Juliana Brandt is hosting a blogfest.
I just love
the name of it.
When I read the prizes for this blogfest, I knew that I could not pass up an opportunity to win a 30 page manuscript edit by the wonderful editor, Susan Buie.
This blogfest will take place over the next four weeks. According to our fabulous host, Juliana Brandt, we will celebrate being writers and revel in the amazing community surrounding us. You have to admit that the writer-blogging friends that we have made are a pretty cool and unique bunch.
To begin the fest we are going to tackle the issue of those who aren't in our community.
Today's Topic: How do you broach the subject of writing with other people who are not authors?
I talked about this very issue during my last post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, IWSG.
Most of the time I don't broach the subject with non writers. Why not? I have a variety of reasons. The primary reason is one that I have only recently admitted to myself. Is it the need for validation? Partly. Up until a few years ago, I referred to my writing as merely a hobby. I suppose I did so because I was afraid of the reaction I would get. This confirms my self doubt.
Why don't I announce to others with pride that I am a writer? I have no problem telling others that I am an attorney or speaking of my day in court with confidence. I feel certain that once I become a published author (notice I do not say-if I become a published author) I will no longer feel insecure about declaring myself an author or a writer.
I know that this makes me seem shallow. Why should I care so much about what others think? Why do I need publication to validate my skills and talent as a writer? I don't know. I think we all want that validation.
" Hi, how have you been, Melissa? You still prosecuting?"
" Actually, I'm in private practice now. It gives me more time to spend with my kids and on my writing."
" Really. You're not still trying to be a writer are you? "
Or here is another one:
"This is my wife, Melissa."
"Nice to meet you, you're a lawyer right?"
hubbie interrupts, " She is and she is a writer, tell 'em honey, about the book you are writing."
I blush " It's a legal thriller about-"
I'm interrupted again "That's cool, I've been toying with the idea of writing a book myself. Yea, I don't have far to go. As soon as I can get a week off I'm gonna finally sit down and put it on paper. So how long have you been working on your book, Melissa?"
"Uh well I finished the first few drafts and I am editing now, so a little over a year."
"You're joking. She's a funny one. Well take some advice from me, you need to really focus. Get away one weekend, head up to a secluded cabin and hammer that thing out. A year, sheeeitt, I could have written six books if I had a year to do nothing else."
And My Favorite:
"So you write? It is so easy to get published these days, I heard anyone can do it."
And I cannot leave out the remark my ex-husband made recently at a state bar function (we are still friendly). We were introduced to an aspiring young author from New Orleans (who by the way has since become a well recognized published author) he was attending the function with his wife an attorney. After he walked away, my ex- leaned over to my husband and me and said " At least you're a woman and you have a career, Melissa. How would you like to be that loser? When people ask him what he does for a living all he could say was that he writes. How humiliating. Poor dude, thinks he's gonna be the next Grisham. He needs to find a career first."
I was horrified. The joke was on my ex as that writer is very well known today.
But can you see why I hate to even mention that I am a writer? I am ashamed that I feel like I have to be published to be worthy of the title, writer- but public opinion of non or pre-published authors can be brutal.
Want to read more entries? Click here
Want to learn more about the talented editor who is offering A 30 page manuscript critique as a prize. You can view Susan Buie's blog here and her website here. This is an amazing prize valued at $300-400 bucks.
There are other prizes as well. Juliane is offering one of her handmade journals and Saba is donating this book.
It is a "do it yourself autobiography". Visit her blog for additional prizes.
So, do you tell other non writers that you are a writer? Do you have any funny, sad or inspirational stories to share?