Neighbor: Hi! Where have you been? I haven’t seen you around. (big bright welcoming smile)
You: I’ve been working on a project. (an awkward smile for your half confession)
Neighbor: What kind of project? (head tilting with curiosity)
You: I’m writing a book. (holding breath because this is the first time you have admitted this to anyone other than a close friend and family member)
Neighbor: Oh (brows connecting in disappointment, big bright smile slowly turning into a frown) What’s it about? (cringing)
You: Young Adult Urban Fantasy (biting the bullet and just going for it)
Neighbor: Uh Oookay. Well, it was nice seeing you again and good luck with that. (quick smile and turn to hurry to back to their side of the fence)
Now they will avoid eye contact with you for the next few days, weeks, months or maybe even years. Your hearts in your throat, your guts feel like they’ve been juiced and your confidence has taken a major dip.
As a newbie writer this could be a very uncomfortable conversation. Your confession to the outside world “YES! YOU ARE A WRITER!”
It’s a hard thing to do especially when someone asks “What do you have out?” and your answer is…”Nothing, yet.”
Don’t let it discourage you. If this is something you love, OWN IT! If you write for yourself or to share with others you are a writer. But don’t forget to actually do the writing. It’s kinda important to the declaration.
I really wasn’t comfortable letting the outside world know what I was doing until I had a finished manuscript, over 300 pages filled with one cohesive thought. Now it was only a first draft but it was a whole first draft and man was that a good feeling. Why did I feel so scared? I don’t know. I’m human. I find it easier to tell people my Grandmother was a wrestler then telling them I write. Trust me, telling people your Grandmother is a wrestler will get you some strange looks and comments.
That’s not a problem anymore. I write. It’s not the only thing I do but it is something I love and who doesn’t like talking about things they love.