Thursday, November 22, 2007

For all the lonely writers

Writing can be a lonely game, especially for genre writers. And I say this as someone who, to a certain extent, is constantly surrounded by writers, at least newspaper writers.

When you tell someone you are a writer, you usually get one of two reactions: a blank, dumbfounded stare that seems to say "what a waste of your time" or you get the ch-ching of money in someone's eyes as they try to think of a way to ask you to write their idea into a novel and then split the money with them. Neither reaction is very endearing. For the first reaction, I usually just ignore the person from that point on because they have no interest and I've suddenly lost interest in them because obviously they believe anything that doesn't bring an immediate return in dollar bills is garbage. For the second reaction, I usually try to pull myself away as quickly as possible, even if I have to chew off a limb to do so.

But every once in a while you get a third reaction, someone who is truly interested.

But even here, for a genre writer, the reactions are a bit different for each person, usually based upon what kind of genre or sub-genre they themselves like. If I had to place myself in a genre, I guess I'm a dark fantasy writer because I like to write fantasy and horror and I sometimes like to mix the two, but every once in a while I'll write a sci-fi or mainstream piece. But try explaining that to someone, even someone who shares some of your own interests. If I tell a genre-loving individual, who also happens to not like darker material, that I'm a horror or dark fantasy writer, I'll often get a squeamish look. If I tell someone I'm a fantasy writer, I usually hear back something like "you mean fairies and stuff?" No, I mean Conan and stuff. "Same thing." Hardly.

So, it can be lonely being a genre writer. The Internet helps quite a bit. Most of the folks I talk writing with are people I've met online or who I've known personally at one point in my life and we keep in touch online.

But with writing, specifically speculative writing, being one of my few interests nowadays, some days it's a bit difficult to make it through the day without snapping at someone else. I don't care for politics -- too abbrassive, and there's no one to root for. I've lost nearly all interest in sports -- it's just a money game now, with maybe the exception of some minor league sports. So, writing is my life. It's what I live for.

Am I going insane?

1 comment:

Howard von Darkmoor said...

Nope, no insanity - yet. And now that I've given you a taste of aloneness - I'm baaaackkk! ;)