I get it a lot- whenever I would mention the success of my work or what I have coming soon, I inevitably get the "oh, I'm a writer, too!"
Once, just before I self-pubbed for the first time, someone whom had never read any of my work asked me to take a look at a few pages she had written for a book she wanted to eventually publish. Not a single sentence had been written without errors, she said she was going to mail it to "an agent or two" because she didn't trust self-publishing, and asked if I thought 75 pages was too long for a full-length novel. She only asked me to take a look at it because she wanted praises, so when I noted some corrections, she replied "Oh no one will notice. Readers aren't that bright in general." To top it off, (and remember she hadn't seen any of my work at all at this point) she said "Well, I'm probably just a little better of a writer than you, but that's because I'm four years older."
She hasn't completed this novel yet, but the most recent update: she says she plans to write starting next week (she lost the original file, so is starting completely over) at an hour a day and says she expects to have the whole thing done and ready to publish by the end of August. She wants me to help her publish it on KDP (since she's seen my success and now deems KDP acceptable and "maybe it's not a scam afterall") and says she wants to price it at $9.99.
I've also had some people ask me how to self-publish and write a book, and I lay it all out there for them- dedicate time to writing regularly, get a great cover made by someone who knows how, edit edit edit, get beta readers, edit edit edit some more, and then publish it once it's the best it can be. More often than not, the replies I get are usually along the lines of "That's too much work. I'll just write it, slap a photo I took on there for a cover, and publish. My writing is solid enough not to need all that extra work." So I've stopped giving advice unless I know the person is serious about doing it.
[i]Do you have those people who, when you tell them you published your ebook on Kindle, give you that other look and snort that it doesn't count, it's not a real book?[/i]
Oh yes, I got talking to a freelance journalist (of all things) on a night out a few weeks ago, and he asked what I did and I said I was an author (because it sounds more interesting than construction project management, lol) and he wanted to know where and what etc. When I said I sold ebooks on Amazon et al, he sniffed and said, "I suppose, but doesn't the stigma bother you? It's not like you're a real author." I then told him how much I was earning. Stigma? What stigma?
Most of us have the same problem, it seems.
Has anyone been made to feel lazy though? I get 'I
could write a book IF I HAD THE TIME.' Or 'If I
didn't have such a time consuming/important job I'd
write a book.'
Ugh, I hate that. Whenever there is something that needs to be done- extra work around the house, taking my grandpa to doctor's appointments and on errands, picking someone up from the airport, babysitting nieces and nephews- it always falls on me because I work at home. Few people outside the Realm of Writers seem to understand that it takes a lot to write a book; I dedicate fifty hours or more each week to my writing.
On the outside, all people see us doing is spending our days on the computer. Even though my husband has a job where he is on the computer all day, people look at it differently because he drives to an office and doesn't work for himself.
It is what it is, though. We can't let how others see us to change how we see ourselves.
Here's another one -
Do you have those people who, when you tell them you
published your ebook on Kindle, give you that other
look and snort that it doesn't count, it's not a real
One of my sisters-in-law did this. Once I told her the difference between being self-published and trad-published (keeping control, making more money, wider audience reach, etc) then she seemed to be pretty respectful of it.
1) eyes glaze over [i]Um... is there any more wine?[/i]
2) [i]Really? Well... I guess if you like that sort of thing...[/i]
1) [i]OMG, I can't believe you're doing that![/i]
2) [i]Ha ha. Why am I not surprised?[/i]
I don't think I've ever had anyone tell me instead about their own book plans, except people that I already know are authors. I mean, most of my friends are in publishing in some way or another, and plenty of them are writers. So that's a pretty normal topic of conversation.
I think we've been brainwashed into believing that if we don't have the stamp of approval from publishers like HarperCollins, Random House, & Simon & Schuster, our work must be substandard, amateuristic gobbledygook. Some of it is. But guess what? So is some of the stuff [i]they're[/i] publishing. I've been writing on a regular basis since I was 10 -I'm now 47 - and I still struggle with defining that aspect of my life for others, still struggle with whom I choose to share it. It's crazy. Perhaps it has to do with that certain segment of the population who view the arts as a total waste of time. The same people who vote to cut music and art programs from our schools...who rail against their tax dollars being spent on public art displays. At this point in my life, all I'm looking for is a little supplemental income. Maybe make enough to take a vacation once or twice a year, who knows? If I go bust, at least I gave this a shot.