Friday, January 29, 2010

I still don't know what to say ...

Unfortunately, I haven't gotten any wiser since the last time I mentioned this. What the hell do you say when someone asks you any of the following:
  • What do you do for a living?
  • What are you doing these days?
  • Where do you work?
This writing romance (and hot/erotic type romance specifically) is so far removed from what I used to do that I still can't get past the thought of telling anyone from that past life. I was in the corporate world, a very conservative corporate world, and very high up the management chain. Most that I worked with were men and I would like to maintain those professional relationships. You never know, right? Coupled with the fact that I have no real validation that I'm any good (I'm not published yet, but working feverishly towards it) it's kinda hard for me to proclaim 'I'm a writer'. And what happens when I've tried that out? Well, then the next two questions are pretty predictable ' 'What do you write?' & 'Where can I find your books?' NOW, what to say? I have to say when a guy asks me I've used the response 'I write woman's fiction'. That pretty much ensures their eyes glaze over and they change the subject, but I can't do that forever and women seem to want to know all the specifics. It sounds so lame to say 'I'm not published yet but working towards it'. I just get the nods as if 'oh, she'd got a cute little hobby going on.' Is it just me? Am I paranoid, overly cautious, completely neurotic or just a coward?


  1. Nah, I think you're right about the public and their view of writers in general especially romance writers. I don't talk a lot about it to those who don't know me. But when the subject comes up, I'm just honest about it. I even have cards I hand out that say, Romance Author. So I handle it. But I do know it can be hard. Even other writers sometimes say, you write romance? Like it's the plague or something!

  2. I think it's hard. When people ask me if i'm going to go back to work (i'm currently at home mum and have 2 years until my youngest goes to school!), i reply no i don't want to i'm trying to become a published romance author, i get a kind of sideways smirk.
    Why is it a laugh? Most of my friends and other females think it's fabulous and others who don't know me or men think its a passing fad or laughable. It's really sad.
    I secretly think even my husband doesn't think it's all that serious, but i'm planning on showing him!

  3. Too true, Kerrin. Why is it so funny? Me, I used to be a librarian in another life so glazed over eyes and silly comments have always been par for the course.
    I'm not published but I write. Have always written. Ergo I am a writer. And writing romance, regardless of what people think, is part of that. So I'm loud and proud about it. Most people I tell think it's fabulous - truly. Sure, the literary friends find it amusing but when I point out the sales figures for romance, they soon come round to my way of thinking. :-)

  4. I know it's shameful, but I actually avoid answering this question in most cases, for now falling back on stay at home mom when necessary. It's not friends or previous work people I play this card to - I readily tell them all - but other Indians as they just don't understand. Like my old school mom, relying on creativity seems useless to many. Oh well, maybe they'll catch up to the times someday.

  5. I say I write romance, but I don't get too specific. Then again, I'm not one to share most of the nitty gritty details of my life anyway. But if and when the day comes that I have a nice deal with, say, Avon, people will have to try to shut me up. LOL

  6. I tell anyone who wants to know. I don't offer it, but if they ask, I say I write romance and erotic romance. If they ask questions, I answer them.

  7. Wow, nice to know I'm not alone or a complete coward!! Helen, you rock! I want to have that attitude. I figure when I get published I can shout it from the rooftops. I heard a lot of authors at RWA last year talk about how authors of popular fiction are looked down upon by 'literary' authors. I didn't really agree. I don't think romance is seen the same way as horror or science fiction are. They just aren't. There are too many pre-conceptions (most wrong) out there about our genre. Hopefully, it can change over time!!