Friday, December 30, 2011

Ask Me Why I Write...The Answers May Surprise You...

Yup. This is what the species known as "writer" looks like.
I read a very interesting blog post today that another writer had posted some time back and the topic was whether or not you tell people that you write.  I have several sordid thoughts on this subject because it seems that different people have different reactions when I say, "I write books."

I think that the funniest reaction that I ever got from that simple, three word statement was in comment form and it was simple.  The guy looked at me and said, "Like Stephen King?" He had a puzzled expression and was very confused at this.  I've said it once and I'll say it again.  I think it would be easier to tell people that I was a prostitute for a living than telling them that I WRITE BOOKS and, frankly, the reaction would be more positive.

Sometimes it's also hard for people to understand that just because I write doesn't mean that I'm a millionaire.  I'm not a millionaire.  My husband drives a coal truck and I'm a housewife who writes in spare time while he's either sleeping through the day or working at night.  I'm also a mother, so I have four children to look after.  Writing time is precious.  I just started writing professionally a few years ago and have yet to have a bestseller.  I'm okay with this.  Greatness takes time!

And before anyone else asks me, the answer is no.  I am not like Stephenie Meyer, nor will I ever be.  Sure, I write vampires and quite love them, but mine will not ever sparkle and they will never leap through trees giving piggy back rides to mortals.  Really, that's a terrible idea.

I've also never understood why, when people learn that I'm a writer, they assume that I know Stephenie Meyer, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Anne Rice, and other big names in the publishing industry.  No, I've never met any of those people, though there are two in that list that I would give my left leg to meet.  One of them, I'd give BOTH legs to meet (giggles). 

It bothers me that some people assume that writers are all crazy.  The truth is, we all are a little crazy to a certain degree (writers, that is), but we're not so stupid that our thoughts will become actions.  As writers, we understand that there can sometimes be horrible consequences to acting on our crazy thoughts and wants.  Instead of acting them out, we just write about them.  That's why we're not that crazy.  We're just crazy enough.  And if I've offended any other writers by this statement, my apologies. . .but, I feel that it's true.

The best part of telling people that I write is when I actually stumble upon a reader who would love to read more of my work.  Those people are my biggest inspiration.  I don't have as many readers as Anne Rice, but I do have a good group of faithful readers who tell me on a regular basis that they can't wait for the release of The Demon King or ask me when my third Immortal book will be out.  For these people, I feel that my hard work actually paid off, even though it hasn't paid out much yet. 

I've even had people tell me that my books aren't "real books" because the pages are filled with monsters and demons and vampires and the like.  Ouch...

Lastly, I HATE when people find out that I'm a writer and ask me why I do it.  They'll stare at me and ask me, blatantly, why I write when it's not making me millions.  The answer is simple.  I don't write because I want to.  I write because I have to.  I write because, if I don't, the stories in my head will cause an aneurysm and my brain will explode and there will be brain tissue and guts splattered all over my computer monitor (and possibly my children, since they hang out next to my computer sometimes while I write). And I write because The Demon King says I have to.  There.  Now you all know.

And in answer to the original blogger's question, YES.  I do tell people that I write.  Their reactions, if not nice ones, are always at least entertaining. 

2 comments:

  1. Hi, Rhiannon. Good post.
    It is always interesting to read people's faces when we explain what we write. I used to be embarrassed (just a little) in those moments, but eventually time takes you to a more professional place and it becomes less so.
    You cracked me up w/ that prostitute bit. We all have a bit of that, especially when it comes time to promote the work. Right? ;)
    Happy New Year to you and yours.

    -Jimmy

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  2. Yes, Jimmy! And it's just about come time for me to start promoting again...GAH! I'm such a horrible promoter lol. I'm not good at it at all! Fortunately, I have friends who ARE good promoters and they help. Thank goodness for them. Thanks for commenting!

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