Friday, March 26, 2010

So you're a writer...

So you're a writer?

I get that question a lot. People are often interested in the answer, even if they don't like to read that much. And when I say I'm a children's author, they like it even more, because even if they don't read their kids are darn sure going to if they know what's good for them. It's much more fun to tell people that you're a writer than say, a gas station attendant or a shoe salesmen.

The trick comes with the follow up question. Where can I get your books?

Well, if you're like most of the writers I personally know, the answer is, "I'm still working on getting an agent or an editor."

That usually ends the conversation. But if you are in that situation, don't fret. You will sell your work one of these days. An agent or editor is going to recognize all the effort and skill you've put into that manuscript and they will get it on the shelf, or into a Kindle. Your day will come.

I know this because an agent and then an editor did recognize my manuscript as marketable, and that's what it has to be to make it to a shelf or a Kindle.

So do you tell people that you're a writer even if you haven't sold anything?

The answer is "yes." The key is to say "writer," rather than "author," which implies that you've been published. If you think of yourself as a writer, if you're serious about it, if you are writing, then say, "Yes, I am a writer."

Don't worry about ending the conversation, it's only just begun.