A while ago I mentioned how it was a big step for me to actually confess to someone outside of this safe bloggy space, that I’m actually someone who writes. Someone who writes books. I am that mystical creature known as an ‘author’. Or at least I will be, just as soon as I get my website up and running and put the final touches in place with my book. April. It’s going to happen this month.
Since applying for permission to write on the side, I’ve been doing something that I haven’t really done before. I’ve been talking. About writing. To real people that I actually know and aren’t related to me. And aren’t in my writer’s group. And have no real cause to be interested in the fact that I’m writing.
I’ve been blasé about it. Oh, I’m waiting for permission from HR for my business interest. Yeah, I’m hoping to raise a bit of extra cash for the wedding. Maybe buy my shoes. (I have realistic expectations about what one can earn from writing.) What is my business interest? Oh, I’m going to do a bit of writing.
What’s surprised me, is that people have been genuinely interested. What writing? Articles, mostly, I say. Then, because I’m trying to be brave (and more importantly accountable) I also mention that I’ll be publishing some novels.
It feels like a dirtier secret to confess to writing novels. Journalism, I guess, is a more legitimate feeling career. You can apply for jobs in journalism. Novel writing is a much more exotic thing, and an industry that people outside of it really don’t understand.
But thus far, no one has made any jokes about being the next JK Rowling, or even sneered or said anything unpleasant. Mostly, people are surprised that I’ve written novels. I say that I did creative writing at Uni, and have been writing for a while, but never quite brave enough to put anything out. The wedding fund is my motivation. A few colleagues have even said they’d be my first customers.
Today I told my gym instructor that I’d be doing some writing. I had to explain why my back was completely crippled (working all hours, trying to get things started). My gym instructor has no cause to be interested in me and my life. She does, however, know I’m getting married and made the jump herself. Bit of extra cash for the wedding fund?
Exactly. And now it doesn’t feel like such a dirty secret any more.
I guess I’m empowered to talk about the writing because I’m actually finally doing something about it. It’s not much to talk about when you say ‘Yes I’m a writer’ …. ‘No sorry, you can’t read anything I’ve written, it’s all on my hard drive at home, never to see the light of day.’ Soon, I will have something to show for all my writing, and though that thought is a little terrifying, it’s also exciting.
And now I’ll just have to go ahead and hit that publish button. Because I’ve told enough people that I’m going to do it.