Posted March 12, 2012on:
- In: Creative Alphabet
- Comments Off on Writer…right?
When someone asks you “What do you do for a living?” and you proudly respond, “I’m a writer!” Invariably the next question is, “What do you write? Anything I might have read?”
My first response is (starting to be) “Absolutely!”
When you say that, people kinda expect you to continue; I don’t. I write many different genres; under many different pseudonyms. I don’t know if you’ve read something I’ve written! Heck, I don’t know if I’VE read everything I’ve written! (Not true…I know every word…)
Do you read scientific theory magazines? Then you may have caught my article on DNA. Children’s literature? Probably saw that short story I had published in OWL. Mysteries? Romance? Westerns? Sci-fi? You may have caught a few episodes where I was credited with writing assistant; Or one of my novels? Or maybe you caught that little joke I forwarded to Reader’s Digest? Or those letters to the editor of the local paper? Or the greeting cards I’ve managed to think up? What about those web sites I maintain? Maybe you’ve visited there? Or, possibly you are one of thousands who reap the benefit of my nocturnal writings as you snuggle with your loved one for an intimate evening of X-rated films?
I sometimes say I’m a business owner, but then everyone wants to know “What business?” (I own and operate three, currently. Writing is good, but the pay is hit or miss. You do get paid, sometimes even well, but you sometimes have to wait months (or years!) between cheques. Unless you are ‘on staff’ somewhere.)
I like the freedom writing affords me. I CAN operate other businesses and still have time to put a thousand words to paper each day (or not, as I wish!) I freelance. I like THAT freedom, too. When I send in a novel, or a script, for approval, I am already working on six other projects! I don’t get discouraged when my articles come back, with a little note asking me to revise or redo them! I really hate those little notes. “Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately…” Still, it is better than wondering if your submission arrived at all.
So, have you read anything of mine? Probably. I’m not revealing my names so you can find out! I do not write under my real name, I’m saving that for the BIG ONE! However, I do know one article, for sure, that you have read of mine! This blog! (Or, at least this far into this blog! LOL)
It’s difficult. I want MY name on my work. However, I understand my fellow parishioners at church would definitely look differently at me should they hear that, “Debbie Does Dallas”, is a lot milder than some of what I pen. (Writing ‘X’, or even ‘R’ rated scripts or articles and then writing the church bulletin; or an article for the denomination’s magazine? The two do not crossover very well.)
It’s not that I hide behind my pseudonyms. I protect myself. Other, well-known writers have tried the jump from mystery to western or sci-fi to romance. They have usually suffered for it. Why? Because the readers they have developed are confused by the new style of writing. They were/are expecting what they’ve become accustomed to from this writer. Now, because the WRITER wants a change, his/her audience is expected to just pick up and follow camp?
Doesn’t happen often my friend. Doesn’t happen often. Not even for ultra-famous writers. Readers choose the novel because of the subject, not the author. Although they will pick up a novel in a different genre if the author’s name rings a bell; but they’ll usually toss it aside and be forevermore dubious about that author’s work; even when a new novel from the author, in the genre they’re used to, comes out.
However, the same writer can enjoy accolades and new readership following by changing their name. It might take a bit before the new name is afforded the same success as their former self, but they won’t destroy or confuse their reputation with former readers.
Hence, I don’t know if you’ve read/watched/heard my work. Probably. (Gosh, I hope so!) But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop writing or settle for one genre… My mind spins too many directions for that! One day, you will notice the epic novel touted on the book-circuit as the next Rosemary Rogers or Steven King or J.K. Rowling…and it will have MY name in the author slot. That’s when you’ll know I feel comfortable about sharing my work with all the various people in my life. Until then, keep enjoying my works under whatever name it needs to be penned under to keep my family happy…or in the dark… *insolent grin*.
So, if you’re just starting writing; or have been writing for a long while now, do you find yourself pigeonholed and you want to breakout? Change your name before you change your genre, I think you’ll be glad you did.
PS: Later today… a gift… Another, partially started story; not polished. I’d like to polish it and change it as time passes… and get feedback on a new style of writing… Tomorrow? WHY CAN’T I STAY IN ONE POINT OF VIEW???