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Friday, October 10, 2014


Friday Speak Out!: 5 Reasons to Tell People You’re a Writer

by A. B. Davis

5 Reasons to Tell People You’re a Writer

1. Because that’s what you are. Own it!

The more you tell yourself something, the sooner it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But telling someone else you’re a writer takes a different kind of courage. Admitting it aloud to people begs validation, lest you feel like a guilty, no-writing fraud.

2. Understanding

There may be times you’ll have to explain the severity of your dedication to this “hobby” and that it requires hermit-like behavior, so that people might better understand why you seem a misanthropic, non-family-affair and/or block-party-attending jerk. You might consider writing your own public apology like I’ve done here.

Also, as a woman, writing must have a necessary place in your day, whether you have children or not. If you have kids, then you will have to carve time out for writing from what might be a negative space. Sleep might have to be sacrificed, but then, you have kids, so you understand that. If you don’t have children, people may accuse you of not being that busy. To which you may answer, "I didn’t have any so I would have time." Just kidding. But truly, while your friends and family may support your dream whole-heartedly, you’re the one who has to put your foot down and tell people you have to write.

3. Support

Now that your peeps understand you, they can give you that kick in the pants you need by asking when that new book/poem/screenplay is going to be published (as though that were the most vital matter at hand. Psshh).

4. To face naysayers and get rejection out of the way

So that when strangers ask that most dreaded question, "What do you do?"—the question that turns into a competition at high school reunions—you can start bracing for the rejection you're going to feel when you start submitting. These people are quick to tell you how hard it is to get accepted anywhere, like THEY'RE the ones continuously submitting work to agents and journals and publishing houses and devouring "How I got my agent" stories.

5. So people don’t think you’re crazy

So that people can finally understand why you're sometimes laconic to the point of catatonia, and then, like a bipolar, jabbering away like a parrot on crack. Why you sometimes hide away from gatherings and parties and then throw yourself out front and center, looking for attention. Why you randomly ask friends family members "what's that word for that feeling you get when you remember something from your past and really miss it?" To which they may answer ‘nostalgia?’, each syllable pronounced in uncertainty because how could that word have flown from your mind? I’ll tell you how: there’s a 110,000 word novel churning up there, and no one can remember every word in the damn lexicon. Yes, you’re not crazy, you’re just a writer.

Now stand up, and declare thyself!

* * *
A. B. Davis writes poems, short stories and novel-length works that tend toward the dark and gritty. Her poem, “The Insolubility of Nightmares”, was her first published work in the October 2013 issue of Hello Horror. Her second poem, “The Order of Felis Domestica”, was published in the Fall 2014 issue of From the Depths, a Haunted Waters Press publication. An assistant property manager in the day, she writes with the flourish of a madwoman in the evening. You can usually find her at the local bookstore, seeking even more reading material to hoard for the apocalypse. Or you can just see what he’s up to at

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


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Blogger Sioux said...

A.B.--"Like a parrot on crack." Too funny and too true.

4:39 AM  
Blogger Margo Dill said...

Very inspiring for this early Friday morning as I sip coffee and get ready to go a writing conference! :) Of course, I can never be as early as Sioux. . .Thanks for the inspiration, A.B.

4:54 AM  
OpenID peihome said...

#1 and #3 for sure! Never thought of using #2 & #5, but now I will!

5:55 AM  
Blogger Annie said...

I agree! Not telling people creates a feeling of secrecy, which often comes across as shame (even when it's not). I think it's important to be proud of what you do regardless of what that is. And I like your point about getting support.

10:09 AM  

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