Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Talking about Writing

Yesterday at work, someone asked me what I do on Wednesdays.

Oh my, I thought. What do I say? Laundry? That's only partly true, and not really the reason I requested Wednesdays off in the first place.

I was caught. I had to tell her the truth. The rest of the conversation went something like this:

"Umm...I try to work on my manuscript," I said, then added hastily, "and do laundry."

"Oh! You're writing a book?"


"What's your book about?"

How much do I tell her? This isn't exactly a passing-in-the-hall conversation! "It's a novel-in-verse," I said. "Sort of a fantasy story."

Lame, I know. I'll turn around and you can kick me now.

I went on to tell her that I'm focusing on getting an agent. And she really did seem sincerely impressed. And today, when we were sitting in the lounge at lunch (just three of us, thankfully), she turned and said to me, "Tell her (a co-worker) that fun thing you told me yesterday." The woman sitting next to her perked up, at least pretending to be interested.

Oh my, again. "I write children's books," I said.

"Oh, have you had any published?"

I smiled. "Not yet."

"Have you sent them out?"


"It's cool that we know you, because maybe some day we can say 'we knew her when...'"

I smiled and laughed along with them, but my time for lunch was over, so I didn't say much after that besides, "Enjoy the rest of your day."

I'm not really a wordy person. But should I have said a bit more? I could have told them that my dream is to spend my days writing stories that people will want to read. Stories that will make kids want to save up their allowance, just so they can buy my next book. But, I confess I am a little cautious when talking to people about my writing. I can't help but wonder if they secretly think I'm a weird writer wannabe. And maybe I am.

But maybe some day, my friends really will smile and say, "I knew her when..."


  1. You handled it authentically. I could see you having those conversatoins. You are just that way: charmingly modest. Now, if I were there with you I would have puffed you up and told them you had stuff published in kids magazines and that you were so very close to having representation that we could smell it. You make me smile, Becky.

  2. I SO relate. Any time you say you write, people want to know what you've published. *sigh* Now you just need to work on your pitch, so that when people ask what your story is about you can answer them with a soundbyte :)

  3. @ngie is right. You should have told them that you've been published in lots of magazines!

  4. Corey, you're right! I think I just need to be more comfortable talking about it with people.

  5. It's helpful to have a "Gracie." Nine year olds make great publicists. When mine is out and about with me, folks we encounter get a happy earful...

  6. I am also reluctant to tell the people I interact with as a parent what it is that I do. Let's form a support group or something! But I probably should just get over myself because I'm sure they think I'm weird anyway, even without the admission of being a writer. :>


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