I just got back from my parents’ house in Social Circle where I watched the Georgia-Missouri game with my Dad (something I do every week during football season now that I no longer have cable at my apartment). On my way home, feeling good after a UGA victory–GO DAWGS!–I thought randomly to myself, hmm, it’s been a while since I posted any updates on my blog. I should do that. So, sure enough, I got home and pulled up the site on my laptop.
Holy crap! Has it really been a month since my last post?
Wow. Sorry about that, guys. What can I say? I guess I’ve kept busier than I thought. Not so much on the publishing front. Last I shared, I’d signed a contract for three books with a publisher. As much as I would love to say its been a whirlwind of editors and book cover designers and interviews since then…yeah, definitely not.
I have been writing though. In fact, there were a couple weeks that I was on a serious roll with my second book. I was almost halfway through writing it when I signed my contract, and now I’ve only got six chapters left. And I still have over 4 months until Book 2 deadline. Seriously, I’ve been killing it.
There’s also this freelance gig I’ve taken on–you know, because my two jobs and writing career weren’t enough balls to juggle–editing case logs and reports for a veterinary technician currently working to get her specialty. I’ve done this kind of thing before for a guy I know, and apparently he thought I did a decent enough job to recommend me to a friend.
I mean, he did get the specialty, so who am I to question his judgement?
Regardless, I accepted the editing gig, so that’s been taking up a good chunk of time as well. I also just recently finished watching all 13 seasons of Supernatural on Netflix, but that doesn’t sound as good as all the other stuff. Then there’s also reading and my Bible study I just started a couple weeks ago at church.
Now normally, I’m not the type to do the group thing with a bunch of people I don’t know. To say I’m awkward around new people would be an understatement. Especially when they always ask me the same dreaded question:
What do you do?
We all know this one. Some of us probably answer the question with pride. I’m a teacher. I’m an business owner. And there’s always the one–I’m a brain surgeon/philanthropist who volunteers at the soup kitchen every week and uses vacation time go to Africa and provide free healthcare to starving children.
Then there are those of us who cringe a little every time the question comes up. Me?…I’m a nanny. I know it the second I say it. They plaster that smile on and say, That’s nice. Yeah, they’re not impressed. And I get it. Hey, I love my job. I love my kids. But I’d be lying if I said I’m psyched to go to my ten-year high school reunion and tell every one I’m using my four-year college degree to babysit.
Not that the ladies at my Bible study are as harsh of critics. But still, I was excited to get to go into this one with a new answer. Something exciting. Something no one else in the room would get to say.
I’m a writer.
They were impressed alright. Only it felt…weird. Not to mention completely fraudulent. They’d tell me how cool that is and ask about my book and what the next steps are, and I’m playing it down like it ain’t no thang–all while my eyes are scanning the room, on the lookout for anyone in the Official Writer’s Club getting ready to call me out. I can just imagine that conversation…
Official Writers’ Club Member: Oh, you’re a writer? How many books have you written?
Me: 4 technically, though I’m in the middle of two more.
OWCM: And how long have you been writing?
Me: About nine years.
OWCM: Cool, cool. So how many books have you published.
Me: Well, none yet. I’m in the process of getting my first book published.
OWCM: So you haven’t made any money yet?
OWCM: Have you won any writing contests?
OWCM: Hmm…are you sure you’re really a writer?
This of course is a fictional club with fictional members having a fictional conversation with me in my head. But it does make me wonder.
When can you officially call yourself a writer and join the fictional club (I for some reason imagine them meeting at a speakeasy with their typewriters and snapping their fingers while listening to spoken word poetry)? When can you list it on social media as your official career? When you publish your first book? Sell your first copy? Give your first interview?
Any writers out there reading this? At what point did you start answering this question without feeling like a phony? When were you able to start calling yourself a writer and really believe it? Feel free to share your own story in the comments below.