I'd like to call myself an author. God knows I tried hard for a while, and seeing this article upset me because I knew it was aimed at me. Not me specifically, but at people like me who tend to consume more than produce.
I have been told that I'm a (good|decent|amazing|awesome) roleplayer, that I grasp characters and concepts and settings better than most people and more quickly. That my writing style is impressive if only I could write/post more quickly. Or if only I wouldn't get distracted.
Honestly, I don't see it anymore. I used to think I was a decent writer, but after reading decent authors I'm no longer sure of that. Especially given the utter lack of response my work tends to receive.
I see literally dozens of people leaving comments and positive feedback on works I only slogged through because I was asked to or told to, or because I was bored. Stuff riddled with grammar mistakes, spelling mistakes, tired tropes, thinly veiled Sue/Stus, or outright rip-offs of others' work.
Then I put out what I think of as my best ideas, my best efforts, and it's simply ignored unless I pester someone into looking at it. Even then I only get minimal useful feedback.
And I still consider myself an author. My work is in pharmacy, but my Job is writing. And I have no idea how good I am at it, so I get frustrated and lose interest in the work or decide to go back to the drawing board and tear what I've done to shreds.
I know, intellectually, that I'm not the only artist to go through this. But emotionally I feel like what I've put out there deserves much better than it gets.
I suppose that that's part of the point. Perfect practice makes perfect, anything else is just so much wasted effort, so I'm stuck in limbo. I need other producers around me, to find the flaws in my work and point them out, and to praise the things I do well. Without that, in the end my work will stutter, falter, and die as I second guess myself, countermand my own decisions, and just give up.
I want to be a producer. I want to contribute more to the human race than I take away. I want to do my Job. But the path is hard, walking alone.