I don’t need permission to be called an author

Authors who haven’t published often like to think of themselves as an “aspiring author,” an “aspiring novelist,” or an “aspiring writer.” They act as if by not being published they are somehow lesser than someone who actually is.

The truth is you’re an author the moment you commit ink to paper or keystroke to computer screen. You don’t have to be published to be a writer. You just have to be published to share your writing with people you don’t know.

Often those who claim to be “aspiring authors” don’t appreciate, value or accept their own writing. They lack confidence in the quality of what they’ve written.

Because such authors don’t fully approve of their own writing, they need outside validation to feel good about it. That validation comes in being published.

The world of publishing – even self-publishing – largely is not a standard of what is good, though, but of sales rankings. Corporate publishing houses primarily select the authors they’ll carry based on the potential of book sales. Print of demand companies will publish anything, and the ones we hear the most about are those that sell more than otehrs, which often occurs because of good promotional efforts. Indeed, much of the what today are considered the greatest works of literature never were bestsellers in their day.

As an author, you shouldn’t view publishing as the barrier that must be broken to prove that you are capable of writing well. If you adhere to that myth, your writing never will measure up. You always will feel that you need permission to be considered a good writer.

Instead, accept publishing for what it is – the commercial sharing of your writing. Not that there’s anything wrong with trying to sell your writing, by the way. Kudos to you if you can make money by doing what you love.

But don’t equate the ability to make money off your writing with quality. Doing so simply is fallacious and self-destructive.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.