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  • Writer's pictureLisa Wolstenholme

When's an author really an author?

As a newbie to the world of blogging, I've lived in head-scratching land for quite some time trying to think up witty posts with catchy one-liners. Thing is, I often feel like a fraud when it comes to my writing endeavors, mainly because my 'serious' writing journey only kicked off about three years ago.

Like most new novelists, finishing what was later to be known as my 'first draft' was a huge milestone. Smiles abound when the words, 'The End' were typed, followed by a huge sense of relief (because I thought I'd finished - ha ha!), then pleasure (because I'd finally got the story out of my head and down on paper), and finally excitement (because I naively thought I'd just written the next international bestseller - still got my fingers crossed on this one).

Turns out that, three rewrites in, and with many, many, many reviews by peers under my belt, I still haven't produced that holy grail of manuscripts, known as the 'final draft'.

Months after I 'finished' the novel, a well known Publisher hosted an open submission, Thinking it was perfection on 250+ pages, I reviewed it with a friend and did some minor rewriting, wrote a synopsis and bio, and pressed the 'submit' button. (I can hear the titters and giggles over the web at this point.)

And guess what? Nothing. Yes, nothing happened. And it took several months and joining a writer's group to find out why. It was, on reflection, shit!

Don't get me wrong, I still love my story, and I've worked really hard rewriting it so that I can truly do it justice. But, in those first few months after my bubble was popped like an over-inflated balloon, I felt that I wasn't yet 'an author', mainly because I hadn't produced that elusive final draft.

The upshot is that 'The Sunrise Girl' is still very much a work-in-progress, and I'm glad, Because of the endless review-rewrite cycle, I've learned so much and made fantastic mates as part of my writing journey. Hopefully, this has turned me into a much better writer.

So, to answer the question, I guess having gone through the process of creating a first draft, reviewing and intensively rewriting it, I can call myself an author. If only for the simple reason that this is what every single author has to do. It's part of the job, and actually, it's quite good.

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