I write in secret. Shhh.
I can count the people who know I’m a writer on one hand and still have a few fingers left over.
The only reason he knows is because it’s kinda hard to hide the fact that you signed up for a challenge to write fifty thousand words in thirty days. The dishes and laundry were piling up, I guess.
Why all the secrecy?
I guess it boils down to fear. I’m afraid of being made fun or ridiculed. I think, my family and friends won’t understand my love of writing just like they didn’t understand my love for books growing up.
I’m also afraid of saying that I’m a writer, and that it won’t ever amount to anything after all. I should only announce I’m a writer out loud if I’m already published and successful, right? Kinda like counting my chicks before they hatch, I guess.
The weird thing is that I’m not afraid to be my writer self on the web. For some reason, it feels safer to be a writer online. In fact, I wish I had declared myself a writer here sooner because I have found all kinds of friendly support and resources to help me reach my writing goals.
Not telling anyone that I’m a writer is a little like having two lives. I write my stories. I blog, tweet, and post on my Facebook page about writing (I hope my family and friends never discover that!). Then I log off and take care of my daughter, eat rice and tortillas, and ask my mom in Spanish how she’s doing.
Part of me wishes I could tell them. But I don’t think I ever will.
Well, maybe I’ll mention it someday if one of my novels becomes a NYT bestseller or something. Or maybe one of my siblings will come across my books one day and call me demanding I tell them why I never let them know that I was writing books in between raising a child and finishing college.
The one thing I don’t like about my friends and family not knowing that I’m a writer is that I might be missing out on the emotional support other writers get. That might change my mind about telling my loved ones in the future.
But I think there are also some advantages to my friends and family not knowing that I write novels in my spare time.
1. They don’t nag me about why my book isn’t a NYT bestseller/movie yet.
2. They don’t tell me writing is a waste of time because I’m not making money off of it.
3. It’s kind of fun to keep my writing a secret. One day, I wonder if they really will come up to me, with one of my books in their hands, and ask me why the heck I didn’t tell them before.
Should I spill the beans? How many of you keep your writing a secret? Or do your friends and family know you’re a writer? How did they react? Do you regret telling them?