Aspiring and Published: What's the difference?


Aspiring Children's Author. That was my Twitter bio.

I would look at other authors' Twitter profiles and their bios said things like,

Bestselling Author

NY Times Bestselling Author

Award-winning International Bestselling Author

That was a couple of years ago. But am I really no longer an aspiring author now that I'm published?

Just because my work was seen by the right publisher at the right place at the right time do I no longer need to aspire? Is that it? Job done?

Just lately I've been thinking about this adjective commonly used to describe unpublished authors, and it got me thinking.

Yes, writers and illustrators aspire to get published. We hope our work will excite an editor. We fantasise about signing on the dotted line. But more importantly, I think we aspire to tell mind-blowing, thought provoking, life enhancing, omg-that's-totally-amazing stories.

I don't think we really ever stop aspiring.

I still aspire to draw better pictures. One of these days I might actually draw a horse without having to redraw their anatomically confusing legs a thousand times over before getting it right.

I still aspire to write better. My blog posts are probably littered with grammatical errors. I recently bought a book called 'Grammar for Grown-ups' to help me with that.

I still aspire to tell the perfect story. When is that next bolt of inspiration going to strike? Will it ever strike again? Yes, it will. It definitely will. I hope.

I think most creatives probably feel this way about whatever it is they do, and I'm not entirely sure what spurs it on.

Maybe it's an insecurity.

Maybe it's an obsession with perfection, if there is such a thing.

Maybe it's some kind of mystic calling.

Maybe it's all the knock-backs.

Maybe it's all the praise.

Maybe it's a desire to make the world a better place.

Maybe it's a desire to make your world a better place.

Maybe it's all of the above and then some.

I'm not entirely sure.

But what I do think is that, as long as we continue to really care about whatever it is we want to do in life, we will never stop aspiring. 

After all, I am still as much of an aspiring author as I was before getting published, despite what my Twitter bio might say.