I’m an (cough sputter spit) author

When I moved to Los Angeles at 22, I planned to pursue acting. I was an actress for 13 years prior. My experience and training were phenomenal for a person of my age.
I hopped from agency to agency, trying to find representation. Everyone told me, “Great headshot. Great work. Come back in 6 months.”
My bank account suggested I didn’t have 6 months, so I started applying for jobs. Real jobs. Jobby jobs.
At one restaurant interview I explained that I could only work nights because I was an actress. I needed my days free for auditions. It felt…awkward.
I wasn’t an actress. I didn’t even have an agent yet. No auditions. No reel. And because saying it wasn’t true, I subconsciously abandoned the intention of ever becoming an actress. And I never did.
I’ve regretted that for 15 years.
When people ask me what I do now, it feels very strange to say I’m an author. I don’t have a book to show them. I don’t have a published article or even a pamphlet. Can I technically be an “author” if I’ve got nothing to show for it yet?
When I get nervous about that title, I try to remember telling that interviewer, “I’m an actress,” but never believing it. I’m going to have to see this one through if I want to own that title. I’m going to have to believe I’m an author before I am one.
I got a smidgeon of confirmation in my email. The publisher has my book and they’re running their first content eval. It will happen. It is happening. I will have a book to hold up when I say “I’m an author.”
Until then, I’m an author. For real. Starting right now. I refuse to look back in 15 years with more regrets.

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