“Of all the professions only the writer gets to be asked, “What do you write?””
Don’t ask who said or wrote this. Sadly I don’t remember even though I read it in a book and not so very long ago. It resonated so much with the truth that I had to share.
Lately I have given up saying I am a writer. When people ask about my profession or job, or what it is that I do, I tell them I am a stay at home mom. Because the moment I open my mouth to say that I am a writer/blogger I find that I need to justify myself. The first question I will be bombarded with is, “What do I write?” And then the curious among them will be anxious to know more and will ask questions like: “Do I write every day?” “What do I write about?” “Have I sold anything?” “When do I write?” “Do I write longhand?” “What exactly do I write about again?” “Are my characters based on real people?” “Is it my story that I write?”
It is okay to be curious. I for one like to read about the lives and writing habits of other writers. I like to recognize myself in them. I like to find similarities and think and believe that on some level what I do is a version of what they do. I get inspired by reading other writers’ diaries and biographies, especially the great ones.
But when I am still struggling with my story, my plot and my characters I find it embarrassing to answer people’s questions. Specially when I don’t know the answer myself. There’s enough confusion in writing, let alone in trying to make the confusion understandable to someone who has never tried it.
Regardless of all the uncertainty involving in writing, there is also some magic in it. There is only so much time, and I have only so much energy. And my obligation is to myself and to my work. It’s all there and I feel it, you feel it as a writer, and it’s so magical.
How can I make other people sense the magic without being labeled a “fanciful wannabe”?