Image Map

Warm Fuzzies Blogfest

 When You Tell People You Are A Writer

Juliana Brandt is hosting a blogfest.
I just love
the name of it.
Don't you?
I am rather late joining this awesome blogfest, but I did sign up in time (barely). Our first post is due today. I am running late as today concluded another KILLER blogfest that I participated in.

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.

On the rare occasion that I do talk about being a writer with other non writers, I usually walk away feeling frustrated. It goes something like this:

     " 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?


Melissa Sugar said...

This is why I only tell people online, they get it. Only my family knows.

Melissa Sugar said...

I hear ya, girl. It's kinda like that. Non-writers don't get what it's all about. And they can never share our passion. For a while I felt I needed to be validated by having an agent or being pubbed to say I'm a writer. But over the last few months, I've owned it. Now, I tell anyone who asks and I'm proud of all the hard work I've put into making it a reality. I'm even doing a fiction writing teach-in at my kids' school. Last year, I didn't have the nerve since I wasn't a "real" writer in my mind. Now, I'v switched gears and it feels great. I've decided I'm master of my own destiny and altho writing doesn't pay the bills yet, it's my passion. And one should never be ashamed or embarrassed about what they're passionate about. :)

Melissa Sugar said...

Oh, can I relate to this! My favorite, make that my most embarrassing writer/nonwriter moment, went something like this at a party.

"So I hear you write books."
Me, nodding, smiling, thinking, "Oh now I can talk about something I love doing."
"What have you published?"
Me, telling HIM I have two books published and they're for young adult readers.
"Hmmm. Nothing for grown ups?"
"Well, actually, er . . . you see my books are YA crossovers, so--"
"Sounds interesting," he says as he waves to a friend just entering the room, clearly disconnected from me and my pathetic two YA crossover books.

Melissa Sugar said...

I'm like you! One day I would like to just be able to stand up and say, "yea I'm a writer. In your face." Ha! It'll never happen:)

Melissa Sugar said...

I have given you an award on my blog.

Melissa Sugar said...

I can't imagine how frustrating it is to get reactions like that!

Melissa Sugar said...

Thank you. You are so sweet. I am honored.

Melissa Sugar said...

I love that, Deana. I can't wait to stand up and shout it.

Melissa Sugar said...

I think it is not just published but well published. I have sold a few pieces to anthologies but still get the "have you published anything I would have read?" unless it is incredibly organic to the conversation I leave it out.

Melissa Sugar said...

I can just imagine the scene that you described. It gets me so frustrated.

Melissa Sugar said...

I admire your courage. I thinks it is awesome that you own it. You should be proud and you have inspired me to be proud as well. Thank you

Blogger said...

BlueHost is ultimately the best website hosting company for any hosting services you might require.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blog Design By Corinne Kelley @ The Cutest Blog on the Block