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Why I Don't Tell People I'm a Writer

    I don't tell people I'm a writer.

     Being a writer impacts how I look at the world, how I relate to people, how I listen, how I speak, how I interact with my friends. But, I'd rather people get to know Alyson who happens to write stories, than get to know a writer who happens to have the name Alyson.

     Certain things happen the first time someone learns that you are an author. A balanced conversation of question and answer for both people instantly becomes "me" heavy. When I'm with close friends, I probably talk about myself far too much, but when I'm with people I hardly know, talking about myself is very uncomfortable. When strangers hear I write, they starting a thread of questions, and for the most part, everyone asks the same ones.

     You write?
     What do you write?
     Do you write stories like the Hunger Games?
     When do you have time to write?
     When do you have time to be a normal teenager?
     Are you published?

     I don't have a problem with any of these questions, but they always seem out of place in a conversation dedicated to two people getting acquainted. When these questions emerge, it makes it extremely difficult to get to know the other person. People are curious, and I've learned that being a writer is interesting to people--though I'm not entirely sure why. But, I'm curious too. Curiosity is also a part of being a writer. I'd like to get to know people, ask my own questions. When people latch on to the fact that I'm a writer, asking my own questions becomes a challenge. Challenges are good, but sometimes I wish getting to know people was significantly less of a challenge.

     I'm not saying that everyone should be able to identify a writer by their quirks and tendencies, but I'd rather individuals notice my quirks and tendencies rather than define me by "writer." There are many things I'd like people to notice as they get to know me.

     I enjoy reading.
     I enjoy discussions, but have no clue how to participate in small talk.
     I like to walk with my eyes up, observing the world around me.
     I like to travel, to visits new places, and to have new adventures.
     I take relationships, work, and my future very seriously.
     I love to sit in silence, staring at nothing, simply thinking.

     Perhaps, most people will never notice these things about me, and that's okay. I'll still smile and answer their questions with grace and patience. But if you ever meet a writer, and if that writer is at all like me, here are some questions they might enjoy answering.

     What is your favorite part of writing?
     What part of your life has the greatest influence in your stories?
     Does writing always come easy to you?
     Call this post simply wishful thinking, but I hope it either explains something about me or helps you understand a writer friend of your own.

     Are you a writer? How do you react in these situations? Are there questions you'd rather be asked?

     ~ Alyson


  1. Wow. YES. Great post. I am always hesitant to tell people that I write and blog. Whenever I get the "are you published question," I sometimes say "Yes, I'm a national best-seller. I can't believe you've never heard of it." So now I just have fun with the questions. =D But yes, it is difficult to begin a convo with a stranger by talking about something like writing. Glad I'm not the only one who feels like that. =)

    1. I'm glad someone else struggles with the same things. And those are definitely questions I've heard too.

  2. Ah, Alyson, this is so lovely. All the things I never knew how to say. :)

  3. Such a perfect post. You've said what I was never able to find the words for. I don't like to tell people I'm a writer when we first meet because it centers the conversation on me. Like you said, I love talking about myself! But only once I really know the person. I feel too exposed too early when it's brought up during a first meeting.


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