Friday, February 18, 2005

Pet Peeves

I have a lot of them. But I promise I won't list them all here. At least not today .

First, I realize that I'm likely to offend some people by mentioning one of my main peeves. For that I'm sorry. And what bothers me so much? The term "aspiring writer". Yep - that's it. WHY does it annoy me and rank so high on the list of pet peeves? Because I AM a writer. Whether or not I have a full length work of fiction published, I AM a writer. NOTHING aspiring about it.

Yet everywhere in the fiction world, I see UNPUBLISHED writers referred to as "aspiring". Ok - I admit, there may be some unpubs out there who still could possibly be considered as "aspiring" - those who are just starting out and have little more than a plot and a few pages of text written down. But I've been writing all my life, have completed 3 mss, with several more in the pipeline.

In addition I review books and write articles for three publications (Solander, The Historical Novels Review and The Ricardian Register) and for some history related websites, including that of Trivium Publishing.

And then there are the countless articles I've written for RWA chapter newsletters and my monthly research column for RWA Enotes. And yet still, I'm labelled as "aspiring"? Sorry, I don't think so.

The only term that gets to me more is "pre-published". Sorry, you're either published or you're not. Obviously some writers take comfort from saying they're pre-published, so maybe I should go easy. Whatever works. But the world of publishing is a tough place. I have no problem saying if someone asks that I'm unpublished. There's no shame in that.

I am a writer, one as yet unpublished in romance fiction. Simple as that.

Rant over.


Larissa said...

Oh--you hit on one of my peeves, too. Aspiring WRITER? NO. I AM a writer. Aspiring AUTHOR? That one doesn't bother me. I don't consider myself an author because I don't have a book published. So I can take the "aspiring author" label. But not aspiring writer. Bullshit. I AM A WRITER! *g*

Tess said...

I'm with you - aspiring AUTHOR is just fine. Glad to not alone in my crankiness on this topic!

Kate Allan said...

Hear hear! Writers are writers just like spades are spades.

Jaye said...

Er, well I guess it's time to tweak the subtitle of my blog. gg. Obviously this is not a pet peeve of mine. *weg*

For me it's meant as (or carries the implication of)-- aspiring 'to be published'. Which I am. :-)
Besides, good old Merriam-Webster makes no distinction between published and unpublished in the definitions of writer vs author. But we all have our pet peeves, I'm sure mine would barely elicit a shrug from you. ;-)

Larissa said...

I suppose I should clarify my vehemence with the term "aspiring writer."

I have no problem with people calling themselves that. My annoyance comes from people telling me that I'm NOT an author OR writer and that I can't even call myself an aspiring AUTHOR. I've seen those kinds of comments on blogs and on lists, and it annoys me. I consider myself a writer. And an aspiring author.

And truly, if someone who is unpublished wants to call themselves authors, I don't care. To each his own. I just don't want anyone telling me that I'm not a writer, because I am. *g*

Tess said...

Larissa has echoed my thoughts precisely. I have no objection to other people calling themselves aspiring writers if that's what they want. BUT, I don't want others telling ME that's what I am. And so many workshops etc are aimed at "aspiring writers" - makes me feel like I'm being told I'm not a writer. Silly, probably, but OTOH, I guess how we perceive things IS important.

Tess said...

Kate - like your analogy!