I'm a writer, this is what I do

   I was listening to this interesting podcast debating if "aspiring" should go before "writer" if you weren't published yet. The guest on the podcast explained that we are all writers, just some are paid and some aren't. I agree. 

   That question always comes up around get-togethers, family functions, etc. "So what do you do?" And unless you consider your day job to be your career, then you are most likely saying "writer." To which comes the fun of explaining yourself--or feeling you need to, anyway. 

   Most times, you'll get a face with the mouth pulled down and eyebrows pulled up, "Oh, really? What do you write?" Then you go on about what you're doing, etc. You might impress them a bit, you might get a sympathetic face and a, "well, good for you." 

   In my situation, I say, "horror." 

   "Excuse me?" 

   "H-horror." Cue hand gesticulation and nervous clearing of the throat. "You know, like Stephen King, or Dean Koontz?" 

   Do they know them? Maybe. Sometimes it doesn't matter. They've already judged you and placed you into a category in their minds. 

   "I also work for blah blah blah." You try to save yourself with your vestige of hope--the day job. 

   "Ohhh, Okay! Yeah. That's great. Keep it up...you know, the writing thing." 

   "Yup." 

   Sometimes they dig it. Maybe it touches on something inside them that wanted to follow their dreams at one time and seeing you go for it gives them hope. Who knows? I just know it's awkward and makes one feel like a child. 

   But that's the breaks. Edo van Belkom says it best on the Horror Writers Association site here 

   If this isn't for you, then maybe your better off doing something else. It's what we do. Sure, you can go off and learn something else, or work day in and day out at the grind, but in the end we won't be happy. 

   We create. 

   Can we loose it? Perhaps it can dull a bit if we don't keep sharpening the blade; but it's like driving, where you can come right back to it once you get going again. 

   The important thing is not to give up. It's hard. Do you really want it? 

   Keep writing. 

   WCM


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