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In case any of my friends or family members actually read this Blog, please consider all Names, Characters, Places and Incidents to be the product of the author's imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely COINCIDENTAL...Muaaah!! Now, really, about me: I bring the crazy wherever I go, so I've been told...I make fun of myself more than anyone else ever could. I hate: the awkward silence in elevators, watches with no numbers, picky eaters, Cancer and legalism. I love: coffee, stalking Hugh Jackman, my Spanx, COMMENTS, sarcasm and writing: Middle Grade, NA, YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Coming Out of the Writing Closet


I don't know about you, but coming out of the writing closet is something I really struggle with. For some reason, I haven't been able to be all open about it, like I am in every other area of my life. When I sat down and really thought about it, I realized that a majority of the people I know still have no clue that I am a writer. And I'm left wondering why a person who is normally as open and honest as me would keep such a major part of  their life, a secret.

Maybe it's because I am so insecure about writing, that deep down inside I'm terrified of ridicule. If I identify myself to all of my friends and family and "come out" as a writer, then I'll have to subject myself to all of their questions and scrutiny.  You know, fun questions like:

(1) How can you call yourself a writer if you haven't you published anything yet?
(2) Why don't you have an agent yet?
(3) Do you really think you have a story that's worth reading?
(4) What's your book about? (and then you are forced to give the dreaded synopsis/pitch on the spot)
(5) Am I in your book?
(6) Do you think you can make any money writing?
(7) Have you tried, you know, "not" being a writer? (ha)

Maybe I don't come out as a writer because I don't want to deal with all the drama that naturally follows labeling yourself as such. It's annoying. Like when you finally do tell someone you are a writer and then they proceed to throw in their two cents about how you should change the plot/story and characters of your WIP. (Even though what they want you to write/add in are the exact plots and identical characters from popular TV shows and movies that have already been written about a dozen times over. For example, I actually had someone say this: you should make your main character a vampire who falls in love with this girl but she is human.  Yeah, because that's never been done before. Ha.)

I don't have any concrete answers today. Maybe it's for all of the above reasons and more. I'm still not sure. But I am left wondering do/did any of you struggle with coming out of the writing closet too? Why or why not. Did any of you choose to use a pen name instead of your real name for any of the above reasons?

12 comments:

  1. I have these same thoughts. I especially hate being asked what my books are about because I suck at coming up with a synopsis and I automatically think the person I am telling it to will think about how stupid it is. I work full-time as a librarian so I always say that's what I do even though I'd love to have the courage to talk confidently about the writing.

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  2. Sometimes I don't get any response. That might actually be better. Although I've had to listen to someone's spiel about the book they'd like to write some day more than once.

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  3. For a while, I was just like this, in that I wouldn't tell anyone I was a writer. But it's just a part of who I am, and it inevitably comes out. I've gotten all of these questions and they do scare/annoy me! Oh well, though, they're just questions, they can't kill...and at the end of the day, it's not a huge deal. Best of luck to you!

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  4. I found that most people aren't interested whether I write or not. I'd be happy to get suggestions about my work LOL! A little interest from my real life friends and acquaintances would be nice actually.

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  5. I haven't written a book or anything but I did have over 300 articles published on Yahoo Contributor Network before they closed their website down. People on the internet were nicer to me about being published online than my own family were. Most of my family said that I wasn't a real author because I was only published online and only articles, even though I was paid for my articles. I think you're an author just by being published...anywhere.

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  6. I am published and I'm still more likely to say, "Stay at home mom," than "writer" when people ask me what I do. It's hard to open yourself up to people who don't get it. So I know how you feel. However, when I do fess up it usually goes better than I expect it to. :)

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  7. You sing it Sistah! Man this post hit the nail on the head for me. I am so 'conflicted' when it comes to telling people that I write. I want to say it, I really do,. I want to take some pride in what I do, but then there are those pesky questions. I hate 'em. You know people don't ask those things of other professions. They never make a doctor or lawyer or even an administrative assistant or secretary, justify their existence, but with a writer, it's like your fir game.

    Someone once told me it was because most folks re jealous of 'creative types' and those who are willing to admit that they are trying to be 'creative types'. I dunno, maybe that's the case, but whatever; it sure ups the insecurity level, when I have to answer all those dumb questions.

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  8. Synonyms are excellent, so make use of them.

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  9. I've had these thoughts in the past, and it sure strikes a chord. Best wishes as you find yourself.

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  10. We both know the feeling. Like Alex said, we usually get responses from people about the books they want to write, in a manner of almost saying "Yeah that's cool, I can do that too. I just don't want to." And not to be a dick, but it seems like people think that anyone can just write a book (and it'll be good). I don't think a lot of people realize how hard writing is until they actually try it.

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  11. Nah , I always loved the attention :P
    But yes , sometimes I wished my posts were anonymous because my friends and family assume that a certain post is about them ( and sometimes is) and will have to fend of awkward questions about it.

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  12. As a writer who's been "out" from the start, let me give you some stock answers to help you out.

    (1) How can you call yourself a writer if you haven't you published anything yet?
    Because writers are people who write. Publishing what we've written is a separate issue entirely.

    (2) Why don't you have an agent yet?
    Agents are SOOOOOOO uneconomical. Who wants to pay in royalties for publishing when publishing houses do jack squat that I don't have to do for myself anyway?

    (3) Do you really think you have a story that's worth reading?
    Honestly, I don't give a damn. It's worth it to me to WRITE and that's what matters.

    (4) What's your book about? (and then you are forced to give the dreaded synopsis/pitch on the spot)
    Usually, the best answer here is to compare it to something everyone knows or knows of and say it's *SOMETHING* like that -- even when it isn't. Usually, people who ask these stupid questions usually don't care.

    (5) Am I in your book?
    Nope.

    (6) Do you think you can make any money writing?
    Not doing it for the money, honey. Doing it for the love.

    (7) Have you tried, you know, "not" being a writer?
    *You're an idiot look.*

    I use a pseudonym, but only because people can't pronounce my surname. :-)

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