Wednesday, November 15, 2006

One More Person Knows

Yesterday on the playground, one of the moms I've been spending everyday after school with for the past year asked what I do during my little one's Mother's Day Out time. I froze up a little, turned away for a moment, and finally admitted that I write. First it was nothing else, just that I write. I didn't tell her what I was working on, that I'd already finished a book and published it myself, or anything. So she very politely dragged it all out of me. And while I felt awkward telling her, I felt a little relieved too as if I'd been bottling it all in and finally was letting it go.

It's awfully hard to bring up the fact that you're a writer. At least I find that it is. Most of the people I meet in more that a passing fashion are other moms (most of whom know that I'm a stay-at-home mom), or they're writers. So, if these moms think you're a stay-at-home mom, they don't ask what you do--it never comes up, because motherhood is enough. And I'm not the type to just launch it on people: 'Oh, by the way, I'm a writer.' I feel like people are going to smirk and scoff and say, 'So what!' So it's like a closet hobby--that I work on all the time.

But this other mom had the perfect reaction. She was excited for me, excited for her--that she'd discovered this little tidbit of information. She immediately said she'd look for my book, that she wanted to read it. I was truly flattered. It was the perfect little pick-me-up.

Ideally, the news will spread like wildfire all over my son's elementary school, and I'll be inundated with moms and teachers all clamoring to buy my book. Or maybe I'll continue to live in relative anonymity. Totally works for me.


Trish Ryan said...

Honestly, the "what do you do?" question has always given me hives, even when asked with the nicest of intentions. When I was a lawyer, everyone's eyes glazed over (we were all too common in philly); when I was an admin, they'd change the subject. And now that I'm a writer, I tend to tell people I'm perfecting my meatloaf recipe. Really, everyone is more comfortable that way :)

Stacy said...

I have a hard time mentioning that I'm a writer too. (Of course for me, it isn't the day job.) I don't know why. I have a hard time talking about things that matter to me: religion, politics, my writing. That's why I love my blog. It's a great excuse to bring up all the things I never say to people in person.