Thursday, February 13, 2014

WHAT'S YO JOB

Hmm? What is it?
The other day someone asked me whether I had a job. And so of course I was like:

"Ummmm. . ."

And then I was like:

"Wellll. . . "

And then I was like:

"No. I'm a student. Bye."

I know, WHAT, STEFAN, WHAT IS THIS, have some personal pride, but nope.

I don't know things about other things, go away.
This is what one should say:

"I DO have a job. I write books. Yeah, ig-sakly like Harry Potter. And The Hunger Games. My books have magic in them, too. And children. You should buy them. Like, now."

*pushes person out of door/window/elevator toward nearest independent bookstore.*

The problem is I don't look very wise and tormented and author-ly yet, and so when I actually tell people I've written books, one of these things will probably happen.

Option A)

"Oh, you write books? D'you want to get them published?"

Option B)

"Ohhhh, you write books? You were probably homeschooled. Home-schoolers don't have anything else to do."

(I kid you not. This is almost a direct quote. I was having coffee with some friends at a bookstore, and a woman overheard our conversation and said that.)

I be like:

Translation: "You are clearly narrow-minded about these things, and narrow-minded people should not speak."

At which point they're like:

*kids these days*

At which point I have calmed myself and am like:


Option C)

(This one only happens in Switzerland, because there's been an inordinate amount of media stuff over here, and TV crews all up in MAH HOUSE, and people will come up to me on trains and in school and that's a whole 'nother blog post.)

"Ohhhh, you're that kid!" . . . *awkward pause* *awkward pause prolongs itself* *awkward smile and questioning look as if they're waiting for me to do something interesting, because people who have been on TV are not real people actually*

Option D)

"Ohhh, you wrote a book? And it's fantasy? I like fantasy. Let's be friends."

And honestly, these are about 64% of the reactions, and these are the cool people who I like very much, and with whom one can quickly move on to more interesting subjects like cake and the ending of Downton Abbey Season 3. (Because seriously, what was that ending.)

. . .

Anyway, that was a slightly pointless post. Whatever. School is starting again in four days. Also, the German translation of The Peculiar is coming it in two weeks, so I'm going to be posting some stuff related to that. Like it's loverly cover. And maybe a vlog. And some links. And a ton of German-language appearances that are happening sooooon.

Hope you guys are having a great February! Bye. :)

16 comments:

  1. Honestly I have the same problem and I don't write for a job! It's always awkward for me to bring up writing (even though I've written for years and years and years, and my whole family -- all 70 of them -- call me the 'writer' in the family)… I wonder what it is that we're naturally awkward about it. Hmm.

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    1. I know, theoretically we should OWN IT, but for some reason that's much easier said than done. Maybe because the writing process is such a secret, non-perform-y thing a lot of the time. I have no answers...

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  2. I don't bring up writing easily either... once John Green said something about writing being a strange mixture of crushing self-doubt and incessant narcissism. Which I find rather accurate. :P

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    1. Haha! That's painfully accurate. You kind of want people to be like "Yayyyy, you're a writer," but at the same time not really.

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  3. The best post ever. Love it so much! All about how you are now famous and yet not famous enough. Ha!
    And yes, the finale to DA 3 was...shocking. Just as any good soap opera should be.

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    1. Haha! Not famous.

      Also, DA 3 finale was weirrrrrd. Not so much shocking to me as just plain "wait, wuh, dead?"

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  4. You forgot option E where the person believes you but then gets all snotty and defensive. This is the funniest one to witness. "Oh, you wrote a book? Pshhhh. People write books all the time. My pet orangutan writes books."

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    1. Haha! Oh, this one... I've gotten it. I don't get why people feel threatened, though, by things that are not even necessarily relevant to their lives. People be weird.

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  5. I have the same problem. Every time someone asks me what I do for a living, my brain says, "Tell them you're an author first," while my mouth talks about how I acquire and edit novels for blah blah blah.

    My mother, luckily, has solved this problem. She tells people I'm a PROFESSIONAL writer and editor, and it seems to help them get their frame of reference right. You should try it and see how it goes. :-)

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    1. I think what I *really* need to do is grow a beard and look very serious and conflicted into my cups of coffee.

      Or else the above suggestion, ja. :)

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  6. I've been going through this lately! Last night I told someone I'm an author (published even!) and they asked, "Oh, anything good?"

    No, I write shit, thanks for asking. YES IT'S GOOD!

    I've gotten to the point where I refuse to say, "I'm a stay-at-home-mom" when I am a professional writer. Own it. Love it. It makes a huge difference. Not all the time. Sometimes you get idiots who assume you're self-publishing schlock on Amazon or writing emo poetry. Or that writing is a hobby. *growls*

    My favorite is, "oh, but you don't have a real job".

    I cannot respond to this without spewing fire from my face.

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    1. Ugh, yes... I feel like we would have infinitely fewer problems if people could put themselves into other people's shoes and not be mean. No one asks a bank teller, "But are you a GOOD bank teller? Like, with a GOOD bank, and not one of those rip-off ones?"

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  7. My philosophy is that most awkward things aren't actually awkward unless you make them, or let them, be awkward. The more you tell people the basic, unvarnished truth and aren't weird about it, the less often you'll get a weird response.

    (The problem with this advice is that so many of us are kind of fundamentally awkward or weird - I think you have to be, to some extent, to write a good story. But at least when you do get a weird response, you have a great story to tell.)

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    1. This is super true, but at the same time we do need to bounce off other people when in conversation, and if their response is weird/negative/defensive it makes it hard. I'd definitely say that in 75% of the situations it's us making things awkward for ourselves, though, yeah. :)

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  8. Why are people awkward about it. Because, despite all that authors have done for society and civilization people tend to look down on you if you actually claim to be one. My dad once told me he would rather I dig holes for a living than become an author. People tend to think being an author isn't REAL work. Those people have never tried to write a book. I have tried. It is difficult. I'm still trying. In the meantime, Stefan, I read both of your books and I loved them. Few people can write about the faery and give it the imagination and meaning you gave in these 2 books, which are marketed for children. I'm glad they are marketed for children. I hope they will inspire them the way they did me. And to all you other writers out there I say, "Keep writing, please." You bring something special to our world that no one else can give.

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    1. Your dad said that?? That's terrible, and I'm super glad you ignored him. Also, thank you so much! This was the nicest comment ever. I'm so glad you liked the books, and I hope the writing goes well! :)

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