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Revolution is not my name

4 March 2011

So, when 47 Echo came out, I took the day off work. Shocking, I know, but I had friends in town and a party in MeatSpace to prepare for, so I made it a long weekend. One of my work buddies IMed me to let me know that my office (which is kind of huge) had put the book up on the lobby slides, which was an insanely nice thing for them to do.

When I came back to work the next day, I couldn’t tell you how many people came up to me and said “I didn’t know you wrote books,” or “I didn’t know you were a writer,” or some variation on that particular theme. And my first thought was, “well, no, of course you wouldn’t.” I mean, how would they?

This might be a tad surprising, as we’re drawing in on 100 entries on this blog, but I don’t talk about myself much out in the real world. When I’m at work, I mainly talk about work things. When I’m out with people, I mainly talk about whatever they’re talking about, and I listen to how they talk. This doesn’t seem at all strange to me, but apparently it’s not the norm for people who write.

Several people I know have told me that most writers bring up their book, or the thing they’re working on, or some story idea they had that they’re totally going to write when they have the time. And they talk about it a lot, in situations that have nothing to do with it at all. I don’t get that. I’d much rather write in my own space, in my own head, and not even mention it until it’s done (unless I need to pick someone’s brain for info). Then, when it comes out, I’m totally open to answering questions about it, but I’m not going to bring up the subject, especially not at work.

Is that just me? Or am I an oddity here? (I mean, I am odd, but on this particular issue, I mean.)

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 4 March 2011 0757

    Sounds mainly like desperation marketing, when people bring up their book in conversations about things that have nothing to do with it. Or their religion.

    There’s self-promotion and then there’s self-centeredness, but most people usually don’t draw a line between them, so you get a lot of the latter. Also, talking about things is a hell of a lot easier than actually doing them.

    Thing is, everyone wants to be successful and looked up to, and the center of attention (some more than most). We are social creatures, we humans, and we all crave validation, but to some of us, it’s an addiction. Fame. Notoriety, even if for all the wrong reasons.

    I’ve read that Martha Stewart isn’t that good of a home-maker, she’s just adept at shameless self-promotion, and stealing credit for the ideas and hard work of others. Same with Donald Trump–I’m sorry but filing for bankruptcy over 3X completely ruins any credibility you might have had for being any sort of ‘savvy businessman.’

    Meh, I’m out of words for now.

    • 4 March 2011 0931

      I think there are two types here — those who like external validation, and those who need external validation to live. I like it, but I don’t require it.

  2. 5 March 2011 0157

    My daughter is quite young and I’m sure her personality is not set in stone, but I know that she loves hearing people rave about her writing. It makes her very proud. She’s an 11 yr old geeky girl, who doesn’t enjoy most competitions–except maybe the spelling bee. 😀 Her brothers get trophies and kudos in sport, she deserves hers in writing!

    • 7 March 2011 1126

      Totally. It’s different when you’re a kid — encouragement, talking about writing, etc., all helps nurture the gift.

  3. 6 March 2011 1858

    Hi Shawn. I’m like you, I tend to just write and when I go socialising or the gym or whatever – the writing doesn’t voluntarily come up unless asked for. A few of my closest friends know that I write, but alas they tend to look at me strangely as my stories aren’t what they usually read.

  4. 7 March 2011 1846

    My writing is totally for me and my circle…, naw, no one at work ever knows about it unless they happen to be the stalker type and look me up online……

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