Sunday, April 29, 2012

Have You Come Out Of The Closet?

I'm sure most of you have noticed that when you tell people you're a writer, you often get lukewarm responses. When I was writing novels in my teens, people would say, "Well that's nice, and what are you going to do when you grow up?" And as an adult I often get strange or even incredulous looks since my full-time job is as a department head at a non-profit corporation. Especially when people ask me what I write and I have to explain what urban fantasy is...

So, when I got back into writing in 2009, I kept it quiet at first. It was a fragile hope, and just easier not to talk about. But writing has gotten to be such a big part of my life that I can't keep quiet about it anymore. And so, my horrible secret has leaked out - I'm one of those dreamer-artsy people. I'm incredibly lucky in that my family and friends, and even the few coworkers that know about my secret life, have been very supportive. Then the only problem I have is that everyone wants to read my books.

See, the book I'm querying now is not exactly something I'd want my grandmother, aunt, or super sweet father-in-law with the Jesus decal on his car to read. It's laden with foul language, some pretty sultry scenes, and my own personal take on angels, demons and the Devil. And thinking about that makes me realize that once my baby is published, anybody can read it! Okay, so I can hear you muttering, "Well duh, Captain Obvious." I guess what I mean is that once I'm published, the secret is fully out of the closet. Then I guess I just need to advise some of my family that they may want to wait until my middle grade fantasy comes out :)

Are you kind of one foot in the closet, one foot out, like me? How far in or out of the closet are you?

P.S. No query news yet. Still sane (yay for me).


  1. I "came out" to some friends in high school the end of my junior year...but before that ZIP other than my family (hard to hide it from them when you're 12 and junking up the family computer with documents named "Chapter One" and such). I tell people now if it comes up.

    Good luck with your querying!

  2. My wife knew I was writing, but no one else for a very long time. However, I couldn't possibly write something I wouldn't want my family to read. Which is ironic considering my mother has never read either of my books. Oh well.

  3. I've had two or three different spurts of "lives" as a writer: one in high school; one in late-college; and one in the last year or so.

    Surprisingly, the best reaction I had was when I was in high school. My peers were mostly impressed with my ability. I was on the staff of the school paper, and essentially I was known as "the writer." No one gave me flak about it.

    The second-best reaction was when I was in college. I took a year or two off from writing, mostly to become a lost fool, and when I returned, I was again accepted on the school paper--I even got my own column. A couple of professors went wayyyyyy out of their way to mentor me--with the notable exception of one, an English professor who actually told me I would never get published. Overall, appreciation among peers and faculty was mid-to-high.

    Then there's now. The sound you hear, for the most part, is one hand clapping, and it isn't even mine. The reaction among my peers now is either very high or very low, with nothing in between. (When the magazine with my story finally arrived, someone close to me said: "Well, you knew that was going to happen sooner or later." She's since apologized, but, whatever.)

    I had to out myself recently because I was going to give a copy of it to co-workers, and I've created a fundraiser with it, too. So I couldn't keep it a secret. But the response, like I said, has been either extreme appreciation, or lukewarm, or downright "I'm ignoring it completely."

    I've noted it, but I've also shrugged my shoulders and moved on. I write--and get published--for me, anyway. But you really do find who your friends are--and aren't--fast.

  4. I have several family members who know I write. Not too many of them ask me about my writing. So if they don't ask, I don't tell.


  5. My family knows I write along with my close friends, but i don't go out of my way to tell others... Because then I have to deal with the silly questions of when will it be in stores, and how long have you been writing it, and other things that make me cringe on the inside...:)

  6. My family knows. So do my writing friends, but it's not something I brag or talk about a lot in front of other people.
    ~Sarah Faulkner

  7. Hi, Alexia. I recall those days of being half in/half out. Eventually you utter the words enough that it begins to sound natural. It's what we are, after all. With regard to the subject matter, eventually people will allow for the seperation to occur; they will still love you for you, and treat your writing as the art that it is.
    Have a good week!


  8. I'm well out of the closet and so enjoying it! :) It took me a while to get up the confidence, though.

  9. Ha ha! Yeah, sometimes I think, "If this gets published, my mother in law will read it. Not sure how I feel about that." ;) Ah well. If erotica authors can do it, so can I.

    Fortunately, when I tell people I'm a writer, I'm safe because technically I AM (I'm a technical writer), so it's like a cushion to fall on if I get weird looks. :D

  10. Hehe, you having to explain what an urban fantasy is--I can imagine! Not a genre most people are familiar with. LOL on your closet writing. Sometimes I cringe when I think of my church friends seeing some of my writing, because some people have um, higher standards, but really, my manuscripts are pretty clean and wholesome (I think). I do throw in a "darn" once in a while. LOL

  11. I am completely out of the closet, Alexia. Everybody and their aunts know that I am a writer. I am sure you have nothing to worry about where your writing/book is concerned, your family will realize that its just your overactive imagination and nothing else.

    Its cool we have the exact same number of followers. 317. :)

  12. Very much inside the closet. But people still ask what are you doing at the computer all day long.

  13. For many years I only told a few people I wrote. It seemed like a private thing and I didn't want questions about querying, rejection, and so on. I also didn't want pressure from people who may have wondered why I wasn't published yet.

    Today, the only time I reveal I'm a writer is with people who are close to me, in certain social situations, and when I'm at events. I don't talk about it during my day job. Some people find out and ask more questions than I'm comfortable with. It's hard to talk about writing and publishing with some people, and then they have pre-set ideas about it.

  14. I used to say that I'm writing but wouldn't say that I'm a writer. Now I do.

    I don't have foul language, etc., in my manuscript, but I do have some things that some people may not want to read about.

  15. This is so weird. I wrote a post 2 weeks after you posted this one about the same subject with almost the same title. I swear I didn't read this post until today. We're on the same wavelength apparently!

    Check it out:


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