Quite a few writers don’t like to tell other people aka civilians, when asked their occupation, that they are a writer. It has nothing to do with how many novels you’ve had published or the fact you may prefer to be called ‘story creator’ or ‘word wrangler’ or that once the word ‘writer’ has left your lips then the magic will vanish. The real reason is that you end up getting in a conversation just like the one below, and there’s no escape.
I’m afraid this is a true story.
“So are you still writing?”
“I’m just redrafting-”
“I’m actually working on a novel, and it’s rather good if I say so myself.”
The writer-who-doesn’t-like-calling-herself-writer takes another gulp of wine.
“My epic novel will span across different fantasy worlds and will be a game changer as there is nothing out there about the power of the female in fantasy fiction.”
I should probably point out that this is a male ‘writer’ – one of those arrogant ones who stand their chest out, and for some strange reason points out their chin to maybe make himself look more ‘literary’. This ‘writer’ is the sort of person who you want to put a pin in and watch them deflate.
The writer-who-doesn’t-like-calling-herself-writer resists shakes his shoulders and saying ‘non-readers are not allowed to be fucking writers’ and just smiles politely and replies “sounds interesting.” She has a shed load of fantasy books with female protagonists in her head which have been published and turned into films so this ‘writer’ must be living in a bubble.
“Can I send it to you when I’m finished?”
“I need a wee.” The writer-who-doesn’t-like-calling-herself-writer wanders off to a quiet corner to weep.