22 comments on “Man, I Hate Telling People I’m a Writer

  1. Hi George,

    And don’t forget to tell them you also wear a kilt. :)

    I’ve never met a writer in real life before, or if I did, they didn’t say they were. Now in blogosphere, I know a lot of them – including you. As I was reading you words I wondered what I would say if I met one. My answer would probably be, “Cool, do you have a blog where I can read some of your work?”

    P.S. I don’t tell people I’m a blogger, either. They just don’t “get it”.
    .-= Barbara Swafford´s last blog ..One, Or A Million =-.

    • Hehe. Hey Barbara. A kilt wearin’ accordion playin’ polka dude. Hmmm, it’s got its possibilities.

      Hope all is well, thanks for stopping in.


  2. Wow, a great defining moment for you, this. I knew it! There’s an accordion player in you that’s just dying to come out… LOL

    My neighborhood doesn’t even know me. I discovered that when a blogging buddy sent me a gift. The package was almost sent back to the sender because the courier could not talk to anyone who knew me. Ugh. Should I start calling myself a blogger? No, I’m afraid not. I’m comfortable with the all too familiar obscurity in my place. Might muddy the waters all the more if I do that.
    .-= jan geronimo´s last blog ..When a Question Is the Answer =-.

    • Hey Jan,

      Oh yeah. Just wait until the video comes out on YouTube. Kilt wearin’ accordion playin’ bald guy.

      Or maybe America’s Got Talent? Hmmm. Maybe I WILL get an accordion.

      I think maybe I’ll lead a drive to pull you from obscurity. Yes, yes. That’s a plan. ;-)


    • OK Dave. I’ll add it to my list of stuff to blame Jan for. I may need to get another gig of hard drive space. That oughta larn him.


  3. Hey George,

    I can just picture you standing there and cringing while wannabe’s pour out their novel synopsis. I do however understand what you mean. I get it all the time and when I say I am a freelance writer I usually get something like:
    “Oh, so what do you do?” Then I have to go through explaining that I write for websites. The conversation usually ends fairly quickly. Think I need to come up with a good speil so I don’t have to go through all the explaining. Most people have no idea at all what I do.

    Let us know how the accordian playing pans out and where I can catch your next gig.
    .-= Amanda Evans´s last blog ..Some New Changes Taking Place =-.

  4. Very funny.

    I always feel bad when I tell them I’m a writer and get the follow up, “Oh, what do you write.”

    “Anything, as long as the check clears.”

    There’s always that look of disappointment. “Hey, we’re at a party. What d’ya want? J.D. Salinger?”

    Good post, George. Keep practicing on that squeeze box. (I took lessons for six years as a kid. Thanks, Mom.)

    • Hey Paul.

      I love your response to folks. Man, doesn’t that just encapsulate the whole freelance writing thing.

      Squeeze box, bagpipes, heck maybe even the lute. The possibilities are endless!


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  6. Hi George!

    When I was a kid, all the other kids used to take accordian from the lady down the street. Sadly, I never did, so “Lady of Spain I Adore You” will never ripple from my digits like on the Ed Sullivan Show.

    Some wise person once told me:

    “You are not defined by your job!”

    So when you lose a job, or when you do a job that is unconventional (like writing or pole dancing), let the unwashed drop their jaws!

    Let them scratch their heads!

    Let them try to fit your square shape into a round hole!

    It is THEIR loss. You will never bed the prom queen. Sorry.

    As I write this, George, I am sitting alone in my musty writer’s garret, staring out toward Alaska, like Sarah Palin stared at Russia, trying to formulate a fail-safe answer to that hellish question: “What do you do?”

    I can only smile, take pity, and say … “I’m in the entertainment business!”

    They then shoot me one of those “duh” looks and turn to ponder the banality of their unfulfilled lives as I … spin gold for the gods. Heh heh.

    Your wordsmith pal in Wisconsin,

    Wayne C. Long
    Writer/Editor/Digital Publisher
    Where the Short Story Lives!

    • Wayne,

      I LOVE the breadcrumbs of wisdom you always leave over here. Entertainment business? Perfect!

      My parole officer says I’m not allowed within 500 feet of Prom Queens anymore. Dang.


  7. George,
    Maybe you should start saying “Oh, really? You’re a writer? Well, I offer a 6 week email course that helps aspiring writers get their work published. Are you published yet?”

    Then you could throw together all of the excellent posts you’ve written about your experiences with Smashbooks, etc. and make the big bucks!

    Hope you are weathering through the cold season ok!

    • Dava,

      Oh I was soooo lol when I read your comment. Absolute perfection. Ice cold lemonade from them lemons, me thinks.



  8. Oh no! Oh George! Please don’t say you’re not a writer!

    Yes, you may get all these silly responses, but you know what, you can stand there listening and think “yeah, but I really *am* a writer!”

    I noticed a shift lately (both in how I felt and the responses I got) when I stopped saying I was a writer and started saying I was an author – maybe you should try that before abandoning our venerable profession altogether? Come back to us George!
    .-= Emma Newman´s last blog ..Friday Flash: The First One =-.

    • Dearest, sweet Emma,

      A mere instrument of musical capability is nigh large enough to halt my poetic journeys into the fields of the written word. heck, I couldn’t even spell accordion right.

      I do hear what you mean about writer-vs-author. I wrote a post about it a while back. I’ll have to go reread it and see what my thoughts are on the matter. ;-)


  9. Hi George,

    I *hear* you, brother!

    I find myself continuously walking a line. One one hand, if I don’t call myself a writer (or author) then is that saying that I really don’t want to keep writing or identify with the profession?

    But, when I do call myself a writer, people always want a list of my top ten published books. WHAT??? Ugh.

    When I was employed as a science writer for a company, it seemed a little easier, because, well, that was my ‘job title’ and I got paid for it every two weeks. But, the writing I’m doing now I think is so much more interesting and compelling, but I’m not on a writer’s ‘payroll’.

    So, what does that make me?

    I think I’ll be the tuba player in your Polka band. I love the Vets, anyway. You mind?
    .-= Lori´s last blog ..Random Acts of Kick Arse: Gratitude =-.

  10. I got such a kick out of this post! I can’t tell you how many friends of mine have recently decided they want to write a book. These are friends who never showed an ounce of interest in writing until last week.

    The part I hate the most though is when tell someone I’m working on my first book (rather than staking claim to the writer title) and it becomes 20 questions. “Oh what is your book about?” “Are your characters based off people you know?” BLAH BLAH BLAH. I would love to tell you what it’s about once I get past the first few chapters and make sure I still want to go that direction…

    Okay now that I’ve got that off my chest, back to exploring your blog finally =].

    • Hey Roxann,

      So glad you’ve cruised on by. I’ve been getting two and a half times the normal amount of reading fun since I subscribed to your blog. ;-)

      Yeah, your frustrations hit home for sure. Thinking of just telling folks I’m a day trader. That oughta stop them in their tracks…

      george´s last blog post ..Vintage: Finding Your Writer’s Voice

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