I'm totally excited for this BlogFest. The question this week: Do you tell other people that you're a writer?
Yes, I do.
The common answer in the writing community seems to be "No." And I get it; it doesn't come up, or worse, you've had a bad experience. When we tell others that we write, we're worried that they won't care, don't understand, or will try to talk us out of it. "That's not a career, it's a hobby."
But more often than not, I get a positive response from my coworkers and friends.
"So what did you do this weekend?"
"I wrote a bunch," I say.
"Oh yeah? You're a writer?"
"Yeah... I finished a book this year. I'm trying to get it published."
"What's it about?"
"A mercenary protects this girl on a journey south. It's a fantasy, so there's trolls and sword-fighting and stuff." (Note: professionally, my oral pitching totally needs work, but in casual conversation with friends, this simple delivery will suffice.)
"Sounds cool. Good luck with that."
Sometimes they actually ask about the writing process, what it's like trying to get published, or ask for more details about the story, but usually that's the extent of the conversation. Painless.
For me, it's harder to not talk about being a writer than it is to tell everyone. It's such a big part of my life. I've been writing since I could hold a pencil, and it's always been my dream to get a book published. But I'll tell you the best reactions are these:
"You're a writer?"
"Hey, me too!"
We're not as uncommon as we think we are. I have two different writing groups (one that Jaron was referred to, and one that we made on our own) and they're full of people from all walks of life. We have friends who work with children, with medicine, with computers, and with music who are working on something of their own.
My deep affection for my husband started with one such conversation. We were both stuck at our high school, and when we talked, we eventually delved into our stories. The long discussion about rules of magic, types of characters, and family situations that ensued was the starting point for our relationship. So do I tell people I'm a writer?