Friday, November 20, 2009
Get it? By Erica Vetsch
There’s one thing I think all writers will agree about: nobody really understands a writer’s life like a writer. Family has a peek into part of the word, and friends try to get it, but until you actually are a writer, the challenges and subtleties can blow right by you.
In the five years that I’ve been writing for publication, I’ve learned the value of laughing at myself, at the incongruities of this writer life, and of learning to shrug off those funny things that people say when they find out I’m a writer. I just chalk it up to “They don’t get it.”
I thought I’d revisit some of those goofy things, and I’d love to hear some of yours as well.
Here are some from church: (Understand, I love my church. I love these people. They just say some funny things from time to time. Their comments aren’t intended to hurt, and neither are mine here.)
1. A woman at my church plopped herself down next to me at a dinner and asked, point blank, “So, do you make money at this? How much do you get paid? Do you get 50% of the price of the book? How does it work, I’m curious.” I was gob-smacked. I went into ZERO detail as I explained that all that was negotiable with the publisher, that’s what you have an agent for, etc. I behaved myself and didn’t in return ask her how much money she made.
2. When is your book coming out? This one isn’t usually funny, except for over a year, a dear little lady at my church asked me every week. It got to be a little funny over time, but the woman is so sweet, and so excited to read the book, it was easy to let this one go.
3. I got an email from my pastor that caught me on the hop one day. About the time my book started shipping from the distributor, he sent an email about how as an unpublished author you labor away in anonymity, then when you get a book published, you move up to obscurity. Hmm. Okay. I’m feeling pumped and loaded with confidence now! He also sends me lots of comic strips that talk about writing. Funny stuff. And he’s a great guy.
Then there are the comments from family.
1. I wasn’t going to buy one of your books. I figured you’d just send me one. (A crit buddy gave me the perfect response to this: Put your hand over your heart, drop your jaw a little in shock, blink several times, then say “Why, if I can’t count on my own family to support me by buying the book, I guess I’ll never make it as an author.” Then squeeze out a sympathy-inducing tear if you can.
2. So, these little books you’re writing are just stepping stones to writing real books, right? OUCH.
3. So, is this, um, lucrative? (Have you noticed how money keeps coming up as a topic?)
This is from random people I’ve met.
1. A waitress at a coffee shop asked what I was working on. When I told her I was writing a novel, she got all round-eyed and whispered, “So, are you a millionaire?” I think I actually laughed out loud. “Suffice it to say, Stephen King makes more money than I do.”
2. I had another author bemoan to me once, “Why didn’t I settle for writing for Heartsong? Those are easy. My trade-length deadline is killing me.” Um, yeah, nice.
3. You write novels? I’ve always wanted to write. So, should I write a story first, or should I talk to a publisher first? (0_0 smack head X_X)
So, what funny things have people said to you when they hear you are a writer?
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Duluth, Minnesota in 1905 boasts more millionaires than any other U.S. city. Tycoon Abraham Kennebrae intends to marry his grandsons off to three of the wealthiest heiresses in town and allow Kennebrae Shipping to gain control of Duluth Harbor.
Tempests rage, in the board room, the ball room, and on treacherous Lake Superior. Will hearts and helms survive? Will God prove Himself sovereign over wind, waves, and weddings?
Jonathan Kennebrae, oldest of the three Kennebrae brothers, finds himself backed into a corner. Marry heiress Melissa Brooke or lose his own considerable inheritance. Can he find a legitimate reason to avoid the wedding and still keep his fortune? But as the wedding day approaches, does he want to escape?
Melissa Brooke, only heir to her father’s empire, is bartered by her parents into a marriage contract to a man she’s never met. Can she trust him with her deepest secret? Can she trust him with her heart?
Links to Order The Book: The Bartered Bride
call (740) 922-7280 to order directly from the publisher.
ERICA VETSCH is married to Peter and keeps the company books for the family lumber business. A home-school mom to Heather and James, Erica loves history, romance, and storytelling. Her ideal vacation is taking her family to out-of-the-way history museums and chatting to curators about local history. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Calvary Bible College in Secondary Education: Social Studies. You can find her on the web at On the Write Path