Saturday, December 11, 2010

Owning Up

All I need in my hotel room
Whew! I just got back from another holiday party, and I'm about ready to crash for the night in preparation for my short flight back to LA tomorrow morning.  It was a good party.  I'm not gonna lie--I like them dirty martinis. Anyhow, I've been thinking a lot lately about something, and I feel inclined to blather about it right now.

My question:  why is it so hard, especially for unpublished writers, to own up and publicly admit that we like to write? What exactly is the root of our secret shame in telling others that we enjoy fabricating people and places and writing their imaginary stories?

I don't like to call myself a writer. I write in secret, in my free time--I finished an entire novel before I told my friends about it. I still haven't told my parents about it. I slurk off to critique groups and tell people I had an "evening meeting." Good lord, they probably think I'm in some kind of support group. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Lately I've been trying to put myself out there on the internet in a writerly fashion--posting comments on writers' blogs, entering contests, tweeting inane comments about revisions.  It's uncomfortable, but I feel like its necessary.  Sure, it's embarrassing and it will probably live on the Internet much longer than I'd like, but it's a growing process.  I'm still a seedling.  It's okay for me to share this with a community that I very much want to be a part of.

I suspect that my reticence about my writing habit largely has to do with the fact that, as of yet, I haven't received the validation of a publishing contract. Until I can boast "I'm being published in/by," it feels like a silly, childish hobby, one I've had since the age of seven, when I won a beeyooutiful blue ribbon at a Young Authors contest. Until then, I'm just going, as Julia Child once said, on the courage of my own convictions.  And that will have to be enough for now.

What do you think? Can you relate?  Am I nuts? Does this ever go away?


  1. I don't like to tell people because then they ask annoying questions about it like, when can I read it? When is it getting published? So you're going to be a famous author?!?

  2. Yup, nothing like other people's wild expectations to make you want to crawl into a cave...