“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”
—Harper Lee, WD
I can’t agree more with this quote above. I know one or two people, who for better want of a word to describe their predicament they ‘are ashamed of saying that they write.’
They are perpetually on the defensive about their hobby and hope to become a successful writer, so they chose to hide it.
Sometimes, I wonder if being a writer is such a terrible thing, except of course when we lop off your head in our stories and paint you black too 😉
For such people, I will say, grow skins as thick as that of a Rhinoceros, if you are definitely sure that this is the life you want to live. It’s grits, nerves and more grits.
If you feel shame for something that you love doing, then maybe, it’s not yet your thing, otherwise, how do you expect to make a headway with it?
Be prepared to hear things like the type of conversation I once had with man in the gym, who wanted to know what kind of things I write, he was sure that I wrote only housewife’s romance or sexy stuff *his words not mine*, which by the way I like to read, depending on my mood. I read extensively and across all genres.
I simply didn’t appreciate his stereo-typing and didn’t even want to bother educating him further. I cast him as a dirty villain in a short fairy tale and gave him a crooked, bumpy nose too 😉
I have had several requests to write articles for free because they feel that it will give me exposure, and in my mind, I am like ‘You don’t say!’
Be prepared to hear things like:
- Are you really planning to make a living out of this? Asked in a condescending voice
- I wish I had your opportunity, to just daydream and write
- You know that writing is a dying industry right? In my mind, I am holding back from shouting, no you are the one dying, you buffoon! I didn’t utter that aloud did I 😉
- Have you gone viral yet? I guess you have now become a flu.
So, while you are getting on with it, saddle up and let the rude, inept comments roll off your back. Don’t sweat it, what they think doesn’t matter, it’s what you think that matters.
© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha
Image credit: Pixabay.com