“I Am At Home With the Me. I Am Rooted In The Me Who Is On This Adventure.”

(Sorry. This is not actually a Grosse Point Blank review. Although, clearly, that movie’s awesome.)

Here’s the thing: I can actually legitimately say I’m a professional writer. I certainly don’t have many sales — very, very few, in fact — but nevertheless, I do have them, and I’m working on selling more. Writing is not something I just decided to do on the spur of the moment — it’s, well, a lifelong dream, really. Getting into Clarion West last year was a huge deal for me, and I’m incredibly grateful for getting the opportunity to go.

So, I have to post this — even though it’s been online for years now  — because I swear this exact same scenario just happened to me the other day.

Okay, it wasn’t the exact same. For starters, I’m not a bear. Also, I’m not confrontational by nature, so when a guy who — as far as I could tell — has never shown the slightest interest in writing a book before had suddenly decided that he was just going to easily write two without any training or education at all, well, I kept my mouth shut. But I certainly thought a lot of these things. Especially at the spelling section. Oh, the spelling section.

When I talk to people in the writing community, I don’t feel so stupid saying, “Hey, I’m a writer.” But when I talk to people outside of the writing community, like, almost anyone I work with, I feel dumb about it because, to those people, I know a writer really means someone who sells novels, not just the occasional short story or flash fiction. And I get it because, for a long time, that’s what it meant to me too, and I do want to get to novels someday, honest.

But I am professional writer. Fledgling, to be sure, but a writer all the same, and there is something more than a little irksome about hearing people say, “Oh, how hard could it be, writing a book? I could do that. Anybody could do that.” And I’m like, Well thanks, buddy, for shitting on all my lifelong aspirations. Nice to know how little work you think this is — how about I take apart YOUR career now and blithely inform you that anyone can easily do it?

The takeaway, I suppose, is just to ignore such people and have confidence in myself. Oh, self-confidence. Will you never not be my cursed enemy? (Double negatives are the best. Shakespeare used double negatives. I’m totally bringing them back.) I should wake up every morning, look at myself in the mirror, and say, “You are an articulate, intelligent, professional author.” You know, if I was the kind of person who believed in mantras, or who managed more than inarticulate vowel sounds for the first half hour after consciousness.

Maybe my mantra — like much of my writing — should be laced with gratuitous profanity. I can easily get behind profanity at ass o’clock in the morning. Something like, “You are a fucking awesome writer, yo,” or “I will be the best motherfucking speculative writer since Shakespeare and Macbeth, bitches!” (Don’t ask my Shakespeare kick today. I can’t explain these things.)

Anyone have any profanity-laced mantras of their own? I’d love to hear them.

8 thoughts on ““I Am At Home With the Me. I Am Rooted In The Me Who Is On This Adventure.”

  1. am I an unabled inabled (forget the spelling…is that a double negative positive?)60ish computer no-savy individual or what?…actually I hear the choruseseses (I never quite grasp that plural reality concept of numeration) echoing through the halls as we converse…anyway comma where is the rest of this treatise…I was really enjoying it since you now admit your profane fing and mother fing IS gratuitous and want to read more about your angst…love, Papa


  2. I like to say “This day is going to suck” in the morning, because then the worst that can happen is I am proved correct. I tried saying positive things in the morning, but I just got the urge to punch myself in the face because I am not a morning person.

    Also, I think you are an amazing writer. I would pay money for your stuff.

  3. Well to be fair, I think anyone CAN write a novel. in essence that’s just putting words on paper to try and tell some kind of story. However not everyone can actually write something worth reading. And people wanting to read and share what you wrote marks the difference ft me between “writer” and “schlub with a manuscript.”

    It’s kind of like programming, which I do semi-professionally. Anyone can take the statements that form commands for the computer and write them in a text file. But that doesn’t mean they are going to actually compile and run.

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