“Life is short, but it is also very long. Do something to stoke the fire. Don’t let it burn and fade.” ~PFK
I’ve come across something interesting. Lately people must think I’m a comedian. You can imagine my confusion since I’m not a comic (although I’ve been known to crack some funny one liners). I am a writer. I force myself to say I am a writer, author, wizard of the words (okay the last one is a stretch), but I force myself to honor the profession I seek.
You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this, I’ll tell you.
I’ve recently bit the bullet and began sharing my secret with people that I am pursuing my dream of becoming a published author. I should preface this by saying, I’ve admitted this already in the past and the response was terrible. I’m talking crickets. Maybe there was one frog in the lagoon that made a ribbit towards my declaration. So I shut up — for SEVEN years. For seven years I wrote in silence.
I developed an affair with writing.
One night my lover and I had a date with Wattpad. Since that fated evening, we haven’t looked back and our relationship was revealed to a small majority. Fast forward a year and we are still going strong, ready to take our relationship public. More public than the social media platform, which unites book lovers and passionate writers.
What’s the problem? My lover and I are forced to face the same issues from years ago.
Proudly and happily I mention to others I am pursing a career as an author and I hear, you guessed it, snickers of laughter. The level of laughter increases when I mention I write romance novels. It goes from, “Oh you’re writing a book, hehe!” to, “Ohhh, you’re writing a romance book, HAHA!”
Now I can go on a rant drinking my wine cursing to my close friends and family about my frustrations. Except this time, instead of satisfying the negative naysayers and slinking into a corner with my, “silly little idea I do because I’m bored,” I decided to put down my wine glass and put up double middle fingers.
This time I am actually confident enough in my dream to pursue it. While I love every single person in my life that supports my efforts to accomplish this goal, there are two people I credit for keeping me going: strangers on Wattpad and me. Yes, you read that correctly, strangers and me, myself and I (Also, my hubby. He’s been super extra supportive).
I’ve realized the Negative Nancy’s and Downer Dave’s are judging a book they’ve never read! Yes. People who have never read the books I write, are already judging it based on some stereotypical preconceived notion of what they believe the books are about, what an author does and what a romance author’s career is.
Leading me to my last and final point. We hope. I am a writer and as a people we can be very lengthy to describe simple things.
After observing the recent reactions, I’ve come to find that according to the public, the integrity of a writer depends on a few things. The obvious and biggest one is getting paid. Followed with creditability and notoriety, which goes along with getting paid and finally the choice of genre.
As I mentioned, saying I’m a romance author elicits laughter. I assume it must conjure up images in people’s heads of high school English classes. It must remind them of when they had to read books written by literary greats, about men in tights falling in love. I don’t know. Either way, I suppose if I this were the future and I was an established author making bank, as the kids say, it wouldn’t matter if I wrote fortune cookies.
The wise panda says that’s BLEEP!
A writer is a writer is a writer. No matter what you write or what stage you’re in during the process. Being an author is more than book advances and book tours. It’s a ton of hard work, filled with long hours, lots of self- doubt and a sore ass I might add. There isn’t a writer in the world who doesn’t think, “What the hell am I writing? Why am I doing this? This is crap.” Those commonalties are shared by writers no matter if they’re writing in the middle of the morning in their pajamas, or tucked away in bed after writing words that make millions.
Although I said I wasn’t going to rant, this was a mini one. Let’s put a positive spin on it. Let’s call it a Declaration of Perseverance. My lover and I would like to return to our affair by picking up our wine glasses, toasting and writing on.