Why is it so hard to tell people you’re a writer?

Book News, J.S. Strange, writing

‘Congratulations!’ A friend said to me. ‘We had no idea!’

I wonder what they meant. I looked confused, and asked them.

‘On your book! That’s amazing! We didn’t know you wrote!’

Them and many others. It got me thinking, ‘Why can’t I just tell people I’m a writer?’

I’ve published two books, and my third book is publishing March 1st 2019. I’ve always had an interest in writing, and took it seriously from the age of 17. Since then, I’ve sought out ways to improve, challenged myself, and continued to think of new ideas.

Writing is a big part of who I am. But people don’t know about it unless they ask, or find out from social media.

Inevitably, it always comes out. As people get to know me they find out I’m a writer or a published author. There’s always the awkward talk after they find out. ‘You’re published? How many have you sold? Is it a best seller? Can I get it in book shops? Are you the next J.K. Rowling?’ Promptly followed by a search on Amazon and my books and my author page full screen on their computers.

I don’t get embarrassed. But I don’t revel in it, either. Which is strange, because I want people to know about my books. I want people to read about them and possibly buy them.

But I can’t actually talk about it or tell people about it.

Why?

I think it stems from my over-awareness of ego. When getting to know people, I don’t want to be like, ‘I wrote a book. Yes I’m a publisher author.’ Out of the blue. It sounds like I’m showing off, taking myself too seriously, and trying to impress people.

So I never mention it.

‘What have you got planned this weekend?’

‘Oh, nothing,’ I reply, even though I plan to sit in my writing room and plot and get the words down. But I’m fine to mention if I’m going to the cinema, or a wedding, etc.

My friends and people who find out are normally supportive. It strikes conversation in publishing, sales, hopes for the books I’ve published. Most people immediately understand how hard it is to get that desired best seller. Others are enthused and want to read what I’ve wrote. Other people spread the word for me, proud of my achievements.

It’s not that I’m not proud. But it’s the modesty of not being able to tell people I’m proud. I’m unable to shout from the rooftops: I WROTE A NOVEL!

Without making this entry woe is me, it stems from a youth of bullying. Whenever I tried anything creative, my whole school ridiculed me. Since then, I’ve been guarded on what I share with people, for fear I will see those sneering faces of pity, of looking at me like I’m stupid for even attempting to join the big authors.

It’s strange that we can’t talk about what we’ve worked hard on. But maybe going forwards I’ll be more forthcoming on telling people what I’ve published, and what I’m writing next.

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