I’m sure there are other writers out there who can give me some tips on this one. Like most writers, I’m very much an introvert. I like to watch and listen to other people at parties (if I’m actually forced to go to a party) and stay on the fringes of a conversation.
I’m lucky to be a woman because at most gatherings of people-meeting-people, I’ve noticed that one of the first things a man is asked is, “Where do you work?” or “What do you do?”
That’s pretty far down the line of questioning for women. Usually I’m first asked if I have kids. Then how many kids I have, then if they’re boys or girls. Then where they go to school.
Then, finally, (and moms know this is a sensitive subject to be carefully introduced with other moms) if I stay home with the children or if I work.
This question invokes different responses from me. If I’m really just wanting to fly under the radar and escape from the conversation, I say “Yes, I’m home with the kids.” Although sometimes a friend will walk by and say, “Because you write books!”
I know I should always say (keeping promoting in mind) that I’m a writer. It’s certainly something I’m proud of. But I get such a variety of responses that I’m hesitant to admit to it. Sometimes I get the feeling that a woman thinks I’m showing off. Sometimes they don’t really know what to say and lurch ahead to other topics. Sometimes they’re really interested and ask about the book or my writing process.
When you’re “just another mom”, it’s much easier to be part of the Mom Club and the conversation follows a fairly predictable course. Being a writer is wonderful in most ways, but it’s not exactly the most ordinary of professions. Defining myself as a writer in a completely comfortable and confident way is something I’ll have to work on.
What I’m reading: Death of a Witch by M.C. Beaton.
Mysterious Matters on why some writers get rejected. I’m not sure I agree with a couple of the reasons. See what you think.
BookEnds blog with the two reasons why your query is rejected.
Make Mine Mystery on “waking up your characters.”
The Rejecter on what happens when contracts don’t work out.
Rachelle Gardner's blog on painful reviews.