Blogging from A to Z: A is for Author



I used to think that to be an author, one needs to be published, hopefully by a famous publisher who can afford a big advance payment plus sending you to sign books and give speeches all over the world. Being a writer is just to write, but being an author means you have STATUS. In short, being a writer means you are idealistic but poor. Being an author, however, means people will come to you for ideas and make you rich.

Obviously I was wrong.

Being an author in this day and age means you are self-disciplined, determined and highly organised. You are capable of patiently monitoring your every step forward until that book of yours is completed and published. Being an author today means you are practical — you understand ideas only remain as thoughts and feelings in your head until they are transformed into concrete words. More importantly, you appreciate the values of your voice and are willing to do anything to have it heard.

Writers who are yet to have their writings published may find it difficult to comprehend how diligent an author needs to be. To have a book done is harder than shifting a mountain — from composing the content to formatting, editing and proofreading it, to designing a cover and writing introductions to the book and yourself as its creator, to actually publishing it, and then to promoting it. Compared to writers who pile up their writings in drawers or on hard disks, authors take the challenge of jumping off the imagined cliff into that big wide ocean that is the reality. And, indeed, authors may drown, but writers who remain on land never have a chance to appreciate how cool and green and refreshing the seawater is.

I used to think only extraordinary people should publish their stories as books. These days, perhaps because I am getting older, it is my firm belief that everyone has a unique story that deserves to be known. It is a writer’s job to record such stories in the best ways possible, but only authors can make them last forever.  To cross that threshold from temporary to eternity, you need to get published in whatever way you can.


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. S. L. Hennessy
    Apr 02, 2015 @ 02:55:06

    Yeah, I’ve come to realize that unless you’re J K Rowling, “writing” and “rich” do not belong in the same sentence. But that’s okay. We do it for other reasons anyway.

    Good luck with the 2015 A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy


    • Christine Sun
      Apr 02, 2015 @ 11:17:19

      Hello S.L.,

      I once listened to an interview with Rowling, who described how those in poverty are often lumped together as “the poor” and reduced to a nameless of the collective in the eyes of politicians and economists, etc. I also remember how Stephen King wrote about being in poverty before his first novel was published. Yes we all write for different reasons, but it is persistence and determination that propel us from writers to authors.

      Thanks for the good wishes re the challenge. Will keep writing.

      Christine Sun


  2. Carrie-Anne
    Apr 02, 2015 @ 03:13:07

    I’ve always preferred the word writer to author, regardless of published status. It just seems more down-to-earth and humble to me, though I’m certainly not above doing other things which could be accused of pretentiousness, like using British spellings when I’m not British.


    • Christine Sun
      Apr 02, 2015 @ 11:21:41

      Hello Carrie-Anne,

      I agree that “author” conveys a sense of vanity to some degree. What’s in a name, anyway, but if one calls himself “Romeo” he will definitely attract a different kind of eyeballs. Mind you, I do use British spelling as I am from Australia. 😛

      Christine Sun
      PS: Great blog you have there.


  3. Andrea @ Maybe It's Just Me
    Apr 02, 2015 @ 04:44:11

    Being an author seems much more daunting than being a writer…although it would still be nice if the two collided somehow.


  4. Jeff Bach
    Apr 02, 2015 @ 04:53:41

    From my indie pov, both seem lacking when it comes to a meaning that includes the full set of requirements for being successful as an indie. It’s a business that includes marketing, promotion, knowledge of all sorts of online “stuff”, and persistence, that most valuable of business and personal attributes. bonne chance with A to Z!


    • Christine Sun
      Apr 02, 2015 @ 11:24:42

      Hello Jeff,

      Yes, it is that “full set”, that “business” I am writing to convey. Thank you for pointing that out so clearly. Also agreed with you – “persistence” is the most important thing in writing.

      Christine Sun


  5. rogershipp
    Apr 02, 2015 @ 10:10:07

    Being an author in this day and age means you are self-disciplined, determined and highly organised… I;m not sure how true these things are about me.. I just have fun and enjoy it. I thought your comments were very circumspect. If i had the qualities what you hove spoken of I would be further along into my first endeavour. But all things come to those… maybe?


    • Christine Sun
      Apr 02, 2015 @ 11:29:48

      Hello rogershipp,

      All things come to those who persevere. As a writer as well as a translator and publisher, I have seen enough writings to know that without some of the qualities I was trying to convey here, one can go nowhere… Waiting passively is not enough. We have to actively fight for it. Good luck to both of us!

      Christine Sun


      • rogershipp
        Apr 02, 2015 @ 11:52:36

        AGREED! I have only been actively writing since October. I enjoy Flash at the moment. I figure… my ideas for young adult novels will be good once I hone my craft a little more?

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