The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

27 June 2006

Maybe Nike was on to something

Jordan Summers is weary of wannabes:

"Jordan, what do you do for a living?"

I smile that brittle 'get me the hell out of here' kind of smile before answering, "I write."

"Oh, do you have anything published?"

I debate whether to answer truthfully because I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. "Yes, a few."

"What do you write?"

At this point, I'm ready to throw up my salad. "Erotic romance, urban fantasy, and paranormal stuff," I say, declining to go into detail about vampires and werewolves at the table for fear of sounding insane.

"I've always wanted to write a book. I even have an idea that I think would be great."

You and every other person in this outdoor mall. Stop talking about it and just do it.

No, I don't say that last part aloud at least not all of the time.

I thought about this for a minute, and realized that I don't want to write a book; I want to have written a book. All of the benefits with none of the paperwork. Unfortunately, it doesn't work quite that way.

The million or so words I've put up here might fill a volume or three, but God forbid they should be gathered into one — even one of these.

Posted at 8:01 PM to Almost Yogurt

The "what do you do for a living" question, I think, is an annoying question no matter what you do for a living. People aren't really interested in what you do--they're just being nosy. I personally don't like the question because after my quick and easy answer, people actually want me to explain what I do. And when I explain, they get this glazed look in their eyes.

As for writing, I try avoiding the topic altogether with non-writers. For one thing, most non-writers have never tried writing a story or a novel so they have no concept of how hard it is to put an idea into an acceptable written form. And secondly, they think publishing is as easy as hitting the print button on the computer. Everyone hears about publishing successes but not the hundreds of rejections behind each one.

Posted by: sya at 10:48 PM on 27 June 2006

She didn't mention the second most frequent question writers must face:

"How much money can you make at that?"

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at 4:01 AM on 28 June 2006

I don't want to write a book; I want to have written a book. All of the benefits with none of the paperwork.

Sadly, I think I'm at that point too. As for "what do you do for a living," one of these days I'm tempted to tell 'em I'm a "kept man."

Posted by: McGehee at 6:55 AM on 28 June 2006

...and it doesn't look like BlogBinders supports ExpressionEngine. Heh.

Posted by: McGehee at 6:57 AM on 28 June 2006

I have often wished that I had the imagination to be a writer, mostly in high school/college when required to write a story as an assignment. I barely squeaked by on any assignment of this type.

Sadly, I do not have a one-hundredth part of the ability to create a story--any story. The badly mangled stuff I -have- created was -very- hard work and has cured me of any real desire to become an author.

Posted by: unimpressed at 3:26 PM on 28 June 2006