As a writer, a job that some people deem unconventional, you hear a lot of different things.
Let’s be honest. Not all of them are really what you want to be hearing.
- You’re a writer. You’re doing your dream job! Be happy!
- Shut up, damn it. This is still hard freaking work. I’m creating an entire world and whole people and carrying them inside my head for months. Let me gripe for five minutes, at least.
- Can I read it?
- You give them a copy and they never read it. Or, if they do, they certainly don’t mention it.
- Alternatively, they ask when it’s still a sloppy copy and you feel your face blanch. It is no where near ready for human eyes. You can’t possibly let them see how awful it is!
- You were only able to self publish?
- Did you study the market? No? Did you weigh the pros and cons of the different markets? Then back off, dude. This is my book and I can do what I want with it. Just because I didn’t jump through another person’s hoops doesn’t mean what I wrote is somehow inferior. It just means I wanted something different.
- Am I in your book?
- Are you interesting? I didn’t think so. (Is that kind of mean? Oh, who cares. You have a book to finish.)
- Are you going to write the next Harry Potter?
- Like, we all fucking wish. But, seriously. Recreating a popular book isn’t going to launch a writer’s career into fame. If anything, it’s just going to get lost in all the other books trying to mimic it.
- When will it be done?
- When I stop crying into my keyboard. Maybe.
- Is that really a career?
- Watch me.
- What is your book about?
- Writer’s brain does the equivalent of a computer blue screen. Why is it so hard to describe the magnitude of the adventure inside your brain? Writing a summary or a synopsis of this mess of words you’re tying to funnel onto paper is rather confusing and muddled as too many damn things are trying to get through all at once and I’m not entirely certain you’re going to understand what it is I’m trying to convey.
I’ve heard a good number of these throughout my life. And, the things I’ve wanted to say in response might have gotten me kicked out of places or lost me friends. The best you can do sometimes is smile and nod while you’re mentally throttling the person insulting your dreams.
But, we’re writers. We make dreams into books and magic a thing people can carry in their hearts forever. So, the haters and non-believers will have to suck it up when we prove to them, we can do anything.