Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Concealing and revealing

In a recent post on her blog, Sally Jenkins asked how other writers respond to questions about their writing. I was a bit surprised, but relieved, to find I’m not the only one who hates talking about his or her work. Admitting that the story you think is your best ever has been rejected for the umpteenth time, or that no, your novel hasn’t been published yet because you’re still working on the second draft, all sounds so boring – especially to non-writers.

For many years, only my closest family knew I was writing, and if they embarrassed me by mentioning it to anyone else I always played it down. I’ve only had a few stories published. It’s just a hobby. I’m sure it’s not the sort of thing you’d be interested in reading, etc. etc.

These days, I do put ‘Writer’ on forms that ask for my occupation, but in social situations where I can’t hide behind a ‘proper’ job I’ll mumble something like, ‘Oh, I do a bit of writing.’ But then I change the subject as quickly as possible!

But when writers are asked about their reading it seems the opposite is true. The Alfie Dog Fiction blog – Alfie Dog Bites – is currently running a series of Writers on Reading and it’s obvious that the featured writers all love talking about other people’s writing.

Perhaps the next time I’m asked what I do, instead of saying I’m a writer I’ll say I’m a reader. That will be so much easier!