Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here. I’m pondering other folks’ attitudes to your writing and how much, if any, is shaped by your own perception of it.
What’s got me on this tangent, I hear you ask? Well, it’s been brewing for a while, but it was something my oldest son said in jest over the weekend.
“Oh, she’s a writer.” With air quotes and a suitably snarky tone.
My response to that was a somewhat defensive, “Yes, I am, actually. This is my job!”
He was only winding me up. Easy way to get a rise out of good old mum, or so I’m told, because I bite like a bulldog and don’t let it go, but it got me thinking as to why this is such a sore subject.
My family on the whole are and always have been very supportive, that is my husband and children. The more extended family on my husbands’ side (I’ve been an orphan for over twenty years now, so nobody to worry about on my side) tend to ignore my writing, and when it does come up, it’s usually quickly brushed aside.
It always amuses me, but, hey that’s them and I just shrug my shoulders. Which leaves friends, and acquaintances, mums at the school gates, teachers of my kids and the usual humdrum of folks you meet as part of your everyday life.
Now, right from the first book I published I made the decision to not be one of those writers, who does nothing but flog her books every chance she gets. You’ve all met that author, who bring up their book/s in every darn conversation they have with you.
Yeah, no way, not me. While I don’t hide my writing and never will do either, I write under my own name, after all, there are plenty of folks, still, who will have no idea that I also write. To them I’m simply mum of so and so, a neighbor, the person they speak to when they bump into me at the shop… you get the idea, which is fine by me.
Like I said, I made a conscious decision at the start of my career to not be that author. If the subject of what I do comes up, I usually say quite simply, “I write erotic romance.”
I then invariably get, “Oh, are you published?”
That one always makes me smile inside, and when I reply in the affirmative, the convo usually goes one way or the other.
Stunned silence when folks find out what exactly it is I do write or “I’m so going to look you up.”
Either response is fine, what isn’t fine, however, is the fact that some folks don’t seem to grasp that concept that yes, THIS IS MY JOB.
No, I will not do xyz, just because I work from home. No, when I cancel a commitment, rest assured it is because I’m either on a deadline, or the characters are screaming me so much that guess what?
I wouldn’t be very good company anyway, because I’ll be wishing I was sitting behind my laptop, tapping away.
Yes, it’s incredibly time-consuming to keep up with everything else that goes on with my job, and that doesn’t involve actual writing.Yes, I will snap at you when you disturb my flow, etc…
I have lost friends over my writing, partly because they objected to the subject matter, cause, ya know, writing love stories with the bedroom door flung wide open, is clearly the work of the devil…
Others, because they felt I was using my writing as an excuse… Yeah, sure…
The point is, rightly or wrongly folks on the whole don’t seem to see writing as a proper job. The sheer amount of people who will say, “Oh yes, I’m going to write a book.”
Again, I usually smile sweetly and say, “Go on then. We’ll talk when you’re published.”
Of course that day never happens, usually, anyway.
I digress, as per usual.
Believe it or not the original point of writing this post was to remind myself as much as anyone else, that this is my job. And that means I need to park my butt in that chair and write.
Especially when I’m in the middle of a story, like I am right now, where the characters are not screaming at me.
I love the other kinds of stories, where I have the hero driving me hard, because he wants his story told yesterday. My fingers fly and motivation is never the problem. I always say those stories almost write themselves.
However they only come along once in a while. For most of them it requires me to park that butt, turn off the internet, and simply start writing, instead of coming up with ten thousand excuses why I can’t.
Sometimes delays are unavoidable. My family will always come first, and some days, I don’t know whether I’m coming or going, so, naturally no writing happens. But, it’s the days, where I could and should write, yet don’t, that I need to remind myself that this is my job.
Like with any job, some days are better than others. Some stories fly, others are a long hard slog, and others still are written in mad bursts of inspiration. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what kind of story it is. What matters is the simple act of writing, of treating this as your job, and to get on with it.
Contrary muses notwithstanding, there is only one person who can get that story written.
And on that note, I really must get on with my Wip. I’ve neglected it completely this weekend, because all my brood was home, but life is back to normal now, or should that be abnormal 😉 so I really must crack on.
That’s all from me today.
Do stay naughty, folks.