Friday, May 23, 2008

You're a writer?

Yesterday I met another writer. Right under my nose. At work. I was shocked and thrilled at the same time. It's like being the only female at a sports function and you run into another lady at the restroom. Immediately, women bond.

I worked for my current company for eight years before I quit to stay at home with my daughter. In that time, I returned to writing and kept it a big fat secret.

You all know the story. But I'll remind you. During the time I was home with my daughter, I stepped out and joined writers groups, went to my first writing conferences and found out everything I was doing had purpose, but it also had structure. There was organization involved. The world of publishing was vast and beyond my comprehension. It wasn't as easy to obtain a publishing contract as I thought, but it could be done, with hard work and perseverance.

You see, my writing isn't as big of a secret as it used to be. My husband kind of kicked me out the shy door when he announced to everyone in our email address book about my blog. His fishing buddies have said they've visited my blog to see pictures of Lake Lanier. An old high school friend of mine, someone I haven't seen in at least ten years, emailed me a few months ago that he happened to Google Looper Speedway and found my blog.

As with all jobs, our department is going through changes and my group is being disbanded. I'm just thankful to have the job to fund my writing desires! But there are several people on my team upset about the change. One woman in particular asked me why I returned to work. We started talking and somehow I mentioned my interest in writing. Come to find out this lady enjoys writing too and has started several manuscripts. I began to encourage her and tell her about RWA and my local chapter. I'm sure I was bubbling with excitement. While I probably bordered on blithering idiot, I probably also squelched her dreams in the process.

Why?

Because she immediately wanted to know how much money writers make. I shared with her I had writer friends, but none of them lived in mansions or were able to quit their day-job. Another reason I returned to work: You must have something to fund your education, while learning the craft of writing, but also to maintain your household while you build yourself as an author.

Needless to say, my co-worker was excited at the prospect of coming to a writers meeting and possibly attending a conference. But I had to wonder how disappointed she was to learn the truth.

I remember I had false ideas at one time, but I love to write. I would love to be able to have it as my main profession one day, but as I explained to my co-worker, you have to be a prolific and large producing writer to come close to achieving that sort of dream.

So, you're a writer? Why? Are you in it for the far-reaching promise of fame and fortune? Or do you write because you love to tell a story? You love to think of characters and knit a world for them to live in, weaving in all sorts of conflict and adventure.

For me, I love to tell the story. I think if characters and situations and love entertaining different plot lines. I love creating a world that's different from my own. With much hope and planning, one day others will enjoy the world of fiction I've created.

Share why you write. And feel free to share stories of others you've met who have a different idea of what it is to be a writer and what false rewards may be in store.

8 comments:

  1. Ah yes, when I first started writing, I was going to be the next Nora Roberts. Yeah, right. Then reality, and God stepped in. Now I write for Him, because He's called me to do it. It's a part of me that I can't ignore. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes--learning and perseverance. LOTS of perseverance :-)

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  2. I write because I enjoy it so much (Well, sometimes about Ch. 5 I don't enjoy it so much!), and because I like the idea of working at home. Years ago I asked God for the chance to work at home and to make money with my writing. And now, that's finally happening! Of course, it's a supplemental income. I won't be the main bread winner. :)

    Christy, I'm excited that you'll have a writer friend at work. At least I hope she'll still be there after all the upheaval! Is your job safe?

    Missy

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  3. Oh yes, our jobs are safe, but some people start to gripe. People don't like change. With all the bad weather coming through and day to day things that happen to people, my job is very secure. It is a blessing. I don't gripe because I know it will help me realize my dreams one day. Not in that profession, but through writing.

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  4. The reasons I started writing have changed and evolved into other reasons. At first I wanted to be a famous novelist and leave my mark on earth. God has since taught me so many lessons through life, and the importance of doing everything as if I'm doing it through Christ for Him. Now I write because:
    1. I enjoy story telling.
    2. I want God to touch people's hearts, inspire them, and change lives through the words He helps me write.
    3. I also want to work at home.
    4. I enjoy researching places and history.
    5. I love using my imagination.
    6. I like the idea of creating something that people will enjoy, and might be emotionally moved by.

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  5. Jenn, I agree on all yours! Well, except for the research. :)

    Missy :)

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  7. Hey Y'all!

    I stopped in to read the blog today, and thought I'd respond to this one- only a few days late.

    I found a new writing friend as well. Well, actually, my husband found her. (I also suffer from my husband pushing me out of the "writer's closet." But, that's ok, he's taught me a lot about getting to know people.) Anyway, she attends the church we've been visiting. Our roles are a little reversed because she's the published author and I'm the newbie- even though I've been at it for about 3 years. It's great to get a small picture of how God's networking us and supplying the support we need, isn't it?

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  8. Hey, Dianna! So glad you stopped by. And I'm glad you've found a local writing buddy!! It can make a huge difference in motivation and persistence to have someone nearby cheering you on. :)

    Missy

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