I’m Coming out . . . as a Closeted Writer, I Mean

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Nobody can know . . . not even you

Have you ever kept a secret from your family and friends? I mean a deep dark secret that was likely to tear your whole family apart and turn everyone you loved against you? Neither have I. And yet, for years I kept my writing hidden from those who would probably have provided me a great deal of support. Why would I do that?

Well, for one, there’s the stigma that aspiring authors face, and don’t tell me it doesn’t still exist. Just last week, I contacted my local library to inquire on potential author events, and they sneered at me–yes, sneered at me! A librarian sneered at a local author. Sneered at a literary contemporary! But it’s not like this was the first time my dreams were snubbed. When I was younger, anytime I’d divulge my dreams to trusted adults, they’d often criticize my “unrealistic” dreams and encouraged me to pursue a more “realistic” career path. Even my own peers, who wanted to be movie stars, laughed at me. Seriously, there is not enough love for wannabe writers.

Then there was the fear of failure. I, myself, am okay with the possibility that my writing career may never take off, but I don’t want my friends and family to perceive me as a failure. So I thought to publish in secret and only inform them of my achievement if, and only if, it became a best seller. That way, I could only be viewed as a success. Now I realize publishing the book alone is a great achievement and its own form of success. My family should be proud of that.

More importantly, I realize it doesn’t matter what others think. I want to be a published author. I want to write for a living. And if I fail, no big deal. At least I tried. And let others view it as they will. Their opinions do not effect me whatsoever.

So with those thoughts in mind, I made my decision last week to come out as a writer to my family and friends. Sing it, Diana Ross!

To my surprise, my family has been extremely supportive of my writing. My brother (an extreme workaholic) took the entire day off to attend my book launch party and his wife is running an article in the paper she works for. My mom, who is one of those negative realists, expressed tremendous pride for what I’ve done and encouraged me to keep at it. Friends I haven’t heard from in ages came out of the woodwork to purchase a copy of my book and share it on social media. To say I am overwhelmed by their support, is an understatement.

And of course, I have received more than enough support from my friends here on WordPress. Too many to name, in fact, but you know who you are, and please know I am grateful to you.

Anyway, sorry for the fluff post, but I had to come out with it. I promise Wednesday’s will be of higher content.

As always, thank you for stopping by. You’re always welcome back:)

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32 thoughts on “I’m Coming out . . . as a Closeted Writer, I Mean

  1. Jon

    Well, I hope that librarian gets a painful boil, and can’t sit down for a month. Where do they think all the books in their library come from?

    • Despite what people say, the librarian is not your friend. The sales clerk at Books a Million was the opposite. They can’t wait to support me . . . once I’m no longer signed up with KDP Select.

      • The librarian was just rude. She snubbed me before she even asked what my title was or knew anything about the book. She’s perpetuating the stigma that indie authors are not worthy of bookshelves and are of lesser quality than those represented by a publishing house. But that’s okay. The Bookstore will do more for me anyway.

      • Jon

        Seriously, I am mega impressed with all the ingenuity and effort you are putting into this. I really hope it all pays off; it deserves to.

      • I hope it does too, Jon. And thank you. I greatly appreciate your saying that. Your support and encouragement has done so much for me. My online friends have put the real ones to shame;)

  2. Congrats on the support. I never hid my aspirations, which always caused friction. I don’t think many people know how to support an author, especially when they haven’t released their book or write in a genre that they don’t read. I get a lot of ‘good job, but I don’t read fantasy’ from my family. I guess you can listen to a musicians music, watch an actors show, and look at a painters painting with less effort than it takes to read a book. Honestly, I still have some issues around here because there’s this idea that you’re not an author unless you have a traditional contract that comes with enough money to buy a small plane.

    • That’s my concern too. Most of my friends and family really don’t read my genre, so they’ll buy the book and won’t “get it” and then they’ll think I suck, instead of realizing they are not my target audience. It’s nice to be supported, but I still can’t help but worry that they’ll eventually see this as a failure. I keep trying to tell myself it doesn’t matter in the long run. I know what I’m doing and why I chose this route and that’s all that matters:)

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m always curious to know how this goes for other writers, so I know what to expect. Your post on that subject a year or so ago kept me realistic. haha.

      • Most of my friends and family stopped even buying my books. There was a while where family would buy them, but had no intentions of reading them. Not sure how to take those. A few of the family members do read the books and hit me with typos or issues. It’s like they have to feel like they’re helping or they think I’ve no idea what I’m doing. I’ve figured out that this is not the norm though. Most times family and friends are purely supportive.

      • Yeah. I don’t mind my family buying it, but for some of them, it won’t be an enjoyable read. I don’t want to discourage people from reading it, and yet my loved ones are not necessarily the readers I want to reach, but regardless, I just wanted to share this part of my life with them, I guess. Just hoping they can look me in the eye after reading my book;)

      • I think my writing style drove several friends and family away after the first book. At least the ones that weren’t fantasy fans.

        Great that you want to share this part of your life with them. That’s how it should be since being an author is a very difficult and pride-inducing path. 🙂

      • Charles, you give me so much to look forward to;) But I do appreciate your honesty. Hopefully my friends don’t try to commit me for insanity after reading my book. haha!

    • Thank you. I agree. I think we all experience this one way or another. For some it’s better or worse. For me it was not a good thing until recently. I think with mom’s illness my family has had a serious change in perspective which has made them more supportive overall.

  3. Good fer you Kylie! You only get one chance at this here thing called life, so make the most it. You just have to remember there are social vampires out there; just ignore them.

  4. You definitely should be proud. It’s a heck of an accomplishment to make it all the way through the process. I know from personal experience how hard it is to see it through to the end. Ignore those who discourage you; they aren’t worth the time or the effort. You write because you love it, and that is all that matters. Continuing to pursue your dreams in life is always worth it.

  5. I hear you. I was amazed ar how much support i got from people i didnt expect. And also how little from people i did expect. Its a weird thing but you have passed the portal. You are published. You are on the other side of the wall. Doesnt it feel good. 🙂

    Cheers

    Mtm

    • It feels very good to be on the other side of the portal, although there aren’t as many rainbows and unicorns as I expected. lol. It looks very much like the real world over here. And yes, it’s incredible where support comes from … and where it doesn’t.

      Enjoying the whole author thing. I’m signed up for a few events and it just feels surreal. I remember seeing pictures of booths you’ve had and thinking “I can’t wait for that to be me” and now it is me. It’s a crazy feeling.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      -Kylie

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