This week has been a week of warm fuzzies (plus a giveaway–see details at the end of this post).  Special thanks to my fellow writers in Rachael Harrie’s platform building campaign and in Kristen Lamb’s WANA class. From your supportive comments and tweets to blog awards I feel like I have my very own virtual, but cozy Linus blanket.

Thank you!

On that note, wonderful and brilliant YA author Juliana L. Brandt is hosting the Warm Fuzzies Blogfest and this week she posed this question:

” How do you broach the subject of being a writer to other people who aren’t authors?”

It’s not always easy, like Juliana writes in her post.  Here’s a post I wrote a couple of months ago on the subject:

SO HOW’S THAT NOVEL COMING?

The writing process is slow. Couple it with the publishing process and the fact that writing is mostly a solitary living-in-a-shell like activity, and you are looking at a lifestyle that is turtle club worthy.

At least it comes with a great motto:

Slow and steady wins the race.

This is a good thing to keep in mind, especially when you emerge from your shell for food, showers, more work (you mean there’s other stuff to do?) and seeing your family and friends only to hear questions like:

You still working on that novel?

Do you have an end yet? Because I have a really good idea…

When am I going to see it in Barnes and Noble?

What’s for dinner? (Oh wait, you may or may not get that one, depends on whether or not your kids are old enough to call for pizza.)

When I hear these questions, my mind scrambles for some sort of summary update, sifting through all the work looking for something that is akin to handing them a hardcover copy of my book.

Um, yeah.

You write. You read. You edit. You write some more. You put the story away for a while and start work on another. Then you pick it back up and read. Then you edit, write some more. Then get some people to read and comment and then edit some more. Then write a query letter and edit that, and get some people to read that. Write. Edit. Then send it out to agents and/or some small publishers (because the big ones will not look at it without the agent). Wait and wait. Work on the next story . . .

I am going to stop here because if you are a writer you know all this, and if you’re not, then you are probably wondering why anyone would actually comply with such a process.

It sounds crazy, right?

It’s a slow process. Turtle-y slow.

So I remind myself to take a chill pill when I get the questions, because yes I’m still working on that novel (actually two, both with endings, but you never know I might use your good idea someday).

(Oh and the dinner question? Only requires microwave skills, because the pizza is in the freezer.)

And as for Barnes and Noble (or Amazon)?

I don’t know–YET (this is the key word here, print it, cut it out and attach it to something).

Because if you love it, you do it and when the questions come, you can think about Stewie.

Yes, I give you Stewie. Because sometimes I just need to relax about the whole process and squeak out a laugh instead of taking myself too seriously. Besides, as Stewie says, we all deserve some time off (even if we sometimes let our kids eat pizza from the freezer).

Speaking of pizza, if you’re headed to the freezer can you get me some? It’s the gluten-free one, with the tapioca cheese . . .

 

Have a great weekend.

 

 

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23 thoughts on “Warm Fuzzies Blogfest

  1. Susanna Hill

    I love this post! You have summed up the writing life perfectly – this IS my life 🙂 I’m going to try to squeeze a warm fuzzy in tomorrow… we’ll see 🙂

  2. inluvwithwords

    I only just started telling people that I’m working on a novel and the questions I’ve gotten already just amaze me. My mother, four days after I told her I was starting revisions, asked me if I was done yet. A friend asked me – in all seriousness – when I would be finished. As if I have a date penciled in on my calendar. Sheesh. Now I know why I never used to tell people I’m a writer.
    inluvwithwords recently posted..Voices of a Love/Hate RelationshipMy Profile

  3. Cortney

    I get people who ask me that all the time. “How is your book coming?” And I’m always like, “Still working away at it!” I think they don’t realize what a long process writing is, and what an even longer process getting representation can be and how long it takes to get a book on the shelves if you’re lucky enough to get to that point! Still, I love telling people I’m a writer.

  4. Juliana

    Oh man, that is probably the best description I’ve read about the whole process. When you put it like that, even I have to question why we do it! Haha. Great post, girl+

  5. M.G. Miller

    Great post, Coleen. I echo all these sentiments. There was a period of years when I didn’t tell anyone what I did, just to avoid the question, “What have you published?” Seems that’s the only way the lifestyle gets validated by the greater public. And I can never forget the lady who once patted my knee and said, “It’s good to have dreams.” Yeah, I wanted to smack her, all right 😉

  6. Emma Burcart

    Thanks for that post! I’m glad to know that there are other people who deal with the same questions and have the same reaction. When friends ask me when my book is going to come out, I often want to scream. Especially since I’m in the beginning stages of querying. I think th term YET is important. I will remember that. My new patent answer may just be, “Not yet.” And I love the video, even though I’m not a fan of that show.

  7. Lena Corazon

    Yay, I’m so glad to see that you’re doing the Warm Fuzzies blogfest as well! I haven’t gotten my post written just yet, but it’s a-comin’. 😀

    I love this post, Coleen; it definitely sums up the mixed bag of the writing experience. I adore the process, though, even when it makes me want to kick and scream in frustration, because I know I’m working my way towards a dream and a goal that I treasure. I’m in this for the long haul, so yes, “yet” is my operative word — Not published yet, not finished yet, but coming soon (or, er, eventually).

  8. Karen McFarland

    Congratulations on the Warm Fuzzies Award Colleen!

    Ah, the process. Definitely a test of patience. But oh how rewarding.

    “The Best of Me” Hummm. Interesting title. I do hope that this book is better than his last one. I don’t think that it was his best, or should I say his cup of tea.

  9. Shelley Schanfield

    Love Stewie’s perspective on this craziness we call writing fiction! Great post, Colleen.

  10. Tasha Seegmiller

    I loved this post. I think it’s fabulous that people have found a way to share their passion regardless of the strange responses we may get. Thanks for sharing – new follower!

  11. Debra Kristi

    Wonderful post Coleen. I am right there with so many others that kept quiet about what I was doing for so long because I didn’t want to field the questions. When I finally started telling a few people I actually had one friend start making plans for approaching Hollywood with a script. Ah, hello. Need to finish and sell a book first. I am slightly more realistic. LOL I am still uncomfortable talking about it sometimes. I liked keeping it my little secret. But that would defeat the whole purpose of building a platform now wouldn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing Coleen!

  12. Emma Calin

    Hi Coleen – love your post and thanks for your comments about my snail piccy and analogy on my Warm Fuzzies post the other day.

    This has been such a great way of getting to meet fellow writers.

    Best wishes

    Emma Calin

  13. Cheryl Reifsnyder

    You’ve captured it perfectly (including the “What’s for dinner?” part). I also love the “What have you published?” question, which is well-meaning but leaves me feeling like I need to prove that I’m really a writer. And I’m very, very, very careful now who I tell any publishing news beyond “it’s been accepted!” because outside the writing world, no one seems to understand that really, waiting six months for news isn’t that unusual….

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