Friday, March 21, 2014

Writing: What Do We Call Ourselves?

If you're a fan of baseball, undoubtedly you've heard certain players described as "journeymen." Mike Morgan, whose picture appears to the left, was traded six times and played for twelve teams, has been described as perhaps a prototypical journeyman baseball player. But despite this tag, Mike Morgan had a twenty-five year career in the sport, and played in the major leagues in parts of four different decades. Not bad for a journeyman.

There's been some discussion lately over whether a writer must have work published before they can call themselves an author. Although under that classification I could qualify for either designation, I honestly think it's better to divide those of us who write into journeymen and stars.

Before you dismiss the idea, think about it. There are relatively few stars in the publishing world, just as there are relatively few true stars in baseball at any time. Many of us, whether we like to admit it or not, are journeymen. We may not command big bucks for our work, we may not even be with the same publisher for our entire writing career, but we'd like to keep writing (just as Morgan and other journeyman baseball players wanted to keep playing)--sometimes for the money, sometimes for the thrill of doing what we do--even though stardom might elude us.

So I'm proud to style myself as a journeyman author. Writers, what about you? And readers, have you noticed this division among writers...and does it matter to you? Feel free to chime in.

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