by Edie Melson
When someone asks me what I do or where I work, I always hesitate to mention that I’m a writer. Not because I’m ashamed of it or think I’m not worthy to be called a writer, but because it often leads to some frustrating conversations. Let me see if any of you can relate to some of my experiences.
- “I've always wanted to be a writer. Can you help me?”
- “I have a book I've written. Can you send it to a publisher for me?”
- “I used to write in high school—maybe you could look at a few things and tell me what you think.”
- “I've been through (fill in the blank) and want to write a book about it. Can you tell me how to get it published?”
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing inherently wrong with these questions, the problem comes when I answer them. I’ve found that most people don’t really want to hear the truth—they want a shortcut to fame and fortune, not the truth.
- There’s no shortcut to becoming a professional writer. It takes time and commitment.
- I don’t have an inside track into getting your book published.
- If I take the time to look at your samples, I’ll tell you the truth and that may not be what you really want.
There aren’t any shortcuts to becoming a master at any craft, and writing is no different. Even exceptional talent needs time and experience to hone it into brilliance. I rejoice when I find those who are willing to put in the time and really learn about the craft of writing. Those individuals are a pleasure and I love taking time to help them.
Now it's your turn to share. What funny situations have you encountered when you confessed you were a writer?
Edie Melson is the author of four books, as well as a freelance editor with years of experience in the publishing industry. Her popular blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands of writers each month, and she’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Her bestselling ebook on social media has just been updated and re-released as Connections: Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers. She’s the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy and the social media director for Southern Writers Magazine. You can connect with Edie through Twitter and Facebook.