Monday, August 8, 2011

One Of Many

The other day in speaking with a friend I mentioned that I had been having computer problems, hadn’t been able to write and that it was driving me crazy.  Another friend who was present did the whole “you write?  What? What’s it about?”  routine.  She then proceeded to tell me all about the dozen people she knew who were writing novels. 

I’ve become fairly open with my friends because this is who I am.  It’s not a nasty disease or a character flaw to hide.  It’s a good thing!  But this conversation is one of the reasons I don’t like to tell people about my writing.  Hearing of all the people who are writing novels often makes me insecure.  I know I’ve put a lot of time into researching publishing and filling my writers toolbox but all of a sudden I feel as if I’ve lost my individuality.  As one of a crowd I have no voice, and we all know how important voice is.

This is something all writers must face.  How does one write and showcase their work in such a way that it stands above the masses?  How does one make it leap out of the slushpile and start a bidding war? 

I think the important thing is not allowing yourself to be swallowed up in the masses.  Remember who you are, remember that you and your story are individuals. 

So, go show them who you are!


  1. Oh Spesh! I totally feel you. I'm so shy about discussing my writing in public - we got on the topic with two of my best friends over lunch just the other day and I found myself skirting around the issue and trying to avoid it. I'm a giant chicken.

    And yet - if I know that the person I'm speaking to _is_ a writer, all I want to do is talk about writing. I figure, they'll get it. LOL

    This only works if they're unpublished though. If they're published, my knees start to wobble and that insecurity comes back for me, too. I'm torn between wanting to learn from them/hear their stories and wanting to go fade into the background. :P

  2. There's a Grand Canal of Mars between the '12 people writing novels' and the - maybe- one who will even approach publisher.

    In me 'umble opinion that's the difference between someone who writes and a writer, the courage to move beyond the edge of your skin and out into the world ... and you my dear SP, are a writer!

  3. Jill, I know exactly where you're coming from. It's been a long journey to be able to talk about my writing with non-writing friends. Even then it's not the same as talking with writers.

  4. Thank you Widdershins! Honestly, I think that's why that type of conversation freaks me out. I know that next time around when she's talking to someone else I'll be on the list of a dozen people writing the novel.

    But you're right about the difference between a writer and someone who writes. Hobby vs career. And it does take courage. Someday I'll join you on the list of author. :)

  5. I'm with you! It makes it harder because you always wonder just how interested non-writers are. Even if they're readers, when they're friends or family they still look at you askance. Maybe it's just me - if I could learn to elevator pitch my story so my friends' eyes didn't glaze over, then I'd know I was getting somewhere?
    At least the ones who read don't ask ridiculous questions like "so when's your book going to be published? Are you going to quit your job? Why don't you just publish it yourself and keep all the money?"
    Somehow, they never ask if they can read it or mention that they would buy it...

  6. So far the only one of those questions I've had is "when will it be published." Though I have had some friends say they will buy it.