Period. End of sentence.
Okay, seriously, I titled this blog the way I did to hammer home the point (at least in my crazy head) - I'm an author. Sometimes, I need to remind myself of that. I may not be published yet, but I have a world I've been working diligently only for the past 7 months. I have more faith in this story than most people have in humanity. I don't need some sort of outside recognition of that fact to accept the label of author for myself.
Here's my logic. Our subconscious mind is powerful. It is, in many ways, the magic driving this machine that is life. It's just under the surface (Duh -- it has the prefix sub in it! HA!) and we can't escape it. So, why not then, make it work for you?
There are a lot of people out there who are working just as hard as I am, yet want to downgrade their work. "I'd like to say I'm an author, but I think I'd have to have something published for that..." Yada, yada.
You're setting yourself up for failure -- or at the very least, a long ass wait to get published. Why? Because in the back of your mind, you've given yourself permission to feel inadequate. To not push yourself to the brink of greatness. And guess what? You're great. You feel the desire to write for a simple reason: we need to hear your voice.
I know I bring her up a lot, but Jillian Michaels is amazing. She reminds me everyday in my workouts (Because I own every damn DVD she' ever made. Call me nuts, I can take it.) of what it means to go after something.
"Why would you choose failure, when success is an option?"
Recently, I've gone back to earlier chapters of my novel and found myself hating most of what I wrote. Not because it's necessarily bad... but because I've grown as a writer. It doesn't stop me from shuddering at it and wanting to drop everything to go back and make it perfect. (In case you missed it, I've a bit of a perfectionist at times. It's a condition I would happily pass off to just about anyone who would take it!)
However, I'm also deadline oriented. I've given myself this deadline of May 1 to get a full first draft done and I keep pulling myself back into that goal. The goal is not a perfect draft. The goal is a first draft. I want to be able to sit down, read it straight through and it makes sense. I can tweak afterwards, give myself a new goal, etc.
I am also really damn impatient. I want to share this world and the hardest part is having to wait. I think the universe is laughing maniacally as it teaches me patience.
"Ha ha, silly girl. You think you can tame me, you pestilent being!" ~Can't you just hear it? No? Just me, then? Wonderful.
Honestly, I know 7 months and counting is not a long time. In fact, there are many authors out there who's first novel took them years. Even J.K. Rowling. Especially when you are creating a whole new world from scratch. (Did anyone else have flashbacks to Disney's Aladdin right there? Yeesh.)
Anyway... What about you? If you're an author, how long did your novel take? How long is it taking?
It's days like these that I regroup and refocus. What's my goal? Why am I questioning things? Is there an answer?
Then I remind myself: I am an author.
Time will tell if that means anything to the outside world, but it means something to me. I enjoy what I do and even if I chuck out the entire second chapter... I'm cool with that. ;)