Jan 4, 2012

Insecure Writer's Group - Telling Others I'm a Writer


This is my first time posting with the Insecure Writer's Group - yay for new experiences!  

Situation: Sister-in-laws family was over watching an NBA game while visiting.  Not really my sport, so I opened my laptop and started working on the extensive outline I needed to complete to keep the story honest.  After typing away and researching normal writerly things like "how many shots of whiskey before someone is drunk" and "what causes alcohol poisoning" my sister in law asked what I was doing.  

Reaching deep down inside me like the Wizard of Oz teaches the Cowardly Lion, I said, "Writing my book."  

Apparently that is the ultimate conversation assassin.  She may have said Hmm.  Maybe.

I have this blog set up with Networked blogs, but I'm having a problem with one step - linking it with my Facebook and Twitter accounts.  My husband, kids and dad know I'm writing a book, as do three ladies I teach with.  

I am SCARED TO DEATH to put this out there on social media sites.  Granted, I have unfriended the people who I allowed to be my Facebook friends because we went to school together until I remembered they treated me like crap when they weren't ignoring me, so everyone I'm friends with is really nice and my friends and would probably (maybe...hopefully) be encouraging and supportive, and I teach teenagers for a living, so clearly I am not all self-absorbed in others judgements of me, but I can't take this step.  

So I'm kind of treating this like an AA meeting (which I have also been researching LOTS lately - normal, right?).  They say the first step is admitting what you are - why you are there.  My name is Tasha and I have said I'm a writer online and I believe that I'm a writer but I'm not sure I can tell other people.

Do people who know you know you as a writer?  How did you cross that line?  Did you land on a bridge like in Indiana Jones, or fall as an electrocuted Palpatine to your death


51 comments :

Summer Ross said...

Almost everyone who knows me, knows I'm a writer. I say take the plunge- If you can't be who you are among family and friends, then they weren't good friends to begin with.

Tonja said...

"The ultimate conversation assassin" - so funny and true!

My kids tell their teachers and friends I'm a writer. That's what gives me the confidence to say it and believe it.

L.G.Smith said...

You're right! You did need to read my ISWG post today!!

Your dreams are safe with the online community of writers. We all get it and want you to succeed, it's true. Glad you signed up for the blogfest. :)

Stephen Tremp said...

Hi Tasha, thanks for stopping by earlier! My friends know me as a writer. But the novelty soon wore off. But with my second book coming out later this month I've been able to rekindle my fire.

People will respect you for what you do if you proclaim it boldly yet professionally. I rarely toot my own horn. Hopefully my work will and reader reviews will do that for me. good luck to you!

Michelle Gregory said...

my friends know and are pretty supportive. my friends on facebook know, but i don't talk about it a lot. i just moved and some people here know i write, but i don't promote much.

as soon as you mentioned Indiana Jones and Palpatine, i knew i wanted to follow your blog too. big Star Wars fan here.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Just say it. It gets easier each time . . . well, mostly. I admit I didn't want to tell anyone for a while, mainly because the first few times I told people I was met with disbelief. "Yeah, right, so what have you written?"
Mostly people are enthusiastic or supportive, and it helps to let others know that I am busy with writing, not just playing games on my laptop. I write at my daughters' dance studio right in front of other parents . . . and some get it, and some don't. It's ok. I feel like it's part of being a writer to just say it, especially when someone asks what I'm doing.
It's also a great way to get challenged to write every day - because I often have people ask me what I've written lately.

Tyrean Martinson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tyrean Martinson said...

I removed the second post, because somehow I repeated the first.
BTW - thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm a new follower now!

Andrew Leon said...

Back when I was still working on my first book, I started reading it in my kids' classes at their school, so pretty much everyone I have regular contact with knows I'm a writer.
My kids also like to give copies of my book to their friends as birthday presents.
If you want to have any success, especially if you follow a non-traditional route (but even if you do), you have to get it out there.

And, hey, my very first book sale was to a person I didn't know from Adam through Facebook.

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

The first step is admitting it to yourself, then God, then others. You're doing great! It takes a while, but once you claim it, it's who you are and people respect that. Most people clam up when you say you're any kind of artist, because they're afraid of that honesty, or their afraid to claim their own identity. Write on!

Suzie F. said...

About 20 people in my offline life that know I write. But right now I'm comfortable with that. My family and the friends I know are supportive and ask about my progress, though most don't know that I have a blog. When your ready your ready. Thank goodness we have such an awesome online support group.

Karen Walker said...

HI Tasha, Thanks for the visit and follow and comment on my blog. Gosh if this weren't so poignant it would be funny. Just keep writing no matter what anyone thinks or doesn't think or says or doesn't say. Also, don't make assumptions about peoples' reactions. Your sister-in-law might not have known what to say so didn't say anything. Good luck!
Karen

farawayeyes said...

Hi Tasha,nice to meet you. I feel your pain. I have a hard time telling folks myself.Not so hard on'social media' but in person, Oh, just shoot me! But,I'm getting better. It's one of those 'just do it' things,it gets easier each time. At least for me.

Hey,I'll be back.

Tara Tyler said...

yep. most of the real world people are not writers and have an image of what an author is like. and it isnt someone they know! thats silly! authors are almost celebrities, couldnt be me!

but it is! some friends and relatives are sincerely supportive, most will have to be proven to with a published book. bring it on!

at least we have each other!

Jamie Burch said...

I always feel vulnerable and nervous when I tell others who are not my close friends or family. Most of them know. But I still get flustered when it comes to telling others what I'm writing about.

I hope you do share your blog with others because I'm sure they'd be excited to learn more about your writing journey. Practice with those you're closest to.

Good luck! So happy you stopped by. :)

Nicole Zoltack said...

I tell people I'm a writer but I still get a little uncomfortable doing it because then they ask if I'm published. I am but because it's through an epublisher, it's not always well received. It's awkward at times. But I'm a writer so when people ask what I do, that's what I say.

I stopped by from Alex's blog and now I'm your newest follower. Nice to "meet" you!

Nancy Thompson said...

Hello Tasha and welcome to the IWSG! Admitting what you are a writer is the hardest (and best) part. Congrats on your decision to come forward. It's a big step, but you will not be sorry!! (teehee!)

There's a great tutorial on how to link your blog to your FB page via NetworkedBlogs. Just Google it and it & it'll pop up. I had a hard time, too, and if I can do it, anyone can.

Anyway, it's nice to make your acquaintance. Thanks for the follow. I followed you right back!

Michael Offutt, Visitor from the Future said...

Welcome to the insecure writer's support group :)

Isn't it funny how "writer" is treated kinda like we have some kind of undiagnosed insanity?

All I can say is that we need to stick together. I am here to support you whenever you need it.

Thanks for the follow.

Empty Nest Insider said...

In September after I finally had a short story published in a small journal, I bought several copies to share with friends and family. I still have all of the copies. Keep following your dream, and try to ignore the non-believers. Glad you're here! Julie

M.J. Fifield said...

I'm getting better about telling people I'm a writer. I almost never lead with it. It depends on my comfort level with the person or people asking the question.

E. Arroyo said...

Me too. I kinda feel like I'm standing, naked, in front of a crowd with my hand up saying...yup, my name is E and I'm a writer.

M Pax said...

Everyone knows I'm a writer. It can be a conversation killer. At my husband's office party. "What do you do?" "I'm a writer." They smiled and said nothing else. Whatever. I think it's too different of a profession for most to find any common ground with. That's OK. I belong to a local writers group where we chat away about nothing but writing. So, it goes both ways.

We should be who we are without apology. If folks can't handle it, so be it. Some people in my life are uber, uber supportive; some think I make oragami with kleenix. Glad you joined our community her in the blogosphere.

Melissa Bradley said...

People know I write, but I agree this can be a conversation killer. Then when they find out I write erotica, I get reactions that fall between "you write THOSE books" and "Awesome! My boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband and I were..."

I guess I would have to say I land like Indy, striking a careful balance. Some people will accept and others, well, I don't worry about them. I'm a writer and I love it.

It's great to see you here at IWSG and thank you for visiting and following my blog. Following back and I know we're going to have some fun. :)

Nicki Elson said...

I know exactly how you feel. I was a closet writer for a while, but when it became obvious that something was up with me, I had to come out. And you know what? It was actually a lot of fun. You're right that you'll find lots of support (just ignore the sister-in-law types) and you'll probably be surprised to find out that some of your friends are also closet writers. Instant writer's group! :)

Ciara said...

I'm so excited to meet you via the support group. Great blog. I'm a new follower. Okay, so confession time. I told people that I was writing a book. When I wasn't published immediately I kind of backed off. I took on a pen name so I could really pursue it without having to explain why I was working instead of hanging at the pool or playing tennis. Now, I'm going back out into the world as Ciara Knight, the writer. I think it takes time and encouragement. Either take charge and make your dreams come true. Or take on a secret identity like I did. LOL

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Let them know! I've been an author for years and I had no problems letting anyone know I was writing a soon to be published book. That had been my dream since I was about 14 and I wasn't afraid to tell anyone. You shouldn't be afraid either.

I'm also a professional speaker. You should hear the crickets when I tell some people both that AND that I'm an author. Some people just don't respond.

Rusty Webb said...

In the real world I tell almost no one that I write. If they figure it out then good for them. Otherwise though, mums the word,

Oh, and I don't make mention of it on Facebook either. That's a place where it appears my entire middle school is there. Not going to do that.

Good luck researching. That might be the real reason I write anyway, it's just so much fun.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I wasn't on social media until I was already signed with my publisher, so I had to tell people there. But in real life, I don't often bring it up.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I have two professions (if I can call writing a "profession", which I really can't but I do): writer and social worker. When I mention both job titles to people, they ignore the social work part and ask about my writing. If it's a man I'm talking to, the conversation's dead when I say I write about being single & dating. I'm better off dropping the writer title but I like using it.

Excuse my longwinded comment with no substance. Thanks for dropping by and following. I'm glad to do the same.
xoRobyn

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Actually my proud husband and children spread the word for me. They bragged to their friends, who all attend the high school where I teach, and told their teachers. Go ahead, take a chance. Most people will be supportive, especially those who have any clue about writing.

julie fedderson said...

It took me over six months to link my facebook page to my blog. I'm actually quite proud of my writerly self, but I feel that fear that the people "who knew me when" won't quite get it.

Ashley Nixon said...

Well, everyone knows I'm a writer! LOL. I made sure to tell everyone...now sharing everything? that took me forever. I've been on blogger since 2008, but I just started blogging regularly in 2011. It hasn't been a full year. Where did I get my motivation? My boyfriend. And it was so difficult...and I still get discouraged! But now I'm like "Whatevs! I'm posting this! Lol" and there haven't been implications...yet.

Peggy Eddleman said...

I never had a hard time telling people. It's hard to say why, because I'm not that way with other things! When I decide I'm going to get in shape or lose weight, I tell NO ONE.

Anne K. Albert said...

It takes time and confidence, and yeah, thick skin, to come out and admit you're a writer. But hey, what doesn't kill us makes us, well, writers, right?!

So glad you're ready to join in!

Caitlin said...

Don't be frightened! It can take a bit of confidence to admit to some that we're writers. Mostly because we fear that people will think that we're silly. For me, my family has always known that I was a writer as it started at about eight-years-old, haha. But for others it was harder to approach the subject even though I've always been, and always will be, a writer.

Good luck to you!

Cally Jackson said...

It's pretty funny - when you visited my blog, you said you had the opposite problem to me (planning vs procrastinating). Well, it's the same with this - I tell pretty much everyone I'm a writer, probably to an annoying extent! Be loud and proud, I say. Anyone worth your friendship will support you, surely! :-)

Ellen Brickley said...

It does get easier, Tasha! Small steps are the way to go. I've been amazed at how many people's response has been 'Really? Cool!' rather than 'Really? Why?' :)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I published my first book three years ago and all went well.
The second book had problems from start to finish but the final result was good, I say take the plunge nothing is so good as holding the finished product in your hands......and it's all your own work,
Yvonne.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

PS: thanks for joining my followers. much appreciated.

Yvonne.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Hi Tasha, thanks for following my blog.

To people who don't write, it seems like a waste of time - in my experience. Although my problem was always something slightly different - I have never had a full-time job (I've always worked part-time) but I hate people to think I'm lazy so I always make sure they KNOW I write!

Perhaps telling everyone - via Twitter etc - isn't right for you now, but it will be one day. You'll know when.

Cate Masters said...

If you write, you are a writer. Don't ever doubt it. My family rarely discusses my stories with me, they're like the elephants in the room. :) It's pretty common, I think, so don't let it get to you.

Kit Courteney said...

Most 'real life' family and friends know that I write as I've always done it in one form or another but as some just aren't interested (huh?!) I only mention it when asked about it.

To get round the 'problem' of Facebook, I have two profiles. One as Kit Courteney (sensible, writerly type) and one as Claire - my real name (anything goes).

That way, my writey-type friends don't have to look at pictures of my boyfriend with a plant pot on his head and my non-writey-type friends aren't bombarded with writey-type info.

Some choose to be on both - which is rather nice :)

Thanks for the follow and your comment :D

Brinda said...

Hi Tasha! It's very nice to meet you. I don't write under a pen name and I live in a small town. So it was a big leap of faith (that I would survive criticism) to publicly proclaim my "writer status". I understand. :)

Chantele Sedgwick said...

I love this post. Congrats on telling people you're a writer! It took me about a year to even tell my hubby. I thought he would laugh at me. And he didn't. :) He thought it was awesome. Most of my friends didn't know I wrote until I got an agent and I posted it on facebook. Now everyone knows. I'm glad I did it, because it's part of who I am now. I love being a writer and if people don't approve, oh well! :)

dadwhowrites said...

I had a fairly extensive online collection of 'friends' through parent blogging and I let them in on it fairly quickly. Other people in 'real' life also know but I'm very wary letting people at work too close to my blogging identity - it would limit me in what I could write too much.

Elana Johnson said...

Ah, the conversation killer. Been there, done that.

But dude! Don't give up! Tell them; tell them loudly! I write books! I am a writer!

Let them look at you weird or whatever. YOU ARE A WRITER.

Say it. Say it out loud. (hahahaha!)

The Golden Eagle said...

If someone asks "What do you like to do?" I will usually bring up my writing; I used to be shy about it, though. I think it's a conundrum a lot of writers face: to tell or not to tell?

Nancy said...

Hey Tasha,
You've obviously hit on a hot topic that we all have thought about at one time or another no matter what we did. I find when I have something recently published I feel more confident in talking about it than when it has been awhile. But I was at a wedding this weekend and a couple asked me what I was working on writing wise. It was one of those fantastic moments when someone who is not in your writer's group actually seems to care about your passion. That could have never happened if they hadn't known.

Chemist Ken said...

I think I've only told a few people outside my immediate family. As I began to gain confidence over the last year, I found it became easier to mention it; but it's still hard.

Still, since my first story is fan fiction, I feel a little sheepish sometimes when I say I'm a writer - even with my family.

Jessica Salyer said...

I don't usually tell people that write. When people ask what I do, I say I'm a nurse. However, I post links to my blog on my facebook page and my friends and family know that I am writing.

Liza said...

Oh my, I could have written this post. I JUST started talking about my book in a fairly regular fashion with my husband and daughter. Otherwise, my writing group knows about it and a few others, but that is it. Yup, not ready to go there yet.