At a baby shower a couple of weeks ago, a fellow friend of the mother-to-be (whom I’d met once and wasn’t too too familiar with) turned to me and said, “Oh! I read your book!”
I stopped in my tracks. My stomach did this weird little flip thing and I could feel heat rising to my face. (Have I mentioned that I’m terribly socially awkward to begin with? Being singled out for anything, even placing my order with waitresses in restaurants causes anxiety) I didn’t acknowledge the “it was hot” or “I really liked it”. I just kind of froze and thought to myself in an insane rush, “I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS. I’M ONLY USED TO THIS SORT OF INTERACTION VIA THE INTERNET.”
Of course, I didn’t get all shouty and caps locksy in front of everyone. I smiled, feeling unsteady and giddy and like an all-around dum dum on the inside, said, “Thank you! I’m so glad you liked it.”
A few other shower attendees looked at me oddly, but I just kept smiling, not sure what else I was supposed to say.
The (infinitely more social savvy) mother-to-be spoke up for me. “Oh, L is an author.”
My initial instinct was to tack on, “Oh, not really. I write, though.”
I stopped myself, though. I thought “Hell, I am an author. When did that happen?”
I’m not sure why, but the words writer and author have always meant very different things to me. For me, author carries with it an air of professionalism that I’ve never connected with myself. (Hello. You just read about how I have trouble ordering my own meals, didn’t you?) I’ve always considered myself a writer. Writer isn’t a hard word for me to use. Writer insinuates something more along the lines of a hobby or a wish, author insinuates a dream that’s come to fruition.
I may be alone in this. Or maybe I’m not.
Either way, I need to get used to using the word and referring to myself as an author. It’s not a bad problem to have, really.
(Pretty much my reaction, jsyk.)