“You wrote a book? Why do you still work here? Shouldn’t you be famous?”
Someone asked me this when a co-worker asked me where they could buy my book. Of course I was forced to laugh it off and tell them I’m not a best-seller… yet.
This misconception can sometimes be quite irritating. As writers, we work and work and write and sweat and bleed to create powerful, well-written stories in hopes that people will enjoy it and praise it. The last thing writers need is someone rubbing it in our faces that we aren’t living off our writing.
Now, I’m sure they don’t mean it in that manner; they just don’t quite understand the fact that just because you write a book doesn’t make you famous. They don’t realize that when they ask, “You wrote a book? Why do you still work here?” that it translates to: “You slaved for days, weeks, months, or possibly even years to try and form a cohesive story written with proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling to be pushed out to millions of viewers who can tear it apart in a matter of seconds, and you still work here? Why aren’t you famous?”
I mean, sometimes it’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t write, or isn’t around writers, just all that is behind it. Sure, they understand that writing a book is difficult. But, having not written one themselves, they just kind of generically categorize writing a book as, “hard.”
I think that may be the case because the general population doesn’t hear about a lot of the indie authors, or the small-name authors still working their way up. They mainly focus on writers like J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, and every other author who has also scored a movie deal and lives the glamorous life of a best-selling author, because that’s all they really know.
Side note: I am in no way saying that writers are better than those who don’t write. Please don’t mistake my noticing (assuming?) the lack of understanding by those who don’t write as arrogance.
Has this ever happened to you? Do you think it is possible to, in a way, educate those who don’t realize the blood, sweat, and tears that go into writing a book?