Can I Call Myself A “Published” Author Now?

When I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was check my email.  This single action could be the focus of an entire blog post about screen time addicts, but I digress.  I checked my inbox and was surprised to discover a message from the website Nugget Tales.  It contained the following message:

[New post on Nugget Tales] Shivani Roy and The Demon King of Lanka

Another piece here from a brand new writer, this is an excerpt from a novel they are working on and they would really appreciate some feedback from our readers. We hope you enjoy it!

YOU CAN CHECK OUT THE STORY HERE:  http://nuggettales.com/2015/10/10/shivani-roy-and-the-demon-king-of-lanka/

I stared at the screen in shock.  OH MY GOD!  THAT’S MY STORY!!!!  I knew that was supposed to appear sometime in October, but I still wasn’t prepared for the surprise.  I would have shrieked, if not for the fact that the house was quiet.

I clicked the link to Nugget Tales and to my incredible delight, saw my story PUBLISHED LIVE ON THEIR SITE.  For a few moments, I just sat in the dark, basking in the glow of that incredible screen image.  Someone actually thought enough of my story to post it on their site.  Unreal.

After a few minutes, my husband walked into the room to inform me that the kids were up and saw me just sitting on the bed and staring.  He beamed when I told him the news, hugged me and said, “Congratulations!  I’m so proud of you!  You’re a published author now.”

I pushed him back and automatically replied, “No, I’m not.”

He looked at me strangely and tilted his head towards the screen.  “Isn’t that your story?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“Isn’t it posted on that website?”

“Yes,” I said hesitantly.

He shrugged.  “Then you’re a published author to me.”

I didn’t argue with him, but had trouble accepting his words as truth.  Which is why I’m writing this post.  I have it in my head that to be considered a “published author,” I must have a published book or be a regular writing contributor to a large website.

So, is this my own personal issue?  Or do other people share my views?  What does a writer have to do to be considered a “Published Author?”

I recently read an article on Kristen Lamb’s blog about women not “owning” their achievements.  Men own their achievements, while women minimize them.  Is this my problem?  Is it because I’m female that I feel so insecure about owning this title?

After struggling with this internal debate all afternoon, I finally updated my LinkedIn profile with the following title:  “Published Author.”  I still feel guilty about putting it up there.  I have this image in my head that people will see it, roll their eyes and snicker about it.  But I’m going to try and own it.  We shall see.

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