define it for myself at least. Good luck on your journey.

  45. cool, I never kind of thought of what it was really myself!!!!

  46. when i was a child, i studied dance. my teacher was adamant, however, that i was not yet entitled to call myself a dancer. i was a student. years later, i earned the right to call myself a dancer and the delayed gratification was worth the wait. congratulations on your new title and for following your dreams.

    • I LOVE this analogy!!!
      Congrats on your own title 😉 and thanks so much for reading and commenting
      C-C xx

    • hmmm as a dancer (i think) and writer this interests me. What made you a dancer? I’ve been studying dance for years and, ballet especially. I think I first called myself an honest dancer when I had my first solo (not even just dance) en pointe. Is that just? I’ve studied music for a long time but don’t consider myself a musician…

      but i am an artist. whether my art be writting dancing music, visual art or just my life itself, i am an artist 🙂

  47. I would consider you and Author or Writer.

  48. That’s great, I hope you get published I really want to read your work, even your post read great. I hope one day to become an author too, at the moment I have a bad habit of stopping stories and restarting or starting something completely different. One thing that scares me about the whole process it someone telling you what to change.

    • Thank you so much 🙂
      Please read the excerpts of all three of my novels found on the other pages of the blog … but bear in mind the target audience 🙂 (MTFL is for women, the other two for teenage girls)
      And don’t worry too much about being told what to change – it takes some getting used to, but you end up loving the story so much as a whole, that all you want to do is make it as good as you can, and that’s where other people’s input comes in!!!
      C-C xx

  49. Congratulations, C C! All the very best to you in your authorship.

  50. This is one of those questions which elicit blood, fur and feathers flying when those who have already published commercially respond to those who still hope to, but have not yet done so.

    Writing is one of the few — maybe the only — fields where the wishful thinking is so fervent and widespread (why?!) that people claim that title, from some perspectives, mighty prematurely. Then those who have not yet found a publisher rise up, hackles raised, to attack those of us who have — how dare WE claim that title? Well, because we’ve broken that marathon tape and crossed the finish line — we have ISBN numbers and our work is available for sale to the public through book retailers.

    So, as an author of two NF books, the second of which is out April 14, 2011, I’d say hold your fire and keep your powder dry. After your contracts are signed, after your work is D & A (delivered and accepted, in publishing jargon), yes. Then.

    Until then? Moot, I’d say.

    But congrats on your progress!

  51. Well written, I think you read my mind. There’s a constant internal debate about if I’m a “real” author or not… and I simply cannot come to a conclusion. I much enjoyed this post.

  52. Hey, great post! I have also wondered what it takes to be considered and author. Although I’ve never written a novel, I have written a number of short stories and have been recognized for creative writing in school. I like to consider myself a writer just because that’s what I want to be, whether or not the title is deserved. I hope it is though.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    – Nate

    • Thanks Nate, it’s great to hear that I’m not the only one having this kind of inner dilemma! The problem with ‘working’ as a writer, is you don’t have colleagues surrounding you every day, going through the same issues. Really wasn’t sure whether I ought to be writing a blog, but I guess all the comments today show that writers can really use the web as a forum to have Staff Room-style discussions 🙂

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment
      C-C xx

  53. The road to representation is a very draining, rewarding, and—quite frankly—a lot of work. But this is why becoming a published author is SO rewarding. Yes, we may not make a great living at writing, and may have to set aside our writing projects for our full-time career, HOWEVER, I’ve never felt better as a person when I’m editing other’s work, receiving feedback on my own writing, and having someone one there say, “What you write inspires me.” This, to me, is why we write: We love to, and we want what we write to mean something to others.

    This is so exciting.

  54. Congratulations on being Fresh Pressed. You just increased your audience! Everything happens for reason – even evil corporate mergers. And the reason was Lucy. Luckies with the publishing houses!!

  55. So glad I stumbled upon your post! You know, I’ve asked myself the same question for years. I’ve been published in magazines, newspapers and websites… but I always feel a bit like a cheat when I tell people I’m a writer. It seems as if these days anyone can do it. There’s a part of me that says until I have a book on the shelves of Barnes and Noble, I wasn’t bonefide. I still dream of being the next Liz Curtis Higgs, writing fiction stories that inspire women. Reading your article makes me feel good about all the hours I spend typing late at night between life and my side job. Hopefully one day I’ll be wrestling through that same process as you, editing under the guidance of an agent. So close to publishing you can taste it. 🙂 I’m going to add your blog to my favorites. Can’t wait to hear where your writing leads to!

    • Elli, you seem to be the right person to go to when in need of writing advice! I’m very excited that you offer critiquing services, and hope to work with you soon. I believe this is one of the most important steps to improving your work for representation/publication.

    • Hi Elli,

      Thanks so much for posting – great to hear I’ve been of some inspiration 🙂
      Hope that my future posts live up to this one, and pls feel free to read the samples of my fiction on the other pages of my blog, would absolutely love to hear what you think, and would be more than happy to read some of yours in return 🙂 Just moved away from my weekly Writers’ Group, and really missing the opportunity to critique and be critiqued!

      C-C xx

  56. Nice post! I am currently editing a Young Adult Novel myself. I have the same issues of wondering when I will consider myself an author. For me though, I also am not yet comfortable with the term writer. I think of myself sort of as a scribbler at this point still. Maybe once I get through some peer reviews….

    Good luck to you!


    • Thanks Liz 🙂 Would love to read some of your writing, and would love to hear what you think of mine (good or bad!)
      Peer reviews are definitely the way forward
      C-C xx

  57. To have an agent that really believe in you is something wonderful. Congrats on that and being freshly pressed.

  58. oh what a great feeling that must be. to finally have the confidence to call yourself an author!

    i look forward to reading more about your writing adventures 🙂

    • Thank you 🙂
      And please feel free to read and comment on my fiction stuff – on the other pages of the blog – always great to have feedback, whether it’s positive or negative 🙂

      Cheers again,
      C-C xx

  59. Well, congratulations! What a journey! I’m a published journalist, regionally and nationally. However, I’m just beginning to footsteps of re-exploring my creative writing roots, and I’m starting down the path you began a few years back. Wonderfully written post here, and thank you for bringing a smile to my face today!


    • Thank you for the praise 🙂 So lovely to hear good things from other writers!!!
      Would love to have some feedback on my fiction stuff, so if you ever have a chance, please check out the excerpts on the other pages of the blog.
      Thanks again for reading and commenting 🙂
      C-C xxx

  60. I have asked myself similar questions. It is nice to know I am not alone in the frustrated world of writing.

    You get to call yourself a writer when you are commited to the craft. Your blog demonstrates your immense passion for writing. There is no doubt you have earned the title author!

    I can’t wait to read about your further adventures.

    • I think that’s one of the problems with being a writer, or author, or whatever any of us classify ourselves as … normally you work alone, and so it’s easy to feel alone amongst all the hurdles that come with the vocation.
      Glad my passion showed itself in my writing … hopefully it’s as bright in my fiction work 🙂
      Please feel free to check out the excerpts of my three novels on the other pages of the blog, and to let me know what you think of them! Great to have feedback – either positive or negative!

      Thanks again,
      C-C xx

  61. Good job getting freshly pressed so soon! Congrats. I enjoyed the read.


    • Thank you!!! Have to admit I hadn’t even heard of FP until I opened my inbox this morning to 150 emails from WP!!!! Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for taking the time to read and comment on the blog 🙂
      C-C xx

  62. I want the day to come for me to be called author.

  63. Wow such an awesome post and an encouragement to me as I write my first novel! Thanks for sharing your story! I’ll be following your blog as you travel around writing!

    • Thank you so much for reading it!! Great to know I’ve been able to inspire others 🙂
      Please feel free to check out my fictional stuff – it’s on the other pages of the blog – would love to hear feedback from other writers, good or bad!!!
      C-C xx

  64. You are what you do. When you were young, did you want to “write” or “be a writer”? Some know they want to teach, some want to be a teacher. I think it is better to want to do rather than be. You wrote, so you were a writer. Now write and you are a writer. But at dinner time you are an eater and no longer a writer. Humble thoughts from a “commenter” or “one who is commenting”. 🙂

  65. Liz

    Thank you for sharing your story. I, like you, started writing at a young age; winning my first writing contest in third grade and having it published in our city newspaper. I stopped writing for a time in my life and it feels so good to be back at it. I am a writer, but not yet an author. My work has been published in newspapers, newsletters, websites, and on my blogs, but there is a definite jump to magazines and books. My first magazine article will be published in the April edition of Redbook magazine and I wonder if I will feel like a “real” author then? Good luck to you on your travels and publishing expeditions!
    Congrats for being published on Freshly Pressed!

    • Thank you 🙂 And congratulations on making that jump!
      If you ever have time to read my fiction work, it’s on the other pages of the blog. Would love to hear feedback from other writers 🙂
      C-C xx

  66. i dont have a completed book. hell i dont have a completed CHAPTER. so i definitely dont have an agent…but i do have a friend who has read snippets and wants more. that makes me FEEL like an author

  67. You may never feel like a “real” author no matter how many books you write or get published, but you are. Love the post.

  68. if Freshly Pressed says you are a good writer, it must also mean you have arrived as a writer. Congrats on both!



    • LOL thank you!!! Have to admit, am a complete newbie to WP, so didn’t even know what FP was until I woke up to find over 150 emails from WP in my inbox this morning. V touched by all the attention and the lovely comments!
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment,
      C-C xx

  69. All County Insurance - Brea, California

    Wow! What a story! I probably would have given up after the first agent told me to quit writing Flicker. My goodness! All that editing and then telling you to give up on it.. Good thing you stuck it out though and you have a good agent now, a dedicated reader. Hope you get your books published! Either way, you are definitely an author!

    • LOL thank you! I think I might be a rather stubborn author! Turns out this is an industry based on patience … and seeing as that’s not really one of my best virtues, am trying to mimic it with stubborn tenacity 🙂
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting on the blog,
      C-C xx

  70. ckassociates

    If you want to be known as an author then you definitely want the money that goes along with the title. Also, you might want to check your spelling because you spelled “realise” instead of “realize.” It’s good to know that your continuing on with your writing and your goal of becoming an author because all too often people give up on their writings and there are a lot of talented people who give up too easily. I’m looking forward to reading more of your adventures in writing:)

    • realise is the English spelling, realize is the American English spelling

    • Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on the blog. Whilst the money is an obvious bonus, I think it’s pretty cool to create a story and be able to share it with the world. And also to be able to leave a legacy that lives on long after your dead – just look at Enid Blyton, and the uproar over the new, undiscovered, book!

      C-C xx (PS I write in British English, not American English)

  71. All the ups and downs and being bashed around and the agents and the mergers and books that don’t go anywhere to writing a new one… girl, you so are on author!! Start putting that on those immigration forms!!

    • Ha ha thank you 🙂
      Maybe ‘battered author’ would be a better description at present … or ‘very stubborn author’ 🙂
      Thanks so much for the comment,
      C-C xx

  72. It would seem that this is the eternal question, isn’t it? I think that there is little difference between being an author and a writer. There are a lot of published “authors” who no longer write. Yet, how can you call yourself a ‘writer’ and therefore an ‘author’ if you no longer write? To be a writer you must be actively writing, and if you are writing, then you are the author of something. Even if it’s nothing but posting blogs, you are still an author to some degree.

    Personally, for me, I think that you become an author the day that you stop second-guessing yourself. In other words, the day that -you- accept and acknowledge the fact that you are an author, then, and only then, are you really and truly an author. Publication is irrelevant. There are tons of people who have written dozens of novels before they ever get published. That does not mean they are not authors, it just means that they have yet to be published!

    • ‘Personally, for me, I think that you become an author the day that you stop second-guessing yourself’
      Very well put! Completely agree 🙂
      Thanks so much for contributing,
      C-C xx

  73. I LOVE this post. I identified so much with what you had to say: writing childhood stories, starting my first novel (but never finishing, unfortunately), making the leap to new genres, etc… I put finding an agent on the back-burner to make way to find out who I am…as an author. Your words are so inspiring for all of us out there trying to do what we love!

    • Yay! And I LOVE that you LOVE it!
      Being an inspiration is one of my greatest goals for my writing, so awesome to hear that my lowly post has touched so many people!
      Go back to that first novel!!! Good luck 🙂
      C-C xx

  74. Fascinating! I wish you all the luck in the world!

  75. Now that’s speaking from the heart! Love your blog and the honesty is very moving. I,too, have been writing since I was ten years old. I, too, have started a blog because I “just have to write.” Best of luck to you. I’m going to try to figure out how to subscribe to your blog and get it to come up on mine, but I’m a newbie at this wordpress business. 🙂

    • Thanks so much for the feedback 🙂
      I’m also a newbie at WP!!! Didnt even know what Freshly Pressed was until this morning!!!!
      Please read some of the fiction work on the other pages of the blog – would LOVE to hear your feedback
      C-C xx

  76. colmfurlong

    Congrats on the results of your hard effort. It seems well deserved! I too am a budding author, though not an author yet, still only a writer. I found greaat inspiration from reading this and I thank you for that. Hopefully if I continue my efforts and keep blogging here I will yeild similar results.

    • Thanks Colm 🙂 I’m definitely getting there!
      Hearing I’m inspiring others is genuinely the greatest feedback I could get from this blog. Looking forward to reading you work too 🙂

      Cheers again,
      C-C xx

  77. I look forward to hearing how you become your version of an author. It seems like you are well on your way, if not there.

  78. I think you become a bona fide author when you make the NY times best seller list..
    Spread the Humor:

  79. That is the beauty of blogging – it makes you an author. It’s great to write about your passion.

    • Haha I know! One of my biggest aims in writing is to inspire others – all be it, normally to inspire teenagers to travel – and in one day I’ve been told I’ve inspired at least 100 people – pretty cool way to speak to the world (and only my third day on WordPress, so very excited by this new forum!)

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment 🙂
      C-C xxx

  80. Sweeney

    Great blog, very informative and inspiring!

  81. viddernasman

    I wrote my first manuscript last summer. I shared my novel with five persons and no one has yet finished it. They all say that they begun reading it, and I feel it’s just is a nice way of saying “Sorry You’re no author.” I’ve even dreamt that one of them said: “Interesting, unfortunately it lacks literary qualifications”. It isn’t any novel as heavy as a brick, merely about 180 pages. I’m 44 years old and success no longer means anything to me. I always felt in my heart that I’m an author. A tryout surely qualifies me as an “author bona fide”.

    • I think that’s a valid point – like a number of people have said, you’re an author when YOU YOURSELF feel like a bona fide author 🙂
      Thanks for your comment, why not post some of your novel online for other people to critique?
      C-C xx

  82. Yup, you are an author, a writer, a lover a friend.
    That much I got from your post.
    I am not an author nor writer.
    Just someone who wants to breathe your air.
    I love word junkies like teens love rock stars.
    I want to read everything you write.
    Put my name after Lucy’s.

  83. HDC

    I’ve always found it a little bit cringe-worthy to tell people what it is I aim to do with my life; writing is all I’ve ever wanted to do. But then I get annoyed at myself as it’s my dream and even when I receive looks which boast of my naivety and ignorance to enter such a difficult career it doesn’t bother me.
    I’m new to WordPress and loved your entry, glad you can finally call yourself an author and look forward to your posts in the future!

  84. Years ago I became a pen pals with some school children in Mississippi. One wrote and said “I can’t believe a famous writer would write us little children in Mississippi and pay any attention to what we have to say.”

    I called my agent and said, “Man, we have to straighten this out. I’m not a famous writer.”

    He replied, “You are now.”

    He went to to say once you touch people far away with your written words, people who you’ve never met and who you have no prior established relationship with, then at that point you are a famous writer whether you believe it or not.

    So you, sir, by definition, are a famous writer.

    Dr. B, author, “The Mandolin Case”

  85. I have to admit that reading your blog seemed a very pleasant coincidence. As a new blogger on Word Press, I was trying to get an idea about the site from fellow bloggers. Yours is one of the first blogs I have read. Ironically, I am the un-official, un-represented and intimidated new writer who is trying to spread her wings and fly.

    I truly enjoy reading your blog primarily because it makes some very good points about a writer’s life and struggles.
    First of all, congratulations on your book success and I wish you much luck for all your future work.

    I think you had all the necessary characteristics that would label you an author from the very beginning: Perseverance, determination, and a passion for writing. If someone has a passion for anything, it doesn’t matter who and what officially labels them to be an author, an artist, etc.

    What makes us a writer?

    After much soul searching I personally realized that the label of a writer is only perspective. You can be many things but others’ perspective on how they see you doesn’t necessarily reflect what you truly are made of—or not made of. The “About Me” Section in my blog might describe this in more detail. We often go by others’ standards and based on those standards we judge ourselves as well.

    Once we believe in ourselves and let go of the “technicalities” the world is within our reach.

    • Thanks so much for your lovely words 🙂 Am feeling truly humbled by all the positive stuff people have had to say today about my writing. Will try my best to check out your blog as soon as I’ve had a chance to reply to everyone’s comments.
      Thanks again,
      C-C xx

  86. Wonderful blog and I enjoyed reading it. You have a gift, and that makes you one of the special people who can share your words with the world. Congrats on finishing your books and your agent. I plan to keep following your blog.

  87. I would take a far simpler view: An author is someone who write books (or some other types of works) at a sufficient scale. Even a one-work was-never-published author who spends a year working at McDonald’s and writing his novel in the evenings is an author. There is a reason why phrases like “published author” and “aspiring author” are so common.

    More generally: There are some professional titles (e.g. “lawyer”, “physician”) that have a legal protection of some sort. Outside of these, job titles are a matter of what we do, not how good we are or what recognition we have achieved. “Author” is the equivalent of “musician”—not “rock star”. (The one is a occupation; the other a statement about success in that occupation.) The actual question hidden beneath your “Am I an author yet?” seems to be more of the type “Am I an accomplished author?” or “Will people take me seriously if I call myself an author?”—which is a different dimension.

    • I find your analogy to lawyers interesting, as when I was at university I, and my fellow law students, were referred to as ‘lawyers’ even though we were at least another year away from practicing law.
      I really like your musician/rock star analogy. Definitely food for thought, because the word ‘author’ has no concrete analogy to ability or success, it’s simply our personal interpretation of the word which affects whether, as a writer one feels personally worthy of the title or not.

      Thanks for taking the time to read the blog and comment,
      C-C xx

  88. I’ve already begun a reply but my computer hiccuped – not sure if it was delivered. Just wanted to say, keep at it and, especially with your style and site, you’ll get recognized (freshly pressed again!)

    After being published in several mags and contests I continue to have issues with the weighty “author” title. Maybe it’s because I have to work to keep the electricity (computer) going and I’m not slaving over a hot keyboard all day in some smoke-filled garret that I haven’t exited in months. I console myself by saying, If I can’t be the author of my own life then I most certainly can’t author anything else..”
    For what it’s worth.
    Good luck to you.

    • Haha, thanks! Am already overwhelmed by the effect being Fresh Pressed can have! Have to admit, that three days into blogging, I didn’t even know what FP was until about 10 o’clock this morning, when it suddenly explained the crazy number of emails in my inbox!

      Thanks so much for your praise and good wishes 🙂
      C-C xx

  89. thefengshuidiva

    It use to be you needed and agent and a publisher. Now everyone who wants to write, can blog. I gues you are an author in the traditional sense. Can a blogger be an author is the new media? Look forward to reading your thoughts.

    • Hmm … well the crazy number of (amazingly positive) responses to this blog seems proof positive that a blog post can touch people’s lives, no matter how temporarily. If this is a criterion for ‘authordom’ then a blogger is definitely a new media author.
      I really like the emerging idea of an author from the majority of these comments – that you become an author, when you see and understand yourself as an author. And so this can definitely be achieved by writing online.
      The great thing about new media is it is changing our preconceptions and our boundaries on a daily basis … These days, some of the most influential ‘authors’ write in 140 character phrases 😉

      C-C xx

  90. Abigail

    My initially response to your first question is your an author when you’re published, and a writer until then.

    However, seeing how I don’t have any real loyal readership yet, that may be a difficult thing for me to say. (Only my sister consistently reads what I write.)

    Now you make me even more excited to try to send out my MS.

  91. sarahsmilesintherain

    I’m currently straightening out the final kinks in the story I wrote a little while ago before I even contemplate looking for an agent or publisher!
    Hope everything goes smoothly and I look forward to seeing you novel in my local bookshop soon =]

  92. This is one of the best blogs about writing that I’ve read in a very long time. It is not only encouraging, but is also very real and honest.

    I wish you the best of luck with your career as an AUTHOR!

  93. Thank you for your blog. As an unpublished writer looking for an agent, your blog grants me new hope that I will find an agent for my work which is a romance novel that uses Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism as a driving force. Thanks again.

  94. Thank you so much for defining a point for me. Like many of the other commentators, I write. And yes, I’ve been indie and e-booked published and have a small global niche following. But I can only call myself a writer as yet.
    If I ever manage to secure an agent and/or mainstream publisher for my new work, THEN I will feel I have the right to call myself an author. You have explained it clearly and concisely and I agree with every word. Congratulations on your evident skill, your drive and lastly on your good fortune!

  95. yolandamtucker

    That’s a WOW moment!

  96. Congrats to you in EVERYTHING!

  97. Congrats to you in EVERYTHING! Cheers!

  98. Congratulations! Persistence paid off and now you join an elite group. I’d say “Welcome,” but I’m not so sure my body of work warrants the “author” title yet… I’ll work on that and in the process wish you the best of luck in your writing endeavors.

  99. V

    If all it takes to be a writer — is to have a reader, then you’re already there, comrade. With the endless — yet oh-so hopeful — opportunities of blogging, being read is an exciting privilege of being a contemporary writer.

    May continuous good luck — and good words — remain with you.


  100. This was an awesome and inspiring post.

  101. You’re a writer when people actually read the words you’ve written. (Which, looking at the blog here, means you’ve already made it!) If you have people who read it and actually wait for you to write more, well, those are your “fans.”

  102. So? Have you decided? Am I now writing a post to a bona fide author?
    I can only imagine your frustration during those first months of representation. To have someone demand that you edit a piece of work that you have poured your heart into for so much time must have been infuriating and I am impressed by your calm.
    I think it’s time to call yourself an author and accept the accolades thereof. You have been through the pain and anguish of the entire process and have, in my opinion, earned the title. Be proud of it while I sit here, envious of your ability to do what so many of us only dream about.
    I wish you the very best with all your endeavours and hope they are less stressful than your first!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words!
      I think the only way that you can calmly accept criticism, is to remember that everyone is working with one goal in mind – to make your story as good as it can be …
      And to also remember that in this day and age, it’s pretty easy to revert to a former draft if it all goes wrong!
      C-C xx

  103. I think the journey from starting your first novel to seeing it published is a long and arduous one for most writers. I wrote my first novel in 4 months. Eight months later, I had a contract from a publisher. I was ecstatic and confident that I would soon be a published author. Two years and four months after signing my contract, my novel was finally published. In the meantime, I kept writing and have completed a second book and started a third. It’s wonderful being published. However, it is not the end of the work, but truly just the beginning. In the four months since Restorations was published, a few hundred copies have been sold. Publishers’ marketing budgets are almost non-existent, and it’s up to the author to plug his/her own work. Congratulations on having an agent and on being Freshly Pressed. Hopefully, those who follow your blog will turn into faithful readers once your book is published. Best wishes for great success.

    • WOW! I hadn’t realised how long the journey will be if/when I get a book deal!
      I’m hoping all my freshly pressed readership will stick by me, and see the rest of my journey play out 🙂
      Thanks so much for your kind words.
      C-C xx

  104. anonnickus

    I once asked my mom how I would know when I found the right woman. She said you will just know. I suggest you ask your mom if you are an author…and then answer the question yourself. If the answer is yes please find me. I am a reader.

    • Unfortunately my parents passed away a number of years ago … something which has definitely affected my writing. However I’m pretty sure both my parents believed in my writing the minute I came home with The Magician’s Mistake 🙂
      Would love to have a reader for my excerpts (they’re on the other pages of the blog) … though I warn you, they were written with teenage females (Flicker and TDN) and women (MTFL) in mind!
      Thanks for reading and commenting,
      C-C xx

  105. A. Stevens

    We are all born writers, I think. Once a person has developed a style in writing and above all, has the passion for writing, they may call themselves a writer.

    “You wake up in the morning and all you can think about is writing. Then you are a writer,” (Whoopi Goldberg, Sister Act II).

  106. We certainly live in an age today where anyone with a computer and Internet connection (or perhaps even just a connection) can be a writer. But I agree that what makes someone an author is a loyal readership. Just about anyone can publish content these days. I really liked reading about your journey to going from “writer” to “author.”

  107. Good on you for your successes. Persistence paid off – well done! I am trying to enter the publishing market but as someone young, the older crowd who run the reins of those organisations are not very welcoming to aspiring publishers. Independent small presses are far more likely to value an author’s work over the big guns. Their resources are scarce so it will take longer but if they care about your story, they will sell it.

    I think you can say you are a writer once you have been published and say you are are an author when you make income from writing.

  108. “The coming into being of the notion of “author” constitutes the privileged moment of individualization in the history of ideas, knowledge, literature, philosophy, and the sciences” Michel Foucault, ‘What is an author’.

  109. Lisa Asanuma

    Congratulations on deciding you’re an author. It’s something I like to call myself, but still hesitate to do in public. Maybe when I get an agent… 🙂

  110. You are a writer who’s hobby is nannying.

  111. Fantastic story! I think any aspiring writer (or should I say aspiring author) will find it inspirational and encouraging. I know I did. And I truly admire your dedication to the craft. You could say I am now aspiring to more like you! Thanks for sharing your story.

  112. I liked your article. Someone told me the other day that Alfred Hitchcock used to sit his screenwriters down and get them on a project, then right when they were almost finished, he’d take them out to lunch or whisk them off somewhere. He knew that if they just did what they thought they were doing, the tension would lapse. If he pulled the rug out at a critical moment, when they came back to the project they would be fresh minded and the script would develop in ways they would never have imagined before lunch!
    Your story is like that. Rug pull-outs can be grand for your story.
    Btw the Oxford dictionary says an author is “a writer,esp of books” and a writer is “a person who writes or has written something.”
    You are what you want to be. Keep authoring. x

    • Thank you 🙂 I want to reply fully to this post when I get a chance – just on my way out the door, but promise to return to it 🙂
      Thanks for reading and commenting!
      C-C xx

      • I think all the disappearing rugs have definitely more determined, and solidified my ambitions in my mind. I WANT to be an author more than anything else in my life right now, and with every hurdle comes more determination!
        Thanks again,
        C-C xxx

  113. From a knuckle-dragger who barely made it out of high school, I would say that you are pretty damn sucessful.
    Well Done, my friend!

    • Well thank you 🙂 Though im sure you’re not a real knuckle-dragger!
      (on my first day in Whistler, a customer at the shop I was working at called me that, because I snowboard … I was genuinely insulted! Hadn’t realised that’s what some skiers call snowboarders … am now still offended come to thin of it 😉 )
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment
      C-C xx

  114. Just like you i remember the story i submitted to my high-school when i was in my 7th grade. It didn’t win anything , but a teacher who i admire even today told me i had potential when it came to languages and a wonderful imagination.
    Now that i am all grown up, the only languages i deal with regularly are ones understood by silicon chips and my imagination usually dwells on busty beautiful women minus their garb 😛

  115. So…would you have any advice for someone aspiring to get published?
    I’m currently working on two books with a third in my mind. Nothing is finished yet, but part of my struggle is the fear that I will put so much work into it all and that it’s quite possible no one will take notice or even care that I wrote it. I personally feel these books need to be out there to help thousands of people feel less alone, but I’m a nobody if I really think about it. I have a whole lot of respect for the ones who have done what is necessary to get out there and be heard. I, on the other hand, have struggled with self-confidence issues my entire life. Now I’m working in an area I’m really good at, but I’m starting to think it’s just that: something I like and am good at, but not my passion.

    • Leave this with me – want to reply fully to this, and about to head out, but promise to get back to you
      C-C xx

      • Hmm … ok, so first of all – finish one of the books – your favourite, the one that comes most easily.
        I find the more I write, the easier the writing becomes, and the better my writing is, so start with the story which is already easiest to write.
        Once it’s finished, the next move is to get an agent. Be specific in your choice of agents and agencies. Make sure you’re sending the book to people who will want to read it. Your agent needs to love, and believe in, your book. SO … choose the agencies, but don’t be too delicate … choose a fair number – think far and wide, I spammed a good few US and Australian agents! Make sure your synopsis sells your book well, and that the opening chapters (or whatever chapters the agency asks to see) properly showcase your ability. Opening chapters always need to hook the reader anyway, but make sure what you’re sending them is polished. You’ll probably only get one shot with each agent.
        And most of all … believe in yourself. That seems to be the message of today and everyone’s comments … you become an author when you believe in your own writing and your ability … so make that clear to your potential agents!!!!
        Hope that helps?
        C-C xx

  116. marjoriekaye

    I had to read this on a day I received yet another formula rejection. But good for you and congratulations.

    • Don’t panic – my life has recently been full of rejections … was beginning to feel like a speed-dater with an empty interest list!
      But there are lots of us in the same boat, as all the comments are proving, so chin-up, we’ll all get there in the end 🙂
      C-C xx

  117. Good Luck!
    It sounds like writing is definitely your passion and I hope you never give up!
    I’m exciting to read your books!

    • Thank you 🙂
      Check out excerpts from all three on the other pages of the blog, and let me know what you think! Feedback of any sort much appreciated!
      C-C xx

  118. This was a great and inspirational read. Thank you.

  119. 180,000 words? Not bad. You’re getting up there! I’m close to 400,000 words myself. (The WIP is still being worked on.)

    • LOL and I got told to cut that in half!!!!
      C-C xx

      • That would STILL be 200,000 words (or 1,000 pages) and an *eyesore* for the mainstream. ;0)

        I was talking with my therapist about how word counts 40 years ago were about 60-70,000 words and today…?

        We’re sliding back down again. But not because technology has become so limited.

        It was only 12 years ago when publishers and agents were accepting 120,000 word novels.


  120. MkMiku


    This post gave me lots of insight to my possible future. I’ve always been writing since I was five and I’ve always wanted to be an author, but it didn’t become a firm career choice of mine until 2009. I wish I could tell people I’m a writer, but I know the first they’ll ask me is what book I’ve written, which I’m not exactly at that point yet. I still have a long way to go to achieve my dream, but I never plan to give up on it. Thanks for writing this post. You’ve given me the inspiration I need to continue working on my passion.

    • Am LOVING how often people are using the word ‘inspiration’ in response to my post. So great to hear from so many other writers.
      Keep up the good work, you’ll get there – you’ve got the passion!
      C-C xx

  121. Thank you for sharing your story! I’m so encouraged as I reach the end of writing my book for the past year this April and begin the process of publicity/marketing for an agent for the first time. This was a great read and I’m looking forward to following your journey. Congrats and best wishes!

  122. Sigma iRead

    I enjoyed your article and hope to enjoy the same experience myself as a writer. Thank you, your words give hope and inspiration.

  123. The title on Freshly Pressed caught my eye. Like you I am trapped in limbo where a book exists in my mind and my laptop but hasn’t yet made it onto paper– though I do have an agreement with a publisher that this will eventually happen.
    An old friend used to tell me “the shoemaker makes good shoes because he makes them every day”. I have been writing every day since I was in high school: at first, just my journal and love letters, but later a few articles and other bits and bobs made it into print, and finally, after years of trying, I got a publishing contract. Another old friend told me “books happen in tree time”.
    It sounds like you’ve been making shoes every day for a long time. Hopefully success will follow soon.
    Good Luck!

    • Thanks Aidan 🙂 It’s funny you mention a journal – I’ve kept one since I was 14, and used to write in it almost daily, however as soon as I started writing Flicker, my journal-keeping dropped off, and I’ve now had the same journal, used maybe once a month, if that, for the past three years! And the reason for that is my daily writing practice has changed 🙂
      Congrats on the publishing contract!! Hopefully I’ll join you in the realms of ‘published authors’ soon!
      C-C xx

      • Just swung by this thread again.
        I kept a journal in high school, but it dropped off when I went to University. However, when my son was born I started up again and I am now on Volume 18. I couldn’t do without it now, and fill 2-3 volumes a year at the current rate. It’s just the most satisfying activity. I write about once or twice a week, or whenever I get the chance.
        Anyway, I hope your book has moved nearer. Cheers. A.

  124. Very Interesting Read! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed and best wishes on your journey to becoming an author.

  125. This post is an anthem to every future author. Anyone who basks on the idyllic pleasures of writing and dreams of having his/her work published will read every work fervidly.


  126. Congratulations! I found this quite inspiring. Perhaps I should actually finish one of the ideas I have instead of endlessly talking about them! Well done and good luck. Emma x

    • LOL thank you hun 🙂 Yep definitely get it all down, even if you then return to change it dramatically – Flicker was an idea which came to me 4 years before I properly committed it to paper, but I had the notes on file to return to when I felt ready 🙂

      Thanks for your support,
      C-C xx

  127. 247introspect

    Wow, what an amazing journey. This definitely spoke to me on a few different levels. Your determination is inspiring. Although I am no where near being able to call myself an author, I know I will be one day. Your story is encouraging as I am currently just getting my feet wet when it comes to writing. This gives writers hope. Thanks!

  128. Pingback: So am I an Author yet?! (via elementarycircle) « Fun to Live the Illusion.

  129. The Swift Papers

    Inspiring article, makes me want to write something!

    The Swift Papers will rise again from the ashes in order to bring information to the masses.

  130. i call myself a writer, like, one who writes for me and other people, one who must write, one who spends their time writing, and i guess author works too. i’ve written a book (currently rewriting it) but i’ll feel more comfortable with the current title when i see my book on bookshelves. 🙂 good post and congrats on being pressed!

  131. Claire

    Hi love it’s Claire L, Mel’s friend. I LOVE your blog, you write beautifully, would love to read more! Keep up the good work xxx

    • Thank you lovely!!!!!! Will upload some more excerpts soon … but if there’s one book you’d like to read in particular, message me over Facebook with your email address, and I’ll send you it in Word files 🙂 xxxx

  132. Congratz on your success! I hope to be an author someday soon; it’s been a dream of mine since I was 11. It’s such an inspiration to see other aspiring writers achieve their dreams. Good luck!

  133. Hmmm…nice, i’m also into writing, i’ve written quite a few, but i think i’m more of a writer than an author, is there a difference? Anyways congrats on being freshly pressed.

    • I think the general consensus seems to be that you are a writer if you simply partake in the act of writing, but you become an author when, for whatever reason, you finally believe in yourself and your work. For me, it took someone else believing in me to harbour that distinction!
      Thanks for checking out the blog and commenting on it 🙂
      C-C xx

  134. I don’t mind saying at all that you give me hope with this article. While I haven’t even reached the stage of a finished book I feel encouraged by the possibilities and your relentless pursuit and success shows that it can be done. Thank you for posting this for all to see.

  135. Wow…. now that’s what I’d call a bittersweet journey….. Good luck with your writting. I hope they sell one of your books nearby, ’cause this post of yours really get my bookworm+’not-so-of-a-writer-yet’ writer senses tingling to read one of your masterpiece. And yeah, congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! Keep it up!

    • Thank you 🙂 It’s definitely been a very interesting couple of years, and am definitely not jaded, but will be entering the rest of the journey with less rose tinted glasses! Perseverance is definitely an asset … as is a bit of luck by the looks of the results from Freshly Pressed!
      So great to hear from all these budding authors and writers!
      C-C xx

  136. Lori Dyan

    This is a great post! I was freshly pressed early in my blogging life last summer and it was exhilarating but also a little terrifying to wake up to hundreds of comments! Congrats…

    p.s. I’m logged in via my blog but I’m going to list you on the blog of my writing group ( as a “Link We Love” 😀

    • Great thanks for your support Lori 🙂 PS yep isn’t it crazy to have a overflowing inbox! Such lovely comments from everyone, feel very privileged (and like I have a high standard to live up to!!!)
      C-C xx

  137. Wow beautiful post! Truly insightful!

    I’ve wanted to be a writer or journalist ever since I was a kid. I used to walk around with little note pads and pencils tubs when I was a youngster and do mock interviews with my parents and writing master pieces that no one, not even I could understand. I always loved stories and I hate that it took me until the age of seven to be a decent reader. But I like to think that I am a stronger reader now, for it. I split the majority of my time between reading and writting, and when Im not doing one of those, or learning, I’m thinking about reading or writing. I have other goals too… like being a marine biologist because I love the sea too… but I figure Ill be writing my whole life through. Thanks for motivating me more! So I can do both!

    ps. I’m a published poet! I hope to add more than just three to my collection of published pieces soon though!

    (oh and Flicker sounds brilliant. Good thing you lost ‘S’… a book decides its own length. I know, I also have problems keeping things short… they take me where they take me.)

    • Thank you Mirella 🙂
      In the UK we had a journalism club called the ‘press pack’ and I remember treasuring my flimsy plastic card as if I genuinely were a reporter!
      Not sure if you’ve seen them, but there are samples of all of the books on the other pages of the blog – please feel free to comment! Great to get feedback 🙂
      C-C xx

      • Yes I saw them, and opened them in new tabs ((im a tab junkie as well as word junkie) and started to read Flicker, which seems amaizing, but put it on the back burner to read the rest of these lovely comments! You must be so moved! Just remember, they are well diserved praise. You must be tired of saying thank you by now, haha.

        Oh that sounds so cute! I never got to do anything so official! Your post also motivated me to send something I was working on months ago to a friend who recently asked to see something i was working on when she found me writting while stretching prior to a ballet lesson. I didn’t want to show her that one, because it was… well… odd. I normally write about things that move me like the sea, dadnce or music, but this one was rather random, so I sent her the dance one… If you ever feel like going on an editing spree, let me know!

        But you have deffinitely motivated me to keep writting, (and as you can see I’m a waffler too… big time!)

        Cheers 🙂

  138. Fantastic! Thanks.

    Like many bloggers I also have a book taking form, and I always suspected that writing it would be the easy part. I have to write. It is inconceivable to me to stop, even if my work never sees the light of day. But reading your story adds a little trepidation, and also hope.

    Best of luck with you career as an author and congrats on being freshly pressed!

  139. Good luck ! Waiting to read your book.

    • Thank you 🙂 Excerpts from all three completed novels on the other pages of this blog, and two chapters of the newest book – ‘The Dream Navigator’ available right here! Let me know what you think 🙂
      C-C xx

  140. blackshepherd

    The Simple Truth always is best…the answer is “yes”…I forgot the question though…sorry.

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  143. Ali

    Well written Write-up. Glad i am able yo locate a site with some knowledge plus a great writing style.
    You keep publishing and i will continue to Keep browsing

    Thanks Again

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  147. C-C, you have clearly touched a chord here. I know you did for me, and I wrote about it in my blog recently. Keep writing — we’ll keep reading! I feel fortunate to be part of this global creative community with you. Cheers, PJ

  148. Pingback: Sharing the Love! | elementarycircle

  149. Yours is most definitely an inspiring story, keep writing and living the dream!

  150. This entry really inspires people to write. Thank you cclestr. More power.

  151. swriter12

    Thanks for this blog post. I had to respond to it on my own page ( Excellent blog overall! Will definitely have to explore it when I’m not straying away from my own work.

  152. I much enjoyed this post. My fourth book will be published in a few weeks, and I still have trouble calling myself a writer.
    I wish you and your stories lots of great luck!

  153. I absolutely loved reading this! I am so pleased you realised your dream and resolved your struggle with identity.

    I all of a sudden have an urge to read everything you have linked to and possibly written. Why is this a problem? Well I am one of those ‘reading multiple books’ at a time kind of people and you’ve just made my affliction a little harder to manage.

    Truly inspirational tale…

    NB – will be bookmarking your links so I can come back and read them later.

  154. Pingback: Rebirth, Rebranding, Re-Invention! (April Contest Entry) « Elli Writes

  155. I have awarded your blog a Liebster Award.;h=73

    Please visit my blog to see the other writers I have awarded, and to see the rules for accepting the Liebster Award.

    Thank you.

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