Thursday, October 27, 2011

Proud To Be a Writer

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?




  1. Aww, I so love this (especially the part about you and your hubby :)

    I've loved hearing about people feeling comfortable telling people they write. It's definitely inspiring.

    p.s. I love your pitch ;)

  2. Awesome. :) I always tell people when they ask, too. I mean, why not? I love what I do. If they smile and pat my head about my "hobby," that's okay. I know what I'm doing, and I know it's more than a hobby.

  3. I was definitely one of those people that would be hesitant to tell people that I'm a writer. Someone would ask me if I was doing anything over the weekend, and I would always want to tell them that I was just 'hanging out with friends' instead of telling them that I was going to writing group. Some of my family members thought it was weird, so I didn't know what other people would think. But I finally told someone that I was going to writing group, and that gave me such a positive feedback to that. They thought it was really cool. Since then, I've become more comfortable with telling people that I'm going to writing group, and, so far, I haven't had any bad responses to that.

    I think I was afraid of people thinking it was weird or of people wanting to read my stuff and then finding out that they thought it was terrible or something. Who knows. :P

  4. Hi! Aw this is such a sweet post! That's cute about you and your husband btw.

    I do love it when I find other writers to talk to. But then I find out they're writing a novel about the social restrictions on certain people and stuff and feel inferior that I'm writing a children's novel.

  5. @Juliana: Thank you. :)

    @Shallee: That's exactly how I feel.

    @aloeiy: We're happy to have you as a part of our group. Know that we all love your stories. So even if you do have a bad experience, we're here to support you.

    @Kamille: Thanks. I've had that happen, too. There was a visitor to one of my writing groups who had this beautiful idea that stuck fantasy and noir crimes together with a poignant theme. I was awestruck. Unfortunately, she never came back to group. :(

  6. I think this little fest has been perfect just for this reason. I have also found a great deal of confidence, probably borrowed, from the internet friendships. Great post - new follower :)

  7. Hi Rachel,
    So awesome to see your confidence and love of writing. It makes sense seeing that your openness led to you bonding with your husband. How cool is that? I think the casual conversation pitch is better than you might think. You've got the general idea of what will catch people's ears right there.

    I'm visiting you from the Warm Fuzzies Blogfest. Great meeting you and good luck!
    Kim Van Sickler

  8. Hi Rachel
    Pleased to meet you via the Warm Fuzzies - it has been a delight to find so many new friends.

    I have added your blog to my blogroll

    Emma Calin

  9. "We're not as uncommon as we think we are."

    How right you are. I just found out my neighbor has just published a book. I had no idea.