It’s been very funny lately telling complete strangers that I am a writer. I haven’t really self-identified as a writer for very long. Instead, I simply say “I do PR and I also write sometimes.” But to boldly say “I am a writer!” seemed just plain weird. It’s like saying, “I am a cowboy” or “I am an astronaut.” I may as well say, “I am a superhero” because, strangely, the reactions I’m getting sure make me feel like one (well, sometimes they make me feel the opposite). I didn’t expect that. It seems to me that when the pharmacist or the lawn guy or the banker ask me, “So… what do you do for a living?” and I tell them that I am a writer, I do get different reactions, but they’re all more or less in the same ball park. Here are the top ten most typical reactions to telling people I’m a writer.
1) “Really? That’s amazing. Do you write romance novels? I love those. “
2) “A writer? A real writer? That’s so cool. You must be smart.”
3) “Can I find your stuff at the library or Barnes & Noble or on Amazon? Are you published?”
4) “Are you like J.K. Rowling? Do you know her?”
5) “That beats my job. I hate being cooped up all day.”
6) “How do you make up stories? That must be hard. I could never do that.”
7) “A writer? That’s a real job?”
8) “How fast can you type? You must type fast.”
9) “How’s business?”
10) “I have a story. It’s so crazy. If I tell you, can you write it for me?”
Here are my answers…
1) No, I don’t write romance novels. I’m not that romantic.
2) I’m smarter than some, way dumber than lots.
3) Yes. I just pressed the “publish” button on my WordPress blog. Oh, and I’ve also had a byline in some newspapers and magazines. But my books aren’t published yet. Two of them are ghost written and being edited, and one is actually about ghosts. The one about ghosts will have my name on it– the others won’t. If you give me your email address, I’ll let you know where to buy all of them. I hope you’re interested in women’s hormone health, religious pluralism and teen paranormal angst.
4) I’ve never met J.K Rowling and I’m probably at least seven inches shorter than her. Also, I am brunette and there are no wizards in any of my books.
5) That sucks. I am also cooped up all day, but mostly in places with delicious lattes and weird music. You should try it.
6) Stories are everywhere. Your life is full of them. Believe me, you’re probably more interesting than you think.
7) Yes. Being a writer is an actual job. We either can barely pay our bills, or we’re ridiculously well off. It all depends. Screenwriters make the most money for the fewest amount of words (excluding poets who are in a world all their own.)
8) Last I checked, I type 60 words per minute. But I never learned proper typing technique. However, I do hunt and peck with the best of them.
9) What does business have to do with writing?Oh, a lot. Well, business is currently slower than I’d like. I mean, the publishing process can be painfully slow. But when it picks up, I’m sure it will be a ride worth waiting for.
10) Um, no.