Over at Nathan Bransford's blog, there is a guest post from Teralyn Rose Pilgrim on Do You Tell People You Write?
It is hysterical. I laughed, and laughed again, because I've probably been through every stage she mentions.
Go read that post, but first, do you? Do you tell people about your writing? Are you in a stage where you're comfortable with that, or do you feel that it is still in hobby form?
I have to say that, yes, since February when everything started happening for me and my book is getting published, it's much easier to talk about it. But before two years ago, I really was still in a cave with it.
I had written for years but only a few close family members knew about it. They humored me with my "hobby" and probably thought it was cute. I live in a very small town, and nobody around me that I knew of wrote books. Two years ago, I got really active with the community side of writing. Got online, got a blog, got on Facebook, and got serious about querying. I learned quite a bit about the business side of the industry, and kept learning. But still wasn't talking. Not to anyone in my "real" life. I'd be all over the internet, trying to brand myself, but only to the internet.
A year and a half ago, I went to my first conference, and it changed everything. I was a writer. There were hundreds of people like me, looking for inclusion in this wonderful group called "writers" because back home they were alone with it. I was told if I treated writing as a hobby it would always be a hobby. That if I ever wanted it to be a career, I had to treat it like a job. Punch in every day. Tell people it was my job. Own up to it, be accountable for it. Sccaaaaarrryyy stuff!
So I went back to work, and one day in casual conversation, I told my boss. She was like, "Really? How cool." I told my closest coworker, who isn't a reader, and she said pretty much the same thing. I mentioned it here and there to people, or cringed and nodded when my daughter blabbed it in public, but once you say, "No, nothing published yet" well....then people's eyes glaze back over, and that's that.
When I got my superstar agent in February, I got considerably braver, and when I got an editor....well, you'd think I'd be telling everyone that walks past me, right? But there's still that intimidation. I think writers by nature are somewhat introverted, don't you? We prefer the safety of an isolated room and our stories to a crowded room of questions. I'm better than I was. If asked now, I can talk about my writing and the excitement to come, but only if asked. I still have trouble initiating it.
"Hey! By the way, I have a book coming out next April! What's it called? It's called, The Reason Is You." Yep...nope...that conversation is not starting with me.
And now I get to add, "Oh, and you won't find it under Scroggs, I'm writing under Lovelace." And answer to those confused looks. Not by my online friends, they get it. My real life friends and family will be the challenge!
So what do you do when asked? What stage are you at in your writing and do you tell people? Are you treating it as a job so that one day it will be?