As writers, we often get lots of interesting comments from non-writers. Sometimes those comments are fun. Sometimes not so much.
People calling our work a “hobby.” No, this is a DREAM. This is a potential career.
“How’s that little book of yours doing?” Please do not call anything I spend hundreds of hours working on “little” mmmkay?
Asking what our “real” jobs are. Whether we have day jobs or not, that’s not really the point! Writing can be your “real” job, please don’t imply it’s not enough. It is.
Asking if we’re published yet, every. Single. Week. Ask me every week for the next year, and the answer will probably be the same, because publishing takes FOREVER and a day. I promise, when it happens YOU’LL KNOW IT. You’ll probably hear my screams from your house.
Oh, I wish I had the time to write. You do. You think I have all the time in the world and that’s the reason I do this? Barring literal physical limitations, like disabilities or illnesses, if it matters to you, you’ll find a way to do it.
Are you writing anything else? Um, yes. Always. I never stop. Ever. Kinda like asking someone if they’ve eaten any food recently. Or if they’re breathing currently. Writing is my life. Yes, I’m writing something right now.
Most of time people are well meaning but that doesn’t mean those things can’t bother us, even sting pretty good when they make this huge important part of our lives feel belittled. But those comments are a pretty good illustration of why I love other writers.
Because you guys are the only people who UNDERSTAND! The only ones who really can. That’s okay. It’s okay for other people not to get it. Not to see all the work that goes on behind the scenes. The panic and the tears we shed. The passion we share. The many many many many hours we put into this “little” “hobby” of ours.
Publishing is NOT easy. It doesn’t matter which stage you are in, writing/editing/querying your first book, your 18th, or publishing your 5th. This process is GRUELING.
And yet, we keep going. We spend months, if not years working on the same story that may never actually see the light of day. We dust ourselves off after every rejection and we keep working. We keep dreaming.
We work to get better. We SEEK criticism because it might help us be better, help us find that magic formula for best-seller-dom.
We dream the same dream and though our set backs are often individual to each of us, they aren’t so different that we can’t all relate.
No matter who you are, what you write or how long you’ve been doing it—You are my tribe. And I love you!