My What Interesting Lives You Monsters Must Have

Classic Bugs Bunny.  If you haven't seen that clip, I highly recommend watching it.

It always reminds me of the real life scenario that I'm sure most of you other writers have been in.  You're getting your hair cut or just standing around at a party and a person asks you "So what do you do?"  Usually I just keep it simple and painless by saying, "Oh, I'm a violin instructor."  If they ask me to further extrapolate, I'll go into greater detail.

As far as my writing goes, I think I'm going to have to find a healthy medium for being about to casually mention my writing vs. just not mentioning it at all.  I believe a good deal of my reluctance to bring up my fictional works in person comes from not being entirely confident yet as a writer.  It's easy to sell things online to faceless strangers.  But having to actually straighten your spine and say, "Yes, this is my work."

It's not so much that I am ashamed of what I wrote (far from it!).  It's just that writing is such a personal thing.  If you tell someone about your writing, they happen to buy the work and then give you the polite half smile to disguise the fact that they thought it was just average... I think that would be difficult not to take that to heart.

But, I've only been trying to sell my writing for a few months.  I have high hopes that time and experience will give me both confidence and a thick skin.


  1. I love your blog. What a great title for this post.

    I just had an email from the London Review of Books bookshop to say that Penguin is publishing Modern Classics - a collection of short stories by famous writers for £3 per story in the UK. I thought of you!

    I just checked on and it seems they're listed there as Penguin Mini Modern Classics and they're $4.19 each for the paperbacks, $4.96 for the kindle editions.

  2. How cool! I checked it out as well. I'm happy to see that a lot of them are getting decent reviews and not just the usual "too short!"

    I'm also glad they are charging a good amount for these works. I think it will help to stop people from devaluing the short story genre.

    If you don't mind, I think I will do a more formal blog post on this.

  3. I've gotta say Alain that I can totally relate to this post, and the uncertainty you write of.
    I just started selling my short thrillers for the Kindle last month, and probably the hardest part of the whole experience was telling my co-workers about it.

    Shana Hammaker
    Twelve Terrifying Tales for 2011

  4. I know! It's just a weird situation, I find. On the one hand, their first reaction is usually that you are a super serious artist or something. But on the other hand, if you reply with a "Oh, I just do it for fun" it seems like you don't take your writing seriously.

    Perhaps I need a new term to use. Amateur author? Not professional, but still take my writing seriously?


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