Upon entering classes at the beginning of this semester, many of my classes had us introduce ourselves, and tell everyone one or two interesting facts. So, I figured being a self-published author is a pretty interesting fact about me, so that’s what I told everyone.
About two or three classes later, two people approached me and asked me if I would help them out by reading/editing some of their writing. Being the nice guy that I (most of the time) am, I agreed and off to work I went. However, this got me thinking: am I really qualified for this?
It’s almost as if, for some reason, these people think that because I’ve self-published that I’m the God of all writing. I know they were really just looking for input and a couple of fixes here and there, but what makes me more qualified than an English professor? I know many English professors at my college have published at least one book, if not many.
I’m almost wondering if maybe it’s just because I’m at a similar age as they are. Maybe they just feel more comfortable with me looking it over because I’m in their age group. But, I’m not entirely sure.
So, continuing on, a few days later a friend of mine from high-school asked me if I would look over a few chapters of his, which I did. A few weeks later another friend of mine asked me if I’d help him write an autobiography about him; which is something I really don’t have experience doing. But, I don’t mind learning something new; so if I have to do a bit of research to help him out, so be it. And finally, another friend of mine, who is also in my band, asked me if I would co-write a science-fiction novel with him. He told me he already had most of it planned out, but he just wanted some help with some characters, and he wanted it to be “our” project. I’m certainly fine with that, of course. I don’t mine helping out my friends if needed, and I’ve never been a co-author on a project before, so that sounded pretty exciting.
So, all of the sudden, because I’ve self-published two novels, I’ve turned into some sort of super writer! Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m always glad to help a fellow writer out, and I love having the practice and knowing that these other people have confidence in me as a writer. However, am I really that qualified to help these people? I mean, I’ve only been seriously writing for about two years now, but I’ve received a number of compliments on some of my work. Could this just be luck? Am I actually talented at something? I’m not really sure how to explain it. Either way, I really am glad that these people have asked me if I would help them out.
Has this happened to you? Have other writers asked you for your help because they know you’ve published something, or because they know you’re a writer?
On a side note, I just received word today that my college newspaper, The Stylus, has allowed me to start my own column about books, writing, and reviews for movies based on books! I’m really excited to start!