I remember the first few times I was asked what I “did” after I went to full time writing. I was all nervous and the words stuck on my tongue as I strangled out, “I’m a writer”. It generally led to pleasant conversation and I was amazed by how much I had in common with people’s relations, acquaintances and friends. Kinda thought it was cool, I did. I also felt proud as could be calling myself a writer.
Fast forward a while. Now, I cringe (visibly, I’m sure) when someone pops the question. I cringe ’cause sure as all get out, the first thing outta their mouth is gonna be something like, “Really! My sister’s best friend’s fiance has a cousin who is writing a novel!” Me: “Really? That’s great. Hey, how about those Lakers?” Yeah, well it rarely works and I get to hear the third hand synopsis and isn’t that wonderful and I knew he/she was destined to be a writer and blabbity-blabbity-blabbity.
Or worse yet: “I’m a writer too! I’m getting ready to publish my work on Kindle. Yup, that’s right. I finally broke down and bought Adobe Pagemaker so I can upload it.” Me: “Hmm. Really? What word processing program do you use, because both Word and OpenOffice have a one button save as a .pdf function.” “Oh, I use Works.” Me: “Oh.”
Nathan Bransford had a post today about it being a great time to be an author. Gee, do ya think? You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one these days. (Disclaimer: No cats were harmed in the making of this blog post.)
Far be it for me to squelch the bright eyed enthusiasm that often accompanies these awkward conversations. But sometimes it’s all too much for my soul to bear. Someone at the library severely damaged the 2007 edition of the Short Stories Writer’s Market. When they came in to pay for it they asked if they could take the book because they “really need it. I’m a writer and this is important for me to have.” I just smiled – “Absolutely” Inner me goes, “What the frak! Are you daft?!! The contacts in there are almost four bloody years old!!!! I wear my underwear longer than most of those people stay at their jobs!”
Man, I’ve got a headache.
So, I’ve decided I’m not a writer anymore. No-sirree-Bob-a-rooskie. “I is the accordian player for a Polka band that plays weekends at the VFW. You should come see us sometime.”
Heh. That’ll learn ‘em.