Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How In the #@!?

I'm posting late this morning because my wonderful, incredible husband got up and took care of the kids for me this morning. I woke up to a throbbing jaw. You see, I found out that not only is there a bad tooth that needs to be pulled, there's a wisdom tooth coming in. I thought I was too old for those...apparently not. So, I took a pain pill and slept and slept. I feel better now. I bet you really wanted to know all of that, too.

Today, I'm ranting a little. Okay, I might rant a lot. First of all....Twitter. Why is it so popular? From what I've seen so far...people don't really talk to each other, they just let out random sentences of what they are doing or some odd sentence that doesn't make sense or....and these are my favorite....I ap&*m going to the store @userperson with #somethingweird.  Apparently Twitter doesn't like apostrophes and therefore adds a bunch of junk in the middle? And I think I understand the the @ sign means you are addressing a specific user...what the heck is the #listname. I haven't understood the list thing at all. I've tried, people, really I have. How many computer languages must I learn to sell a book? ARGH!

I'm over that rant. Here's another one for you. When people ask what you do, do you tell them about your day job? Or that you are a stay at home mom? Or do you tell them you are a writer, even if you are unpublished? I met my neighbors a couple of months ago and we had the typical conversation of what do you do, how old are the kids, blah blah. Here's how my conversation went.

ME: I stay at home with the kids and actually I'm working on a book.
THEM: Oh, really? What kind of book?
ME: Young Adult novel. It takes up a lot of my time, I apologize I'm over here in my pajama bottoms.
THEM: Oh, how exciting. I have always thought about writing a book.
ME: Really?
THEM: Yes, but I just don't have the time. (looking over my disheveled hair, no make up, oversized tee shirt and pajama bottoms, completed with sandals that I hastily threw on to chase my kids down outside.) Have you published anything?
ME: No, not yet. That is the ultimate goal, though.
THEM: Oh. Well. Good Luck.
ME: Thanks!

But the look is that of disbelief, and a little judgemental-as if that's not a title I'm allowed to have until I've published something. So, I'm a little hesitant to tell people I write. I feel like they think I'm a joke. But, this writing business is hard work, I want to scream.

Then at the most odd place, I became proud of myself again. The school dance I recently attended with my girls was held directly after school let out until 5 pm. So, I brought the girls' dresses to the school and helped them get changed. On our way back to the gym, a particularly snotty ten year old walked up to Princess Rhiannon and said, "Nice dress." My daughter, who is thankfully oblivious to her sneer, says, "Thanks, this is my mom." She grabs onto my hand and leans against me, showing me how proud she is of me. And then, the snotty ten year old says, "Hi. Do you really write books for a job?" My first instinct was to tell her no. I thought, well it's not like she can go buy any of my books, how do I explain that to a snotty ten year old who probably has just as snotty a mother? (Sorry-I hate snotty kids)

But then I realized something. My not snotty nine year old was apparently bragging on me at her school. If my kid feels like what I do is something to be proud of, and calls it my job-despite the fact that she's never seen my name in print-what right do I have to doubt it? My whole family has been behind me during this journey. Even though it has cramped our wallet, they smile and hug me and tell their friends I'm a writer.

So, I held my head up and told that snotty ten year old, "Yes, I do and Rhiannon here is one of my best beta readers." I put my arm around my daughter and squeezed her. The snotty ten year old's face fell and she said, "Oh. Cool." And walked off.

Now, if you ask me, I'll tell you loud and proud..."I'm a writer."


  1. You are a writer! I love that your kids know that--mine don't have a clue what I do when I sit at the computer everyday. Twitter is just starting to make sense to me (after 3 months of use). I have a few good "conversations" with twitterers. The @ sign lets you talk to people (if you use tweetdeck you can see who is talking to you). The # highlights a word so you can search it and see who else is talking about it (like #kidlitchat, or #amwriting). It takes a while to get the hang of it.

  2. Twitter takes time my dear Kristi. Just check it daily (you don't need to tweet) and see what you learn. A lot of it is nothing, but you'll start to learn stuff, and find the jewel posts. Yes all those symbols mean something. People do talk to each other, but the conversation is generally one sided. You can participate in the #chats, but I never find out about them until after, if you click the #link it should take you to it.

    I tell people I'm a writer and a stay at home homeschooling mom. Generally depends on who I'm talking to. If someone asks if I work, I always say yes, I work at home as a writer.

  3. Oh you gave me good laugh about twitter- I don't use it myself, but I recently was reading someone's twits (?) and I was so confused!

    I love the story about your daughter. I often have the same issue where I don't know if I should say I'm a writer or not. I usually qualify it like, "I'm a stay at home mom and I'm working on becoming a writer" Even though I've had some non-fiction for adults published in a small (very small) magazine. But with the amount of time and energy we spend on writing, I think we have earned the title of "writer."


  4. Twitter is weird, but unfortunately becoming necessary.

    And this is a fantastic post. So raw and honest! Children tear all the layers away.


  5. I am not real fond of Twitter. I started an account to stalk, I mean follow some celebrities :) Then I started an account for my writing...to ya know...build the platform...make an internet presence for myself. I started following some people- other writers, agents, etc...and some followed me back. But it seemed that no one really interacted with each other...just posted their own thoughts. Didn't seem like a very successful way to network. I concentrated on my blog instead. But now I am back and giving it a whirl again...I reply to other people's tweets and I guess we'll see where it takes me.

    I couldn't even call myself a writer until I had some kind of verification from someone. I joined a writers group and only after being there a long while and having one of my essays chosen for an anthology could I start calling myself a writer. But my job title was still "homemaker". I didn't change that till I was offered a publishing contract.

    So cool that your daughter brags about you!! Mine has told her teacher that I am a writer...teacher asked me about it at parent-teacher conference a couple weeks ago! It felt really nice. But then I had to explain that my book isn't published yet and when it is it's going to be available only in electronic format, etc.

  6. Natalie: Thanks for the tips! I appreciate it. And, yes we are writers. Yay! Your kids will know in time. We had to have a big discussion about it around here as I got fired from my job and we decided I wouldn't pursue another one until I felt ready to do so and in the meantime I would write-which meant sacrifices.
    Angelia: That's what confuses me, I think-the one sided convo's-but thanks for clearing it up that it IS indeed one sided, generally. LOL I love that you homeschool and have considered doing that with my girls since the jr. high here is uh..not really looking pleasant.
    Erin: You're right,we have earned that title.
    Michele: Thanks for stopping by! I try to keep all my posts honest and definitely RAW! It's why we write. :0)
    Stephanie: Stop trying to put parameters on yourself. You are a writer-and to be published at that! No matter if it's only in electronic format. :0) I'm proud of ya, girl!

  7. I tell people I'm a work-from-home mom. If they ask me what my job is, I tell them that I write books and am currently seeking representation for my YA novel. I get a lot of blank stares, too. ;-)

  8. PS - Twitter takes time. A lot of it is one-sided, but you meet a lot of great people, too. Sometimes it's just funny to see people's silly comments.

  9. You are a writer! Congrats on saying it out loud and believing it! :)

  10. I didn't quite believe I was a writer until I did an online careers questionnaire, which asked all sorts of fascinating questions about what I liked doing and then prescribed this occupation for me - 'author'. I figured if a computer could tell I was a writer, perhaps I really was.

  11. I learned in my 20s not to mention the writing thing. It just causes people to act funny, if that makes sense. The conversation almost always goes like this:

    Me: I work in I.T. but I'm also a writer.
    Them: Oh, really? Are you published?
    Me: Not in book-length fiction YET but I'm published in magazines.
    Them: Oh.

    And that "Oh" is in a voice that totally makes clear, if you aren't on bookshelves, they don't really care. I think everyone around here (Nashville) is either an aspiring songwriter, screenwriter, or novelist and everyone's just jaded. Once I'm published I'll tell them.

  12. I love that your daughter's bragging about you! That must have made your heart happy!
    and about the wisdom teeth - I just had my last three pulled last year. The first one got infected when I was pregnant 5 yrs ago and it had to be pulled then, but they wouldn't do all of them at once. Then, you know - shit happened and I didn't get to it ;)I'm sorry your's are just coming in - I too thought that I just lucked out

  13. Oh! I'm so sorry about your tooth! I had all four of mine pulled...one at a time as in 4 different visits. I chose to do it that way because I like to eat too much and I couldn't live off of jello for a week. As for the writing...I totally relate with this one, girl. My aunt who I love to death keeps asking me about the novel and she can't understand why it isn't a bestseller, much less why it hasn't sold! Then she goes into how a friend of a friend just sold her memoir to some hot shot agent in NYC...bla bla bla ...and what's taking mine so long? UGH!!!!! Take a deep breath. Hug your precious daughter, and keep at it. One of these days we'll chat about this stuff at a writers conference together...as PUBLISHED novelists. Merry Christmas!!!!

  14. That's so sweet - your daughter is a doll :)
    It's so nice to have her tell others about your writing.

  15. I'm still afraid to call myself a writer, for the same reasons as you! It's awesome that your daughter likes to tell people. My husband does the same thing and it embarrasses the heck out of me!

  16. Way to stand up to that snotty girl. I hate mean kids, too. My oldest daughter had a rough year last year because of mean kids, but this year has been great so far.

    And about Twitter - that's another reason why I've hesitated in starting this. I'm afraid I won't understand it, then I'm afraid it will be another distraction once I do figure it out:)

  17. Hoorah for being brave and proclaiming yourself a writer! I think that's half the battle!

  18. Been there! Remember, we are writers. There is nothing wrong with admitting it and taking pride in it of course.

  19. Did you doubt? Not I. I knew it all along. Anyone who can make this sour face smile as often as you do is most definitely a writer... and a darn good one, at that.

    ~ Yaya
    Yaya's Home

  20. Thank you ladies, I love to share those precious moments with my children with you all. :0) This blog community right here just ROCKS :0)

  21. What a great story! You are a writer, just one who doesn't like to Twitter :)


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