Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Do You Tell People You Write?

Promoted from the Forums (Find out how to have a chance at a guest post here)

By: Teralyn Rose Pilgrim

I don’t spread around that I want to be a novelist. It’s not that I’m shy or feel too inadequate to call myself a writer; it’s because of the crazy reactions I get from people.

The Q&A Session: Often people tell me they have a book and ask how to get it published. Talk about a broad question. Someone on an airplane asked me this when we were going to land in 30 minutes. I gave him a crash-course in query letters, suggested some books to read, and most likely scared him away from publishing completely.

The Bandwagon-Jumper: When I told people in college I wanted to be a novelist, they always, always, always said the same thing: “Oh, like Stephanie Meyer?” Even my professors said this. I always responded the same way: “No. Not like Stephanie Meyer.” I write mainstream and historical fiction; I don’t write YA and I don’t like vampires.

This bothers me because they assume I sat down, read a famous book, and said, “I want to do that. It looks easy and I could make a lot of money.” I’m not a bandwagon-jumper.

The Advocate: I’m surprised at how many people give me pep talks. Not too long ago someone asked what I want to do with my life and I admitted I want to write. She said, “That’s great! You should write everyday and take creative writing classes. I know you can do it.” I don’t think this girl even knew my last name, but she knew I could “do it.” Then she asked, “Have you ever written anything before?” Instead of saying I had finished manuscripts, I just said, “Yeah, a little.”

The Head-Tapper: I can tell when people don’t take writing seriously. They all but say, “That’s nice.” Once I refused to give away the ending of my book to someone and she rolled her eyes and said, “Yeah, like I’m ever going to read it.” That was unusually blatant. Most head-tappers just ask, “What else do you want to do?” I always told them I wanted to be an editor to make them happy.

The Readers: These are the people I like. They don’t know anything about writing and they don’t care, but they like books and they want to know what I’m writing. I tell them about my book and they tell me what a great idea it is and make me feel warm and bubbly inside. What I really love is when the same people ask me years later how the book is going.

The Professionals: These people are my favorites. They recognize writing is a job like any other, wish me luck, and go on to talk about their own jobs.

Do you tell people you like to write? How do they usually respond?






138 comments:

Dan Potter said...

I'm rather incapable of not tell people about my current projects if they are foolish enough to ask. I suppose that will fade with time

Women's Fiction Writer said...

I tell people I write - but I rarely mention I wrote a novel that's on submission, because then they follow-up and no one really understands the publishing business. I'm happy to tell people about my freelance writing and reading and editing - they "get" that. I also mention I've had short stories published. It's concrete and I can email them the stories or links if they ask. I figure people will know I've written a novel when it sells! Maybe that's the easy way out, but for now, unless it's other writers, I don't say a thing.

Damyanti said...

To most people, I'm a housewife. Or at the most, a freelance writer! To a very limited few I mention the word "fiction"...and I pick and choose these.
This post made me smile :)

James Scott Bell said...

I was never able to say I was "a writer" until I had four or five books out. Finally, I could squeeze it out if I had to. It's a little easier now. The response I find sad and funny at the same time is, "Oh yeah? I've got a great story, a great one! I'm going to start it today. Can you tell me how to get an agent?"

Angelia Lynn Schultz said...

Teralyn,

Have you been successful in finding an agent yet? My first three rejection letters have left me wishing no one in the world ever knew I want to be a novelist. Everyone thought, finished manuscript = immediate publication. So now what to say? I usually just say, "I'm revising." It's true and it keeps them at bay... And I tell myself that I am a novelist. I'm an unpublished one, by a novelist nonetheless.

Angelia
angelia.schultz@gmail.com

Chris Phillips said...

Teralyn, don't hide who you truly are (a huge Stephanie Meyer fan.) I get mostly head-tappers, and what I like to call "whereareyoukiddingohletsjustfakeasmilers"

mapelba said...

I don't tell people unless in some way I can't avoid it comes up. Yes, I've met all those same people.

Fleur Bradley: said...

Not very often, unless they're other writers. I thought I would be telling everyone once I got a book contract, but oddly, I keep it to myself more so now. It's difficult to explain why the book is not coming out until 2013, people just don't seem to get that. And I'm too lazy to explain :-)

Michael Malone said...

this made me laugh because I recognise each of the types you detail. Now that I have a book accepted by a publisher(May 2012)I tell everyone within earshot that I'm a writer. But while I was searching for that elusive deal I was picky as to whom I told. People who don't know how it works kinda think you must be a crap writer if you don't have a deal already - I mean how difficult can it be, celebrities do it all the time - and it gets wearing trying to describe the process.

Lisa Desrochers said...

For all the reasons you listed, the only person who knew I was writing was my oldest daughter, who I started writing for. When I got agented, I finally told my husband. Only after my book sold did I tell anyone else. My mother still hasn't forgiven me =)

Hillsy said...

Nah.

It's a bit like telling people you play the guitar; one or two people might be genuinely interested but in the main most will be hoping you don't pull out your iPod and say "my demo's on here - Listen!"

I wouldn't wish that on anyone - course if your currently single is No.48 in the charts at least you've got a legitimate reason for bragging

PZCherokee said...

I know what you mean Nathan! I first usually tell people "I work from home." As a visual artist and a writer I'm pretty sure people don't take that too seriously and think of someone as a pipe dreamer.

Craig Allen said...

I tell people I write. Usually they're curious. "What?" which I interpret to mean what genres or fiction vs. non-fiction. At that point, the conversation can fall apart.

If they're big fans of vampires, or wizards, or whatever the current trend is, they're usually disappointed with "historical fiction" and "some non-fiction" as an answer. That's fine. I get that.

On the other hand, if they're interested, and I describe my current projects, they sometimes feign interest or tune out. That's fine too.

Only rarely do I get the "how do you do that?" questions. On a recent flight back from research in Germany, I found myself doing a hour-long explanation of history...which was actually rather fun. At least she really wanted to know.

JMCOOPER said...

I've only recently begun to tell people that I'm a writer because of the strange reactions as well. Often people have an awkward reaction, unless I'm in a writer's group or at a conference--and thank God for that.

Confidence and credits also help. I started a second degree in Creative Writing which helps me feel like I have a credential. And then one of my novels made it to the top 50 in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest, so I've even started posting to Facebook that I'm a writer.

No turning back now!

Beth Navarro said...

I think I relate to every single one of those reactions. But despite all of the I tell people I write. Most of the time I don't specify on what because I will get the "Oh Like Harry Potter?" Answer. Um yeah. Exactly like that.

kaleighsomers said...

Wow, I must be lucky. I tell people I want to be a writer and most of them respond favorably. Maybe I'm not telling a bunch of strangers though. And like Women's Fiction Writer said, I don't tell people exactly where I'm at if I've tried querying something or any specifics.

Kevin Lynn Helmick said...

Yes and no. It depends on who I'm talking to. But yes, for the most part. Maybe it's like a promise to myself, to speak the words. It a commitment after that. You said, now you HAVE to do it, finish it, whatever.
The most curious response I've gotten is from my brothers when they dicovered I'd written a couple books, the words "Kevin's retired," started popping up.
I still have now idea what wring has to do with being retired. lol I've always done it, and it's not all I do.

K.L. Brady said...

I tell people if they ask what I do. It's easier to say writer or real estate agent than say what I really do.

I'm so feeling you on the Q&A Session. OMG! EVERYONE I meet has written a book or "was gonna" write one. LOL This is always followed by the old...

"And, oh...by the way...is your agent looking for new authors??? I queried 100 times and keep getting rejected." I'm like, "Only 100?"

Sara said...

I've started to. Frankly, the worst was telling my parental units (bio and otherwise), because I knew they would instantly want to read WIPs and I would have to tell them they could read what I published. But we're past that now.

People often ask what I'm writing about, and I used to be shy of telling them. However, more recently I've found that composing a good answer to that question is the same as composing a pitch! So I'm doing it more.

I actually told a professor of economics about my YA novel last winter, and he got all excited about my premise. You never can tell.

Erin Brambilla said...

I've always been an open book (haha). In my experience, people understand things more than we give them credit for. I'm positive I'll get a lot of "When is that book coming out?" questions, but I'll just take it as an opportunity to educate people on the subject. So far everyone I know has been very supportive. In a way, telling them about my endeavor is motivating. I'm someone who would quit if I didn't have to be held accountable. Now people KNOW that I'm writing, so I should do my best to keep to my word. I figure honesty is the best policy. If no one knows I write, who will buy my books (hopefully)? If no one knows I write, who will I turn to when I need a shoulder to cry on after receiving a rejection? I'm just a person who needs people, I think. Though I can understand why not everyone feels this way.

Mr. D said...

I prefer not to tell, because then you get the questions. You know... How's the book? How's the writing? And the worst question of them all... Are you done yet?

uch said...

i have a hard time saying im a writer. when i do, people ask me who my publisher is or what the book is about and have they read any of my stuff. and why is it that whenever you start telling what your book is about, it always sounds moronic? i just started a blog (www.kimkorson.blogspot.com) to begin feeling more comfortable putting myself out there (can i shamelessly plug here?!). every time i put a new post up, i want to take to the bed. so now, i have a fiction and non-fiction book in the works. i tell the people i write but then high tail it out of there before they ask their questions.

Melody said...

Ugh, I've gotten all of these answers! And my favorites are the last two, too. A quick, "That's cool," is good enough for me. The worst is getting advice from people whose only connection to the publishing process is an author interview they heard on NPR. <-- This has happened. :/ :) I do tell people that I write, though, because it's full-time right now for me, and one must give some sort of answer! :)

Cynthia Lee said...

I can't believe the Stephanie Meyer comments. As if she's the only novelist out there. The hell?

No, I don't tell people I write. My closest friends know and they sometimes say things like "maybe you'll be a bestselling author and you'll be rich and famous!" Then I try to tell them that most authors never get rich and their eyes start to glaze over.

Laurie Boris said...

I usually don't tell people I write unless they ask. I don't like to talk about projects in progress, but only tell them the most general terms. What I usually hear is “Are you published?” Or that they want to write a novel someday (sigh), or that they have a brother-in-law who published a novel and made no money. But most people are really nice and supportive. One woman even asked me to write down my name and the name of my book so she would make sure to get it.

Cat said...

I do a lot of corporate writing--marketing, technical, sales, etc. When you tell people you write for this company or that, you get yet a different and equally as entertaining response: "How did you get that?"

"Well, one day I saw a flyer at the laundry mat, and the rest is history!"

Barbara Kloss said...

This is a great post, and very timely for me. I've been trying to answer this question for myself "To tell, or not to tell..." Mostly because when I do eventually get around to telling someone what I do in my "spare" time, I get one of three reactions: (1) That's great! I'm so impressed you wrote a book (2) That's nice. *eyes glaze over and yawn* or (3) Gosh, where do you find the time? (last time I checked, we all have the same 24 hours...? Thanks for devaluing all my hard work, btw.)

It's nice knowing I'm not the only one out there dealing with the plethora of reactions. I'm going to employ some of your answers...like the fact you say you edit. That's a good one :)

Dianna Zaragoza said...

It's definitely an aspiration you want to back up with actual written words, but the day I was able to openly admit that I wrote fully-formed projects was a big day for me.

Most people don't ask, and aren't really interested. That's fine. I'll tell people if they ask, and if they drop it, so do I.

It's also a quirk of mine that I never talk about a project unless I've done at least a first draft. If I talk about the project before then, I lose all enthusiasm for it. So there's not much to talk about until my work is fully written out anyway.

Stephanie said...

I've told many people I write...friends, coworkers, family. For the most part I get enthusiastic responses and find many beta readers this way. The most frustrating thing about letting people know, is that they constantly ask if I have submitted them yet and can't understand why I haven't. I am constantly explaining how stressful and difficult it is for me and that right now, I'm just enjoying writing. I'll get to that point when the book and I are ready.

Mira said...

I don't tend to tell people I write unless they start sharing about their own creative efforts. Otherwise, it's too personal.

Interesting question!

Rachel Hansen said...

I loved this! It is so perfectly true (especially the head-tappers) Thanks

NanC said...

I tell all my friends, everyone has been amazing. I've had friends call people they are connected to to help me. I couldn't do this without the help and support I've gotten.

Scott said...

Totally agree with Readers. Everyone else is going to take turns be skeptical, pitying, and comparing you with garbage pop fiction writer X.

But the voracious hobby readers are genuinely interested because they know books and love stories. For them, any new book is another shot at wonder, and the more the merrier. I draw a lot of my motivation from listening to these guys talk books to each other.

Facing50Blog.com said...

Being an enthusiastic sort of person I made the mistake of telling some people I write, but as I only write on a successful website, and I'm still waiting to be published that was a bit daft! They all wanted to know where they could buy my novel. Imagine their disappointment to discover I am only a wannabe.

VAL said...

I love this. I once told someone that I love writing and hope to publish a book and she replied,"How could you ever write a book". I left the conversation right there. I write daily and no Im not published, but I have won writing competitions and will continue to work hard at my craft. I don't mention writing to anymore.

D.G. Hudson said...

Yes, I do tell people I write. I will tell them if asked how long and how much I've written. But if you're not currently published, if you can't tell them which bookstore you're in, you're not a writer to the majority of people. You're a wannabe.

Writer friends, however, make up for all those inconsiderate comments. They speak the same language, they deal with the same frustrations and highs of the writing life. Even blogs by other writers can offer some support, when the subject is timely.

Remember that writing seems easy because we all do it, but writing to entertain or edify takes a certain creative turn of mind. We, as writers, know it's hard. We, as writers, also know it's a great source of pleasure when we've completed something. (so we can start something else,of course)

Good discussion topic, Teralyn.

Lindsay Ribar said...

The last two, Reader and Professional, are definitely my favorites. But one particular subset of the Professionals gets on my nerves: The Belittler. In my case, it's that guy (or girl... well, okay, usually a guy, so far) who goes "You got a book deal? Well, you're in publishing already, so it must have been easy."

Sure, dude, it was SUPER EASY. To be fair, being in the industry does make a lot of the business steps easier (making connections with agents, and my agent in particular; understanding what I was looking for in an editor; knowing what contract terms mean) -- but the part of the job where I actually sit down and write a book? And then scrap half of it and rewrite it when I realize it's not good enough? And then revise the living hell out of the rewritten version, four times over? And that's not even counting the work I did on the book that DIDN'T get published...

Oh yeah. Being in the industry makes all that stuff so much easier! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a former lawyer/stay at home mom so all anyone wants to know is when I'm going back to work (law practice).

It's nearly impossible to mention writing without sounding like a flake or a hobbyist.

J. Viser said...

I tell close family, friends and others who I trust. I don't tell strangers or make a big deal out of it. In fact, I write under a pen name, as my views on certain issues may not be appreciated by clients in the industry in which I work.

I would rather have the ideas in my book (eventually books) out there, rather than advertising myself.

Jacqueline said...

I've been a professional writer for a while now. I can feel your pain. Probably at least once a week I get someone ask me how they can become a writer. It's not a matter of not telling them I write... my name is out there in publications and they see it, along with my picture at times, beside the byline. Plus, I'm proud to be a writer. I have worked hard to get where I am at, so I don't mind telling people. However, people don't understand that writing is a profession and you don't just throw your hat in the ring one day, without having done your homework and studying first. Besides, when someone asks me how to be a writer I feel they have already failed the test. Every writer must also be a good researcher. They could easily answer their own question by doing some research.

Sammie said...

I tell people I write, I tell people I'm an author even though I've gone the self-publishing route. I don't care for their responses because I'm living my dream and that's more then I can say for most people...I never started to write to get fame or fortune I started to write because I love to become someone else and I love to share it with others if I make a little money along the way - great! But getting an agent etc etc is not important what's important to me is that people are reading what I write. As far as I'm concerned I'm a published author and now with EBooks and places like Lulu and Smashwords it makes it a lot easier to promote yourself.

Josin L. McQuein said...

I don't bring it up, and generally don't like answering the question if asked. (Of course that could have something do with the inevitable follow-up questions about "Have I read anything you wrote" and "When's your book going to be out?)

I will say that telling someone I write is better than telling them I don't write "real" books. Because, you know, MG and YA aren't "real" books or anything.

>.<

Tanya Reimer said...

I've been writing novels in "secret" forever. Just recently announced it to the world via my new blog. I'm just learning to deal with all those great supporters you discribe in your blog.

I also get the over-zealous (not annoying, oh no) friends. Geesh. They actually demand I hand over a produced book. Like magic.

Saira Mokhtari said...

Besides people in writing groups and guilds on-line, I personally, rarely tell strangers that I want to write out the story ideas that keep coming to my head. I usually only tell friends and they think it's cool. It's my parents, mostly my dad who tells people that my brother and I write.

I think some people I tell, when they find out Edward writes as well, think I'm one of the band-wagon type. They think I'm in it because he is (we do almost everything together) or because of money. I have a lot of story ideas in my head, though, and what I really want to do is work with foreign languages in the Marine Corps. Writing would just be a fun side job for me.

Ranae Rose said...

Yes, I do tell anyone who asks. Because I'm stubborn, proud and just about immune to totally ridiculous reactions. LOL I loved your list of stereotypes - I've encountered them all too. As a kid/young adult I would tell adults who asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up that I wanted to write. They would usually tell me to be realistic and go to nursing school. Now that I'm older and have already gone to college I think people are more prone to just roll their eyes and give up on me as a lost cause than to try to shove a stethescope into my hands.

Munk said...

I don't mind saying "I am writing a book". I also don't mind when, as you say, someone asks how it is going. But, when someone pointedly asks, "you are STILL writing the same book!?" I slap them.

Vandersun said...

Thank you so much for posting this, Nathan. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one who feels this way about "coming out" as a writer.

Heidi said...

I occasionally tell people I write, but it depends on how I think they will react. I get quite a few Reader reactions (and those are lovely) but mostly I get the Head-tapper ones.

Still, if people ask me what I want to be or what I want to do with my life, I'll be honest with them.

Reena Jacobs said...

The only people I tell I write are my close family members (brother, children, parents, but not my in-laws) and a couple of friends. When I say couple, I really mean two. Okay... maybe three :)

The main reason I'm such a closet writer is I don't trust people not to judge me for writing erotica. Perhaps if I venture out of the genre I'll be more inclined to share.

As for strangers and online folks, I'm quite a bit more open. The most annoying reaction I receive is strangers asking for free copies of my work.

:) Contrary to popular belief, being paid for my work is important. When I find out my "new found friend" is a web designer, I don't ask him/her to revamp my website for free.

The reality is publishing is a business. Free copies are reserved for various promotions.

Ben said...

I tend to stay quiet about it. It's my thing.

My stories and for the readers, but writing is for me. You resumed perfectly why

Nicole L Rivera said...

I tell people if they ask. By their reaction I know if I'm ever going to talk to them about it again. The "are you published yet?" line every week or so from the same person is a bit annoying. Some people get the publishing industry, some don't. The worst is running into someone who thinks fiction is a waste of time, tells you so, then asks what you write. *Blush* Fiction.

Great post. As I was reading I pictured each of the people who represent these types in my life. Lol.

Roger Floyd said...

Most of the time when I tell someone I'm trying to make a life as a writer, they say, "Oh, that's nice," then change the subject.

Matthew MacNish said...

I don't talk to anyone except other writers about the fact that I write. I used to, but it makes for too many awkward moments. I have enough of those already.

v.n.rieker said...

Nathan, I relate! I love to relate!
Sometimes, I still venture out and answer honestly--that I write seriously and hope to be published. But my head retracts back into my shell for a few more months when I get patronized.

When I talk to someone I haven't seen in a long time, and they ask, "What have you been doing?"
I say, "I'm working as a secretary, got married a couple years ago..." I'm writing a book...

Hey, I wonder how many of those people say, "Me? I'm living in [wherever], had a couple of kids..." I'm writing a book...

L.G.Smith said...

Ha! Been there done that. Don't do it anymore.

Like Matt, I only tell other writers now. And editors and agents when they'll listen. :)

w/a Sharla Lovelace said...

I love this post, I've been in every single one of those conversations!! I linked to it and did the same subject on my blog today.

csdaley said...

I tell people but not the people I work with anymore. I am a teacher and after telling a few people I realized I was never really happy with the response.
It varied from, "when is your book going to be published?" to "if your not published you're not a writer" to "i have half a novel in my desk do you think you could help me?"

I have done much better with friends who seem to really understand my passion and why it is important to me.

Teralyn Rose Pilgrim said...

Thanks for all the compliments! You made me blush.

In answer to some of your questions, I'm unpublished, but plan on sending out query letters sometime next month (hopefully). When the book gets published, I plan on telling everyone with ears. Those people on the plane will want to buy my book, so help me!

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I don't tell most people out of the blogosphere that I write and that I hope to get published someday; that's one of the reasons that I'm anonymous on my blog. Only a couple close friends know that I write fiction; I know that other people would want to know what I'm writing about and I feel like I'm going to jinx the story somehow if I talk about it before I finish it. I know that's superstitious, but still.

Erik said...

I only tell people who seem like they'd be interested in knowing that kind of info about me.

So, no.

Robert Trevino said...

I used to not tell people but now I do. I do tend to think it's a lost cause to tell people though. Most are either "That's nice" or look like a deer in headlights not knowing what to say. The thing I hate worse though is that I am fixing to go to school and learn film making so now when I tell people I'd like to make movies they tend to ask what kind. Depending on what kind of person you tell they almost always ask if I am trying to make "dirty" movies (no, I'm not btw).

Scott Marlowe said...

I generally don't. I live in many different "worlds", with not a lot of crossover between them. I kind of like having them separate, so I've never gone out of my way to promote one while I'm engaged in another.

However, during a recent interview it came up that the person had google'd me and, of course, my writing blog came up. I confirmed that I was that person; they seemed generally impressed as you don't often see software engineers who also have an interest/aptitude for writing.

Julie Nilson said...

Fortunately, most of my friends are Readers, so a lot of them are jazzed about the idea of me writing a novel. I find that most Readers have at least a vague idea that it takes a long time to write a novel, and to get from ms to publication, so I don't get too many dopey questions.

Also, I've been a corporate writer since I graduated from college, so no one (so far) has taken the "oh, isn't that cute?" attitude.

ibisbill said...

I've found that if you just look and act devious enough, people will constantly ask you: "Would you mind putting that in writing?"

Yat-Yee said...

I love your categorizations, especially the Head Tapper and the Advocate, maybe because those are the ones I get the most.

But I'm used to it, having told people for many years I was a musician... (how nice/do you play in (the local) orchestra?/I took piano lessons as a kid, shouldn't have stopped /Hey I composed a song yesterday, just sat down at the piano and did it. Wanna hear it?

nataliefaybooks said...

I remember when I told my mom that I was dropping computer science to be a writer and she said she would also love to write something. *signs*

After that I decided to keep to myself as much as possible.

I try to avoid the question. Writing is tough; you don't make any money upfront, you are always doubting your skills and your family don't understand you.

All of that + listening to people talk about your work as if it was some sort of hobby is just not helpful.

People are not mean on propose; they have preconceptions of what a writer is and they judge you based on that.

Nicole said...

I do tell people I write, but I usually supplement it with the fact that I'm a freelance writer by trade. Somehow, knowing I'm getting paid to write articles or blog posts sits better with people than "simply" writing novels.

kathrynleighaz said...

I tell people that I write, and they're usually what you called the advocate.

I don't know why, when I tell people I'm seeking representation for my WIP, they either see poverty and broken dreams or magic $ pixies who pick their favorite writers and sponsor them. The more pixies sponsor you, the closer you get to being J.K. Rowling's BFF.

I mostly tell people for their sake so they feel like I shared my life with them openly, but the truth is that it's a job no one understands... and that's okay.

Dean K Miller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I never talk about it to anyone. I wrote my first book in secret. After awhile I finally let someone read it and that is the only person I really "talk" about my writing to.
Nathan, I read your post from yesterday and found the "genre section interesting.The ones I read were written in 2009. The Twilight talk about vampires and the paranormal in general I found interesting. I don't think in that time it has changed. We as writers for YA are still pressured to write what the market place wants.

Jen Greyson | Author said...

I do tell people, and since I write corporate training material for a living, it's a bit easier than telling people I write novels in my spare time.

I did also get, "Hmm. That doesn't sound interesting at all. I couldn't sit in a room and write. But, good for you."

I think there's still a separation for some between writing as an art form, and writing that everyone does when they send an email. It takes years to learn and perfect the craft, but non-writers equate success with a book on the shelf. I've had to define success differently for me (though the ultimate goal is always a long-term publishing career - and a book on the shelf) in order to persevere.

Dean K Miller said...

I can relate to this because:
A) my first profession as an air traffic controller pulls the same kind of off-beat reactions, especially since I don't work at an airport.

B)Now that I'm writing, it's the same game with different responses, just like you say. But yeah, I don't hesitate to tell people.

Maybe I should just let it all hang out and tell people that I'm an airport-less air traffic controller who writes about everything except airplanes, just to see their reactions.

(BTW: no I'm not the one with the orange-coned flashlights that guide the plane to the gate. ;-}

Joy D. Fanning said...

I tell people I write as well. Most just say, "Oh that's cool. What kind of books do you want to write?" Then when I tell them science fiction, they seem to become disinterested. Others will ask if I have a book published or not, and then I have to explain how hard it is to get one published and how I'm still working on it.

Liesl said...

I didn't tell people for a long time, because I felt vulnerable enough as it was. I didn't need other people's opinions at that time.

But I feel more confident now and I tell people all the time. I get a lot of the "like Stephenie Meyer?" And I always say, "Absolutely. Just like that. Except no vampires or werewolves or aliens or whiny protagonists and I write middle-grade."

BP said...

Haha, think that's bad? Try telling people you're going into medicine. Or just changing things up and tell them you want to work for the government. Yeah, that'll totally leave 'em clueless. ;)

The Pen and Ink Blog said...

I am a writer. Of course I tell people. But I didn't tell them till I had a couple of projects under my belt. It's the same thing being an actor. I am an actor. I'm not working at this moment, but I'm still an actor

Aurlumen said...

Heh. I try to avoid it as best I can. But as I'm young and still in college people obviously ask me what I'm studying or what I'm interested in. I just say I'm studying English. Then I get
"Oh you want to be a teacher!"

"...."No... Not really."

"Then why study English?"

"I like to read."

"Oh..."

"And write."

"Oh. Well that's nice."

But my dad (even though I tell him not to!) loooves telling everyone he comes across. My daughter wants to be a writer.

Then I get that blank face with the slightest smile possible and I just know they're thinking they don't take me seriously.

Oh well, what can you do. Other than that my close friends know and probably my entire family (thanks to Dad) and a few other friends and that's it.

Hana said...

Nathan, this list of people is really nice and came just in time to make me smile.

You forgot to mention just one type of people, the "Writing Is a Total Bullshit and Waste of Time". None of my family believe I can write a novel and they never tell a word to support me. It troubles me that they don't care, but writing makes me feel good and more happy about myself (among other stuff). That's why I sit everyday on my chair and write.

I take writing as a high-priority thing (I don't do anything else at evenings), but they don't understand it. When they say I have to do something else and I tell them I need to write, they say: "Ahh, write. You can do that any other time." They don't get it when I say: "No one else will write this novel for me..."

Sad, but true. I have a great partner that supports me a lot. I'm truly glad I have him. :)

The Red Angel said...

I really appreciate this article, Nathan--it's kind of scary how I can relate!

Most of my friends and family know that I love to write and are completely supportive because they know how crazy I am about literature and about writing itself!

When I meet new people and start to get to know them, one of the first things I mention is that I love to write. Most of the people I've encountered think that's great--and a lot of them say, "Me too!" The ones who aren't so crazy about my dreams, however, are usually the ones who point out how unrealistic it is to get a job in the literary industry.

To put it nicely, I dislike bandwagon-jumpers to the highest degree.

~TRA

http://xtheredangelx.blogspot.com

J. R. McLemore said...

I don't spread it around that I am a writer unless someone asks, which is usually rare for me.

Everyone I work with knows that I write, and they are very supportive. I haven't had anyone look at me as though I was crazy and they seem to take genuine interest in my work. Some of them have actually read many of my short stories and discussed them with me.

My closest friends know that if they start discussing books or writing, I won't shut up if I get involved. I try not to be a bore, but I love those discussions.

I guess, for me, the people around me are kind of a support group to help me stay motivated with long works-in-progress.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, poor you! They say it's very difficult these days to get published. They say J K rowling was rejected many times." That's why I don't shout it from the roof-tops. I only tell a select few, but I can still see their eyebrows question what I do.

Diana said...

Try writing erotic romance with a BDSM kink! At my very first Romantic Times Convention another writer asked me what genre I wrote. When I replied, "Contemporary Bondage", I thought she was going to faint.

I've met those that fit into all your categories, but I'd have to add one more that, at this point, is strictly populated by males: the "You-write-erotica-so-you-must-put-out" category. You would not believe the number of men who assume you are what you write!

captcha appropriateness: derti

Kathryn Paterson said...

This is a BRILLIANT post. Unfortunately, since I teach fiction writing and recently finished a PhD in it, I can't exactly hide what I do--but I really wish I could. I'm familiar with all of the types you mentioned, although you forgot my least favorite. I call them the unsavory subset of the Q&A category, the ones who hear that YOU'RE writing and ask "so can you just take a look at my short story/essay/poem/flash fiction/unfinished novel/finished novel/finished series of novels/finished apocalyptic screenplay about polydactyl cats" (Fill in the blank with one or the other and sometimes all of the above)

And seriously, it's one of the reasons I question academia as the best type of work for a novelist. Sometimes I think I'd be happier doing something for my day job that was completely unrelated, because at least then no one would care what I was working on!

Zee Lemke said...

I use curious strangers to practice my elevator pitch. If they follow, success. If they're confused, needs revising. If they're not into it, shrug, smile, and ask what they do. If they grin and ask an intelligent question, practice the full pitch.

Teralyn Rose Pilgrim said...

Arlumen:
OH MY GOSH, I could't stand it how everyone who knew I was an English major assumed I would be a teacher. If the only thing you can do in a field is teach, then there's no point in teaching it. They're unknowingly insinuating that English is pointless. I would get really snooty with them, and then later when I couldn't get an editing job, I got my teaching license. Poetic justice.

Bron said...

I don't tell people for a lot of the reasons that have been mentioned above. People just don't understand how long this process is and how small the odds are. They just assume you send your book to a publisher (no one knows about agents) and wait for the call. It doesn't help that a friend of mine did exactly that and, four weeks later, got an offer. Her deal unfortunately fell through, but I think my friends have been left with thinking that's how it works.

G said...

Most of my friends know that I write. Problem is that most of them have a problem reconciling me the writer with me the person or me the blogger.

Which is due to the type of stuff I enjoy writing about (sex, etc.).

As for my immediate family, only my wife really knows anything, because for the most part, the rest of my family is very patronizing towards me about it.

So whatever rare successs I've had, I don't tell them.

christinerice said...

I'm still in the query stage, so only a small handful of people (other writers) plus my husband know about my writing. It's too difficult to explain to others that the process can take awhile and every time they see you, you have to field the questions about when you're "finally" going to have a printed book.

The English Teacher said...

You should hear the reactions I get when I tell people I'm a junior high school English teacher! Unless the person is a teacher her/himself or has a family member who is a teacher, her/his reactions will usually fall into one of two categories: s/he'll think I'm either a saint or insane.

robinC said...

Loved this post Teralyn! And can so relate. For the longest time I didn't tell anyone except my husband and closest writer friends - which felt weird - but it was easier than dealing with The Head Tappers who usually looked at me as if I said I was spearheading the next search for Big Foot. Now that I'm more confident in my craft, I talk about what I'm writing but also get the questions like "Am I in it?" or "Which character are you?"

Sigh.

Regan Leigh said...

I've just recently disclosed that I'm a writer. Some people in my life had known, but not many. And it was very hard for me. I don't usually link to my blog, but I did a post about it. (Which had good dialogue going on in the comments.)

http://www.reganleigh.com/?p=2057

Alex said...

This post made me smile and yes, I tell people I write, but also already expect one of those "Oh well, that's nice" responses, which is pretty much the verbal equivalent of one's eyes glazing over. Same definitely counts for studying English (the "You're either a saint or totally insane" response totally fits, by the way). I think the most frustrating experience I personally made was with someone I had been dating at this point and he was all "Hey, everyone can write!" and promptly took a writing class (which he failed miserably). The phrase poetic justice comes to mind...

Carolyn Arnold said...

Oh, I don't care about the reaction it gets from other people. I'm a writer first and foremost, and if people can't accept that, than that's their issue, IMO. It might sound harsh, but it's so much a part of who I am, that it's hard to make any exemption.

africa2asia said...

Yes, I tell people that I am a writer. Nine times out of ten the conversation will go like this:
"So, what do you do?"
"I'm a writer."
"That's nice, what do you write?"
"Fantasy."
"Oh, like Jackie Collins?"
:)
Which is why I love talking to other writers, they immediately understand.

Jenni Wiltz said...

I do tell people I'm a writer, but I don't like to talk about what I'm working on. Mostly because I don't have an agent or a novel published yet, and it's too hard to explain why not. But also because I think it jinxes whatever I'm working on. I like to keep my cards close to the vest, so to speak.

Kristy Marie Feltenberger Gillespie said...

Fabulous post! Yes, I do tell people that I write. Recently I had my first short story published in a lit magazine and I was so excited to tell my mom. "I have great news, mom!" "You're pregnant?!" "No, mom, but one of my stories is being published." "That's nice too, dear."
I find it helps to commiserate with fellow writers!

Leigh D'Ansey said...

I never used to tell people I write but I do now - sometimes. Usually their eyes glaze over. I love it when I meet another writer who understands what it's all about.

Mageela Troche said...

When I tell people I write, they usually tell me, my life would make a great story.

DearHelenHartman said...

To tell people I write would mean I'd have to talk to people. I write so the only people I have to talk to are people who already know I write because they are also writers or agents or editors or family. Good post.

Backfence said...

I have learned to be very selective when it comes to revealing my secret love and my goal of becoming a published author. There are always a few naysayers to rain on your parade, and when you're already struggling to master the art of query letters and synopses, and facing those inevitable rejection letters, the naysayers DO get to you at times. Thank heavens they're far and few between and balanced out by just as many positive and supportive souls who encourage you to keep plugging.

Those who don't write - or are not creatively inclined - just don't understand the allure. It's like announcing you want to be an actress or a senator or an astronaut ... something far beyond the person they have always known. Some people consider such ambitions just plain weird - and that can be devastating to a writer's self-confidence.

That's why writing groups are so great. You can speak freely among them. They "get" your affair with the written word, and encourage you while at the same time offering constructive and sometimes much needed criticism.

Kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate said...

I tell people I write.
I usually get one extreme or the other. People either think it is easy to succeed as a writer and bring up J.K. Rowling. Sometimes I tell people that it is a long process, and they respond with the advice that I should JUST get an agent. Hmmmmm....

Either that or I get people reminding what my odds are of getting published, and implying it is a waste of time.

Most people just don't know much about it.

But I see myself as a writer so I say I am one.

Lillian Grant said...

I tell people but usually don't diviluge what I write. I quickly got bored of the rolled eyes and giggles when I mentioned romance. And the obvious first question is it erotic. *sigh*. Some people have said, "oh if you're published it must be easy. Maybe i'll write a book." Ouch! Others assume I am rolling in cash...if only. :(

J.C. Martin said...

To strangers, I name my 'other job' as an occupation, if only to avoid the people you mentioned, Teralyn (except the readers, of course!). However, most of my friends and people at work know that I'm working on a book because they knew it was the main reason I went fulltime where I am at the moment and quit my previous job. As friends are, they are pretty supportive, plus I get some freelance copywriting work from the boss! :)

Sheila Cull said...

I say I write, they say, "Well, when's your book coming out?"

I say, "I'm working on a manuscript but so far I've published, 'blah, blah, blah."

They, also, attempt the cheer you on approach, "Remember, writer's are beginners like you that never quit. So, you can call yourself a writer until you die."

Sheila Cull said...

I say I write, they say, "Well, when's your book coming out?"

I say, "I'm working on a manuscript but so far I've published, 'blah, blah, blah."

They, also, attempt the cheer you on approach, "Remember, writer's are beginners like you that never quit. So, you can call yourself a writer until you die."

Claude Nougat said...

I've spent a lifetime being a serious economist (Columbia U., that's how serious!) and NEVER daring admit to anyone that (1) I write fiction and (2) I paint!

Now that I'm retired I do it all and live my childhood dreams: I write, paint and blog! What fun!

But I still don't tell people I write - at most, I admit I blog! Amazing, it's easier to say you blog than to admit to fiction writing! Wonder why...

Jill Thomas said...

I, too, have dealt with these responses, but my favorite is what I call, 'the deer in the headlight' look. Their eyes glaze over, they purse their lips as they try to wrap their mind around the thought and finally nod their heads slowly and stammer out, "Oh, that's, um, great." If I had a nickel...

Jenn Kelly said...

When I tell someone I write books, they then tell me what I should write about. For example: "I'm working on an adult novel now."
Reply: "You know, you should write chapter books for kids. Kids love reading stuff like that."
Um...thanks.

Julie Johnson said...

I loved this! So true.

I have become more comfortable about telling people I am writer, I guess because I'm older now and I've been doing it for a loooong time.

The question that I usually get, if the person is mostly a stranger/new acquaintance, is "Oh, what have you published?" and because I am currently a non-published novelist I have to admit that, other than a few letters to the opinion section of the newspaper years ago, I haven't gotten anything into 'official print' yet (I do write a blog--does that count?).

The whole 'published' = working writer, non-published = hobby writer still irks me but I've chosen to just ignore it and speak true to where I am in my 'writing path'.

Sometimes I pick up a little resentment I guess because I'm 'following my dream' in a real way, making time for it in my life, and they might not be.

Most kind people just wish me luck in getting published. And often they are curious and interested in the process.

Great post!

Julie Johnson
@julieejohnsonn
busywriting.net

Nancy Lauzon said...

Great post, Nathan, and so true. I've met all of those people! When I first started writing I told everyone what I was doing, but now I'm more selective. I tell people it's more of a hobby, since it really is - until I make enough money to support myself with it. I'm keeping my day job until then, LOL.

Nancy
www.nancylauzon.com
The Chick Dick Blog
http://nancylauzon.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

My cousin (a reader) heard via my mother that I am pursuing a writing career. He reacted with the most enthusiasm I've encounters so far. He was eager to help me "broaden my horizons" as he put it, which consisted of sitting me down to watch THE DARK CRYSTLE, a 1980's film featuring puppets, essentially the MUPPETS electrocuted.

I tell as few people as possible.

Emily Wenstrom said...

I’ve only started writing seriously enough to call myself a fiction writer in the past year. I tell people I’m a writer, but the conversation generally goes toward my current job as a marketing writer rather than novels. But like you, when I do bring it up, I get some funny reactions. Some, mainly good friends and family, are enthusiastic and supportive. One coworker I told asks me every weeks how the novel’s coming, as if it will be published any day. As if I didn’t have a third of a manuscript finished and at least another year of revisions after that before it even went to an agent. Awkward.

Lady Gwen said...

Idon't like to tell people that I write, probably because I'm only 6 chapters in to my first novel and I think it will be at least 2 years before I finish. Also, when they find out how little I've written I get the "uh huh" look, like I'll never finish...

cherie said...

Wonderful post, Teralyn.

Yeah, I was a closet writer for a good 3-4 years, then I got bored of hunkering down my basement, writing stories only I, and my 3-year-old who can't read, can see. I'm still not quite out and about with it. I don't go telling my neighbors, for instance, that I fancy myself a writer. I did start blogging, and that was a huge relief to have cyberspace strangers now cyberspace friends validate me as a writer. I guess I should have validated myself first, but sometimes, it's just hard, right?

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Oooo, you nailed it. Great post!

Thank you, Teralyn. AND Nathan! that rebel, Olivia

Marge said...

Interesting post. Like others, I occasionally tell people I write, but I try hard not to let the conversation go to whether or not I have an agent or whether I've had a novel published. Apparently short stories don't count. Interesting, however, that if the conversation then turns to 'day' jobs and I admit to having one, invariably someone will comment that if I'd work harder, I might be a 'real' author. Part of the reason I hate cocktail parties.

Anonymous said...

When I tell people I retired early to write, I get one of dozen looks (and sometimes more than one) where I can read their minds in their eyes:
1. The Blank Stare--"I have no idea what that looks like!"
2. The Glazed-over Glare--"I would never do that if you paid me."
3. The Eye Roll (accompanied with a deep sigh)--"What crazy story are you writing NOW?"
4. The Narrowed Eyes--"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
5. The Shut Eyes--"What a waste of time."
6. The Confused Frown--"That's what you said last year. You're still working on the same book?"
7. The Slow Blink--"Oh brother! That's a cop out on life."
8. The Fast Flutter--"Don't tell me about your book AGAIN! Isn't there anything NEW in your life?"
9. The Wide-eyed Shock--"You're still REVISING? How long does it take to REVISE a BOOK?"
10. The Wistful Look--"I wish I could spend all day just thinking, and reading, and writing. How much does it pay?" (after which I laugh)
11. The Jealous Eye--"I started writing a novel but never finished. I can't imagine writing a WHOLE BOOK!"
12. The Twinkle (and my favorite which only happens about 2% of the time)--"I think I could do that. Would you share with me what you do?"

J. T. Shea said...

Anonymous 7:45 pm, THE DARK CRYSTAL = the MUPPETS electrocuted? Exactly!

I tell everybody! And I really mean everybody. All my family and friends, perfect strangers, over and over again, just in case anybody ever forgets. I talk of little else. I'm looking into tee-shirts, bumper stickers and maybe a big sandwich board. Then I'll ring everybody in the phone-book to tell them. In alphabetical order. Starting with New York City.

It's wonderful how people's eyes glaze over with sheer delight as I regale them with every last detail of my boundless ideas and imagination and achievement. Sometimes they even faint from the pleasure, or run away because there's not enough room in their minds for it all.

Harry Potter? Stephanie Meyer? Is that the limit of people's ambition? I'm thinking nothing less than Agatha Christie, two billion books sold and counting.

My main worry is, no matter how many yachts you buy, you can only water-ski behind one at a time. I am very disappointed such a major problem is so rarely discussed in writers' blogs and forums. All suggestions are welcome.

Trisha said...

I tell people I write, but not immediately - I'm getting better at saying "yeah, I write novels and stuff..." lol. I must admit it's a relief when they don't want to know aaaaaaaaall about it though.

FloridaBird said...

Yes, I tell people I write. I have really enjoyed reading the reactions from people to Authors...great!
The one thing that does feel awkward is many people ask me to write THEIR story for them. Or better yet, they want to give me IDEAS for stories.
On one hand I appreciate the faith they have in me. On the other hand, I barely have time to work on my own ideas.
I just tell myself to smile and be happy!
Keep Writing!
Mary Staller

Christina Strigas said...

I find it hard to say I'm a writer even after two books that I've published, one in editing and another I'm writing now. I work full time as a teacher and I write "as a hobby" otherwise I wouldn't be able to survive. God knows, it's not for the money. What money?? I'm with you, it's part shy, part humble, part what have you done latley? The best comments come from my kids, Mom why aren't you famous yet? They just see me tap tap away. My response to them - most writers are not famous!!!!!! Isn't that write? I do like your blog!
Chrissy.

ComfyDenim said...

Made me laugh. You've apparently met my friends.

John Durvin said...

The one time I went to a local writers' group, there were only two other people there; one was a veterinarian that was writing her memoirs and wasn't worried at all about ever getting them published, and the other was a girl that had taken up writing because she really liked the Harry Potter movies. She hadn't read the books. Me personally? I get nothing but head-tappers.

Toni Sciarra Poynter said...

Great post, and I loved the comments, too! I am both a writer and an editor. I've gotten many of the responses others mention when I talk about my writing life. Did anyone mention bemused silence, and then a change of subject?

When I talk about being an editor, most people either say, "Any bestsellers I'd know?" (too bad that even books that sell hundreds of thousands of copies don't necessarily hit bestseller lists, and saying so only makes a person seem defensive!).

Or they say, "That must be fun, to sit around and read all day." When I acquired books for NYC publishers, if I'd sat around reading all day, I'd have been fired. Almost all reading and editing were done on one's own time.

Or they appropriate the job by proudly saying, "I'm one of those people who spots every typo and punctuation error!" OK, and did you spot the chapter that should have been written, but wasn't?

Grrr.

Anonymous said...

when i told my older(by 13 years) sister in 2007 I was co-writing a friend's memoir, her reply was mmhmmm. She already thinks my freelancing for a newspaper is a waste of time and was a childhood fantasy I should wake from and get a real job. But when the book came out along with articles, she suddenly needed to have me help write HER memoir....to which I said NO. She threw the 'I am your big sister" line and I said NO, again. After her belittling, I've not told her about any future book projects including a novel collaboration with a classmate and two e-books I am publishing this summer.

K said...

I used to say "I just stay home with my children," then one day it dawned on me why do I use the word 'just' and since then I say I stay home with my children and I'm a writer. The response I generally receive is "what do you write?" followed quickly by "what have you published?" and those two questions are a bit harder to answer!

Anonymous said...

Oh thank god I saw your article early on, I just decided a couple of days ago to shift careers and become a writer! (mid career mind you ) from the initial reaction I got from closest family members, I decided I shall not share this with anyone at all! And I don't even aspire to be a novelist! Well I will definitely keep your experience in mind as I struggle through making it through this shift ( which I'm extremely excited about by the way ). Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

J.T. Shea: When I start my soon-to-be-wildly-popular-even-so-popular-as-to-incite-a-seven-figure-book-deal-tv-show-and-film-series blog: The Wonder of Being ME, How To Remedy the Problem of 1 Famous Novelist/4 Luxury Yachts/and only 1 pair of waterskis shall be my first topic.

On Coming Out: My husband tells them for me...and I'm pretty sure Dante's got a circle for him.

So, no pressure here...

It's been a few years now...

No book deal yet?

But these days, I don't let other people's expectations or reactions...other people's STUFF get to me. Rarely even registers.

RE: OPS (Other People's STUFF)

I figure, if nobody's dead, who gives a flying monkey?

NickB

J. T. Shea said...

Great, NickB! I look forward to your blog. The obvious solution is a line from each yacht to the skier, but we can't be obvious if we're writers, now can we?

Your husband sounds like one of those embarrassing parents who boasts to everyone about everything his or her kid does!

Gabriel said...

Here's my rule: You can't say you are a writer until you can buy a car or buy a home with your income as a writer.

Tough? Oh well. There's a reason why this question is being asked; no one can take the writing profession seriously if everyone and their grandma claims to be a writer.

Only you can make the title of writer means something again.

googledisappointsme.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

J.T. Shea: Maybe from boat-to-boat via an O-ring, but the boats must be driven by A)sharks B)gun-wielding terrorist drug-dealers or C) small children who got ahold of their parents' Ambien...depending on your genre.

And on the husband YOU GOT IT! I started doing Pilates and he's like: "Feel those abs!" and he Grabs People's Hands and puts them on my stomach! "Isn't she HOT?"
-I don't like it when you say that.
-I'm just proud of you.
-But I don't like it. It's embarrassing. And coupled with the fact that you kinda ignore me when I don't look good, or when there's a more attractive woman in the room, it kinda makes me feel like you don't LOVE me. Or like you only see the outside. Kinda trophy-like, y'know?
-Squirrel! (exit husband)

I can't think of a time when one of your posts didn't make me laugh. Thanks J.T.

NickB

Susan Boucher said...

Gawd no. Sounds as painful as pregnancy, only instead of constantly being asked, "When are you due", "How are you feeling" and "Do you know if it's a boy or girl", the incessant questions would be "What's your book about", "Have you published anything", and "Why not". With pregnancy, while you can't hide it like you can hide being a writer, at least it's over in 9 months!

Anonymous said...

Still a closet writer, I'm afraid to say....and it sounds like I might want to keep it that way until I need my friends to go buy it (fingers crossed). Another blogger had some funny things to say on the same topic though: http://aemayer.com/blog/2011/08/writerface/

Sarah said...

I get mostly head scratchers and advocates. What frustrates me is when relatives ask "How many books do you have published" and I'm like, "Um, I haven't written a full manuscript yet..."

Anonymous said...

I think some people are intimidated by writers, especially men.

Recently, I've been interviewing for jobs. When they ask about hobbies or personal achievements, I would mention that I was a writer or a published author. They would ask what kind of writer, and I'd say literary and leave it at that. I didn't want to go on about all the YA I write, and I don't think they would have cared.

When I saw that this was turning people off, I stopped mention literature and discussed the more formal work I've done: tech manuals, journal articles, and marketing plans. Again, just a real bland, empty, almost a turned off look.

Anyway, I'm not gonna mention that I'm a writer anymore. Employers don't want people who are intelligent. Now, you could say they fear people who know how to use social media, but in these cases, I'm almost certain that wasn't it.

I'm in the south, by the way, so hopefully it's better elsewhere. Hopefully, it's okay to be smart and accomplished, and to be outside the proverbial box, in other states.

Anonymous said...

Only people who make enough money are real writers? I don't agree.

If you write, then you're a writer. If people read your work, then even better. Not all artists are rich. Are painters only painters if they make enough money to live off? I just don't agree.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, my ideas pop into my head around 2-4am when I am at work. Coworkers will ask what I am writing to which I respond "a book". Nearly everyone who asks then want to know what it is about. I evasively say, "It's hard to explain but it's a fantasy novel." If they aren't interested they drop the conversation but if they are interested they continue to pick my brain.
At my last job, everytime I saw my coworker, Ryan, he would ask how the book was coming along and if I had made any changes to it. He made me want to write more just so that I didn't disappoint him and have to say "Um...I haven't written in a while."

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