Friday, April 18, 2014

Coming Out (I'm a novelist)

I came out on Facebook the other day. Most of my friends, and even some of my family, didn’t know.

I came out to one of my teenage daughter’s friends last night. I’m not shy, but telling people is uncomfortable...somewhat embarrassing. Revealing yourself and letting people have a glimpse into your soul is hard.

We were talking about John Green’s books and Divergent and...I just want people to know...especially people who care about books. Besides, my novel The Globe just became an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist. Getting people to leave feedback on my entry is a part of the competition.

Yes, family and friends, it’s time you knew it—I’m a novelist. It didn’t just happen overnight. I’ve been a writer since I can first remember, handwriting stories in spiral notebooks, typing them on mechanical typewriters that were boat-anchor heavy, moving on to the electric typewriters, and finally writing my first novels on a computer.

“Wow, you’ve written a novel,” some have said. They are impressed. But I don’t see what I’ve done as much of an accomplishment. I write fiction because I like to do it. Also, anyone with a computer can write a novel with a little time. The hardest part is turning off the TV. The real achievement is writing novels that people like. The real achievement is writing novels that will sell.

But what if I never find that ‘real achievement’? Like I said, I like to write. I like to dream, to put my thoughts into words, and I even love the labor of editing. I still win.