I’m not Arrogant, I Swear!

Sometimes in some of my classes, a personal question is asked of us where my writing life is relevant. For example, in my Creative Writing class today we were talking about motivation. My teacher was explaining to us how a character’s motivation is what makes a book exciting, and what makes the reader want to read a book. He then proceeded to go around the room and ask us where we see ourselves in one year.

When it came to be my turn to speak, I said I wanted to be on a small book tour for my third book. It was an answer I sort of came up with on the spot. I’d like to have my fourth book published by one year from now. However, he then asked us what our motivation was for wanting it. What was our reason behind wanting our one year goal. I told him I essentially wanted public recognition as an author, and to know that my hard work was paying off.

After that, he asked the class which of our stories they would want to read about, and one student said mine. This made me feel pretty good; knowing that someone is interested in my life as a writer. However, I couldn’t help but think that some people thought I was bragging. I didn’t receive any strange looks, or hear any whispers, but even my teacher said that an undergraduate going on a book tour is a pretty uncommon thing.

I’m very much not trying to brag when I do bring up that I have written two books, am working on my third, and don’t plan on stopping. I’m merely stating true fact. But, I just can’t help but feel like people are judging me for what I do. A lot of writers that I know are older than I am. This leads me to believe that being both young and a writer are very uncommon things.

I’m operating under the assumption that I’m just being ridiculous. I can only assume that people aren’t judging me when I bring up my life as a writer. I mean, whenever I bring it up to an individual person I’m having a conversation with they always seem to be quite thrilled or impressed. However, something seems to change when I bring it up in a classroom. Something in me forces me to think that just because I’m a writer and I openly bring it up that I’m subject to ridicule and assuming glances.

Has anyone else ever been in a similar situation? Do you often feel as though people are judging you solely on the fact that you’re the only writer in the room?

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10 thoughts on “I’m not Arrogant, I Swear!

  1. Oh, yes, happens all the time….I think other young people just don’t like having successful people their age around! Maybe they’re just jealous. It’s not bragging if someone asked you to talk about it! 🙂

    • A valid point! Many times people ask me what I want to do with my life. So, I inform them I want to be a novelist, and then tell I’m I’ve published two books and am working on my third. They’re generally pretty amazed by it, haha.

  2. Oh wow, you sucked the words out of my mouth. I deal with this almost every day. Although I’ve never been published (still crossing my fingers on those other emailed agents and the magazine), I still feel very proud of myself for the accomplishments I’ve made in my writing. The last novel–the third novel I’ve ever fully completed–was roughly 217k words long at the beginning. It’s a long deal, yeah, but it was a rough draft, and I’d been through a lot while writing it. The issue with the “writer’s insecurity” came up a lot at work. I was getting up at 5am so I could work on my book until 1pm when I had to go to work. Everyone at the job always ridiculed me for “never working” and often jabbed this stick at me when I’d note out loud that I was tired. Although it looks like I’m just sitting here at a computer, I’m working harder than I ever have. I too feel like I’m bragging sometimes when I say in my classes that I’ve finished books and that I’m a pennyless freelance writer, but I try to back myself up by stating that I should be very proud of who I am. You should be too! And don’t worry about the age thing. Although Stephen King didn’t publish his first novel until he was (27?–Carrie), he finished his first book at 18 (The Long Walk, one of his best in my opinion). Besides, I believe our youth adds freedom to the write. So many adults out there write with their strict guidelines. I don’t think I’ll ever grow up.

    • I would like to congratulate you on your writing dedication! 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. is an impressive chunk of time to write. You certainly don’t deserve to be ridiculed for it.

      The way I see it, I’m glad I started writing young. That gives me the opportunity to write so many more books than those who started later in life.

      • That isn’t even the start of it. That was just the editing process (you know..chopping out more than half of that 217k). When I was writing it for the first time, I was up at 5 to get an hour in before work, and then working on it from 4p-7p (or so) and then from 9pm-1am. I’ve been thinking about self-publishing myself, but jeez I’ve never been too sure about setting up the public dates. Even if I ever published a book through an agent, I think I’d still be queasy over a tour. I like my bed.

  3. It’s not so bad setting up the dates yourself. Just send a local library or bookstore an email. They’re usually pretty good about getting authors in. Then, just make an event on Facebook, (assuming you use it), and keep promoting it.

    I’m working on setting up a book-launch party myself for when my third book comes out. Self-publishing is a ton of work, and I’m sure I’d probably enjoy having an agent better. But, I’m getting my name out early at least.

  4. That would be pretty cool. I had thought about a book launch party too. Unfortunately the location I wanted to use flooded last fall and did not reopen. Then there is the concern of not having a book published yet. That would go a long way in helping a book launch party :). I think people are surprised by your youth. Like a prodigy in music, it is unusual. But you cannot deny talent where it is found. Plus you have years of writing ahead and added experiences to continue to shape and change your voice. That is the one regret I have, I separated from writing for about a fifteen years or so. There’s no reclaiming that lost time. I commend you for setting your sights high and having the drive and ambition to go for the brass ring, rather than settling back and waiting for things to come your way.

    • Thank you! I’ve been trying really hard to get my name out there and try to get some reviews. However, I really want my third novel to come out. I KNOW it’s much better than my first two, so I want that to be the book I really push out to the people.

  5. Well, its not like you bringing it up for no reason, you were asked the question and so you answered.
    I’d say your teacher/colleagues are probably jealous.

    Am I the only one who sees the irony in a teacher teaching an established author creative writing? Lol. 😉

    • That is quite ironic, haha. However, I (think) I need it to fulfill my English minor. Plus, I figure it can’t hurt to take some extra writing classes. They usually show a way of thinking that I hadn’t seen before.

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