Getting published is a real be-yatch! Hear about my ups, downs and a few random rants in between.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

So, what do you do?

I have no idea how to answer this question when people ask.

It's not because my brain is fried from first round edits. A week at the ocean, away from email, ringing phones and wishing little elves would come into my office and finish the edits did wonders for my sanity. I am now, officially, only a little crazy.

Which is to say, back to normal.

But the answer to the question, "What do you do?" still eludes me.

I feel pompous saying "I'm an author," because that's not what I do full-time. Yes, I'm an author because Kensington Books says so. And dammit that's good enough for me.

BUT, everyday I go to my office overlooking the mechanics bay and Chinquapin Round Road (yes, at least I do have windows) to a desk cluttered with transit tchatckes. Very un-authorly.

I ordered business cards a few weeks ago and angsted over whether to put "writer" or "author" in the title line.

This is a real thing with me.

Finally, I ended up with "writer" on the biz card. Just couldn't bring myself to put author without cringing. It's a case of imposter's syndrome, no doubt that will haunt me until I walk into a bookstore and see my novel on a shelf.

Something about the tangible product being available makes me feel less gun shy about uttering the word "author" in association with my name.

Not that I'm shy about saying, "I'm a writer." I say it often. It's the "A" word that rarely tumbles from my lips.

And I don't mind saying I'm a writer because, at the risk of sounding ridiculously pretentious, writing is less about what I do than who I am. I've always written. I probably always will - whether I'm writing books, articles or ripping off a letter to some retailer who pissed me off (ya' know I'm talking to you Toys R' Us).

Writing is how I best express myself.

I'm not too shabby a public speaker (even if I have to say so, myself) but I put words together much better if I'm allowed to write them first. So I can call myself a writer and not bat an eye.

I'm slowly trying to get over my author shyness. Eight months from now, when my book is in stores all over the world...err...nation....ummm...East Coast...okay, I'll leave that Kensington. But when my book is out I'll start saying it on the regular. Promise!

Hi, my name is Paula and I write books.

Step one!


Anonymous The Hive Mind said...

*sigh* I feel where you're coming from and can relate. I have problems just saying I'm a writer, at least to some people. I don't mind shouting it out loud on the Internet, to my close friends, and some (immediate) family members, but I clam up when it comes to everyone else.

I'm sure it's only going to become more weird for me once I finally get published. I'm going to have a whole host of other issues to deal with once that happens, some I'm not really looking forward to.

At least you just have author shyness to deal with. I'm shy...period. I don't talk a lot and am very much on the quiet side. There are some aspects that come with being an author (book signings) that already have me ringing my hands. The concept of signing books isn't a problem, but making small talk with people, especially strangers, isn't a strong point of mine.

8:21 PM

Blogger Miss P AKA Her Royal Cliqueness said...

Lots of authors are like you. I know quite a few who wish for the old days when you could write a book and let it sell itself without all of the self-marketing and beating the pavement for readers.

I don't so much mind the self-promo. But I do have visions of me grinding myself in the ground trying to promote the book and keep a full-time job. Something will suffer...and it'll likely be my sanity, once again.

8:28 PM

Blogger Disco Mermaids said...

Yes, I would stick with "I'm an author" or "I'm a writer." Cuz if you get specific and say "I write children's books" then the follow-up question is always "Oh, do you do your own illustrations?"

- Jay

4:07 PM

Blogger Miss P AKA Her Royal Cliqueness said...

Usually when I mention I write, 99.9% of the people ask "what do you write?" and I explain that I write YA novels and freelance articles.

I've never said "children's books" because that has always struck me as PB-territory.

7:15 PM


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