Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Reactions to My Career Choice
Three months ago when I started working as a non-paid unpublished stay-at-home writer, I was worried about what people would think of me.
The responses have been surprisingly positive. For the most part, people I meet are encouraging and supportive. They think what I'm doing is cool.
Most people I speak to (and I've noticed this throughout my life) are interested in writing books of their own someday. I believe the urge to record thoughts - thereby immortalizing ourselves - is a primal instinct ingrained in all of us. It could be journaling, fiction, poetry, or it could even be arts and crafts. It doesn't matter. We all want to leave a piece of ourselves behind, and we admire others who do.
Apparently, writing books isn't an unusual career choice for stay-at-home moms. It's unusual for a stay-at-home person like me, but I still feel like I'm in good company.
Not all the responses have been positive, though I can't complain. I've only had one upsetting reaction, one weird one, and two people who said "Oh," and changed the subject.
The weird reaction was this: when someone asked what I did, I said, "I'm an aspiring author." He said, "That's cool. So, do you actually aspire, or do you just..." He shrugged.
I'm pretty sure he meant to end that sentence with, "Or do you just dream about being a writer and not actually do anything about it?" When I told him I try to write at least two hours a day (I wouldn't be able to justify staying at home if I did any less), he nodded and asked what my book was about.
Like I said, there was only one reaction I didn't appreciate. Normally I wouldn't have minded, but this particular person should have known better. He asked me, "If you and Andrew can't have kids right away, are you going to get a job?"
(I've already mentioned that I don't want people to think I spend my days just waiting to reproduce, so that was a little irritating.)
"I already have a job," I told him. "I'm working on my book."
"Oh." He looked confused. "When you're don't with your book, then what will you do?"
"I'll write another one."
He looked even more confused, so I explained, "I have a lot of ideas. This is what I plan to do for the rest of my life."
Perhaps my irritation was evident because he found a reason to end the conversation and go somewhere else. I need to learn how to hide my emotions better.
Oh well, who cares? I'm getting all the support I need, and that makes me happy.