Snarky question, right? I was asked this a few weeks ago when I was getting my nails done (yes, I’m spoiled, deal with it.) and a fringe acquaintance who happens to know I’ve had 2 books come out this year already, asked this. I could describe the tone in her voice as snotty or condescending, but it wasn’t. She was truly asking honestly because she couldn’t believe a person could spend hours daily at a laptop, writing. That’s exactly what she told me.
No, I didn’t hit her – wet nails, remember? I dealt with the question and then had a come-to-Jesus-moment when I realized several other people where listening to our conversation. Listening intently, I’ll add. So I didn’t reply in a snarky, rude way to her question. I took the opportunity to lay out my daily writing life.
But it got me to thinking afterward how many non-writing people must think the same way this chick does. I put up a post question on my facebook page asking my writing friends to tell me the nasty, little diggy things people have said to them about being writers over the years. Here are a few of the replies I received: ( my thoughts are in the ( ) )
- “Oh, isn’t writing a nice little hobby.” (No. Stamp collecting is a hobby. Writing in a calling.)
- ” I wish I had time to sit around and write stories.” ( What’s stopping you? Oh, yeah…no talent.)
- “You must have too much time on your hands.” (Sure, like the house cleans itself, the laundry puts itself into the dryer, and the food materializes out of the cabinets by magic.)
- One of my former English teacher’s said, “You write smut.” She claims she didn’t mean it “that” way, but it still annoyed me. ( Really? She didn’t mean it that way? In what other context is the word “smut” a good thing?? Bad English teacher.)
Here are some I’ve heard from other writers as well:
- “Print is dead. You’ll never be able to support yourself.” (This chick was TSTL – for those of you who don’t read romance that stands for Too Stupid To Live
- “Is there any money in that?”(Rude, much?)
- “I could write a book if someone paid me to do it.” (No, you couldn’t.)
- “Aren’t you bored out of your mind at home all day?” (No. I’m bored talking to you about this topic.)
- “You must be able to catch up on all your tv watching now.” ( Really?)
- “It’s a good thing your husband works.” (This one was said to me!!) (( In reply, I smiled serenely and said, “Yes. And he’s a doctor, too. Bitchy, much?))
I never cease to be amazed by what comes out of peoples’ mouths. I’ve said this often in my life but it needs to be repeated: There’s a very thin line between saying something and thinking it. 99% of the stuff I think, I never give a voice to because I know it will either hurt someone’s feelings or be misconstrued. I have enough problems with impulse control issues without adding saying rude and inappropriate things to people who deserve to have rude and inappropriate things said to them into the mix.
So, back to my fingernail fandango. I explained to the woman sitting next to me that I treat my writing as my job. I get up each day just like she does; I get hubby off to work, do laundry, grocery shop, clean the house, pay bills and do a thousand other things before sitting down at my laptop for between 8-10 hours JUST LIKE A JOB I had to leave the house to do. Every two weeks I take a lunch hour break to get my nails done; once a month, an hour to visit my stylist so I can keep my bottle blonde hair coiffed. I told her I pen a blog 3-4 times a week, in addition to doing visit stops at other webpages, do my own marketing and promotion for my books and on any given day have 3-4 books in various rotations of edits, galleys and writing. I am not sitting on the couch in lounging pajamas eating Milano cookies and drinking Pomegranate Cosmos all day long. The television doesn’t go on until after dinner – if at all – and I make it a habit to try and get some sort of exercise 5 times a week. Plus, I cook a full meal from scratch every night for my husband and I. Once in a great while we will go out to eat on a weekend night.
She stared at me, wide eyed and ( thankfully) speechless when I was done. The only sounds you could hear in the room were from the manicurists speaking in Vietnamese. And I sincerely hope they weren’t talking about me. But if they were, I hope it was in a good way.
BTW my nails looked great when I sauntered out of the salon a half hour later.