Owning it


Anybody else have a fear of telling people they’re a writer? I tend to be terrified of it. To the point that I don’t even talk to my family members (besides my husband) about it very much. When people ask what I do, I tend to mention all of my other hobbies before I mention my dearest hobby (which is so dear to me the word “hobby” hardly seems like the right way to describe it).

This year one of my goals is to be more open about my writing. The thought scares me, but I’m committed to mentioning writing first when asked.

I started working on the goal at Christmas. My husband’s family knew very little about my writing aspirations. I don’t remember how it came up, but I mentioned to a sister-in-law and my mother-in-law that I was working on editing and writing a couple of novels.

Usually when I say I write, I get a semi-interested, “Oh, that’s cool. What do you write? Are you going to get it published?” And that’s the end of the conversation. I wasn’t prepared for the enthusiasm that followed. My sister-in-law was ecstatic. She took my B&B first draft and read it almost nonstop. (She stayed up until 3 a.m. to finish it.) Then for the next day or so we talked for hours about characters, plot, themes, etc. It was so encouraging for me as a writer to see someone get so passionate about my book.

My mother-in-law didn’t read the book, but sat down and asked me tons of questions about it. My mother-in-law is an amazing person. She’s so good at getting excited for people. And she’s always so proud of the things her daughters-in-law do.

So that was a positive start to my goal. I don’t think I could have asked for a better start, actually. But I know there will be times when the funny looks (or perceived funny looks) come, and then I’ll be left wondering if I’d been right to open my mouth.  Over the summer I told an acquaintance back home that I was writing, and it was a disaster. Not because she reacted poorly, but because I didn’t know how to answer her. I felt ridiculous after that encounter. I’m hoping that I’ll get to a point where I can own the writer label, regardless of how others may respond.

Have you had a surprisingly positive or negative encounter when telling someone about your writing? How do you get past the bashfulness? I’d love to hear your tips!

P.S. I’m almost to the halfway point in my Regency, and things are getting sticky for my characters! I’m a little stumped on what to do with one of the story lines, but have a few ideas of how to beef it up. No editing this week, but I hope that will change as my family gets into a better routine.

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