“Are You Really Writing Books?”

Stephen King Colection

A friend of mine posted that on a link to my Amazon Author’s Page that I posted on Facebook, my meager attempt to try to drum up a little business.

People who frequent my blog on Wednesdays or happen to catch the appropriate Tweet on my Twitter feed might think this is a stupid question. But, actually, it’s valid.

Yes, I am writing books. I’m also writing short stories and novellas and blog posts and journal entries and non-fiction blobs and episode summaries of a TV show that doesn’t exist. Some of these will be published by a real publisher, some will be self-published, and some will never see the light of day. It’s a thing that’s happening whether I talk about it or not. Like my exercise routine or specific food intake. Even if I don’t feel compelled to tell people about it, it’s still happening.

Now, I talk a bit about my writing on the Internet, specifically on Wednesdays. I mention it on occasion on my Twitter. I post about my stories getting accepted and rejected and my self-publishing ventures in between. But I don’t talk about these things much off the ‘net.

Why?

Well, because.

Because I don’t want to answer all of the questions that inevitably come up after I mention that I’m a writer. “What do you write?” is always the lead-off and then it goes from there, down the rabbit hole of awkwardness because, see, I don’t make a living off of my writing (yet) and I’m not at all a best-seller (yet) and I’m definitely not famous (I’m cool with that). You’re not going to find my stuff on the shelves (yet). And the conversation sort of fizzles and dies because, well, how can I possibly be a REAL writer if I’m not making a living off of it?

The lead-off question has another pitfall. I answer that question honestly by saying, “Horror fiction mostly”, which leads people to say, “Oh, like Stephen King?”

I adore Stephen King. We all know that. But the answer is no, not like Stephen King. Stephen King is an educated, literate, well-read man who can craft eloquent sentences and amazing imagery despite his sometimes gruesome subject matter.

I, on the other hand, am a three-time college dropout, who doesn’t read anything she’s supposed to and definitely not as much as she’s supposed to, and only by virtue of chance can string together a few words to form coherent sentences that sometimes illustrate her bizarre and sometimes horrific imagination.

I am nothing like Stephen King and neither is what I write. Our genre is the only thing that connects us.

The other reason I don’t talk about my writing is simply because I get the feeling no one is interested. It’s not like a regular job. It’s hard for other people to relate to what I do. And since I don’t like to talk much about works-in-progress, the conversation is pretty short if steered in that direction. As for talking about the works I’ve done, well, horror isn’t everybody’s bag. It isn’t most people’s bag. And if they don’t like to read it, then they don’t like to talk about it.

I guess I’ve become accustomed to not discussing my writing life outside of the Internet. Which is a problem when it comes to me trying to get people to read my work, but the funny thing is, I don’t look past the Internet for readers either. In fact, when it comes to my writing life, it only seems to exist online.

Maybe I should consider branching out.

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