Have you ever thought about how weird it is to be a writer? Obviously I have, and recently, or I wouldn’t be making this post. Having too much time on my hands is clearly a problem–I should be writing instead!
Seriously, though: writers make up imaginary stuff and then write all that imaginary stuff down, and then share it with other people, who enjoy that imaginary stuff (we hope) and even keep a copy of the stuff you made up in their house to read again at some point (we really, really hope). My bizarre fever dreams have been read and enjoyed by others, if my reviews are to be believed. Somehow my wild imaginings became someone else’s entertainment.
Apart from the weird process of writing itself, there’s a lot of other weird things that come with being published–from other people. I find the way people react to me and what they expect of me can be really weird too. Here’s a few things people seem to think, or things they ask of me:
- I make a lot of money. This is probably because most people know well-known authors and those authors do make a lot of money. I try to explain it like this: in the music business there’s bands like U2 and bands like the guys who play at the corner bar on Friday night and do drywall during the day. They’re both technically part of the music business but they’re worlds apart.
- I must be famous. I guess a few people might be impressed to meet me, but kinda in the way you’d be impressed to meet a cool-looking dog on a walk in the park, and I’m far less cuddly.
- I’m super intelligent about everything. People often ask me questions about things because ‘you’re a writer, you’re smart.’ Sure, I can tell you a lot about show vs. tell and plotting, not so much about asteroids or stem cells.
- How to spell things. Okay, I am pretty good at spelling.
- To write things for them (both fictional and non). Pay me. (I am nice enough to help close friends out a little, though.)
- Why I use a pen name. I still have one coworker who absolutely cannot grasp why anyone would use a pen name. A lot of other people have asked me why on earth I use a pen name too (my real name is absolutely absurd and often misspelled, my God).
- I can show them how to write a book too. On like, their lunch break.
- Ebooks aren’t ‘real’ books. You’re right. I just write long lists of profanity, put them up on Amazon, and people download it on their evil black magic fancy book machine, and by the way, I swear no one talks to each other anymore, always lookin’ at their phones, what happened to the art of conversation? Back in my day we spent all day reading paper books and talking about the weather…
- You write EVERY SINGLE DAY?! Writing is a second job for me, so I have to work on it like it is one. I think people who don’t write can’t imagine giving that much of their free time to something that doesn’t ‘look’ like a job from the outside (and sure doesn’t pay like one).
- The sheer amount of people who expect me to give them a copy of my book (usually a paperback) for free. No one sends me a free load of my books. I have to buy them too if I want them. This is true for a LOT of authors. On the flip side, there are some awesome people who absolutely understand this and I can’t tell you how humbled I am when someone I know comes up to me with my book that they purchased in their hands and asks if I’ll sign it for them.
Writing is weird. The writing world is weird. How people react to writers is weird. What weirdness do you encounter because of your writing?