What’s talking got to do with Writing

 

Sitting on a Panel

Sitting on a Panel

People, especially avid readers, often want to know something about the lives of writers. Not only how or why we write books but all about our other life. The one we manage to find in the scant few hours a day we don’t either write or work our day job. Thankfully, my day job is over. Retirement has its perks, while growing old isn’t necessarily comfortable. So here’s something this writer recently learned after almost thirty years of putting words on the pages of books. Some things we’re expected to do away from the keyboard can actually be fun. Thankfully, most of us manage to ignore dusting and vacuuming.

Saturday I sat on a panel at the Fayetteville Public Library with three people, only one of whom was a writer like myself. We were expected to discuss how food culture affects a society, how it illustrates who we are. Of course, I approached the subject from my own experiences living in the Ozarks and interviewing and writing about others and their life styles. Food always came up, in one way or another. On the panel we were expected to talk and discuss and answer questions on this subject for an hour. I think I held my own. I was told I amused one of the panelists, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it.

A few weeks ago I recorded a podcast for Framing, a presentation of Oghma Creative Media. I answered multiple questions about my latest books, how and why I came to write them and who I am as a person and a writer. It was mind blowing to hear some of the words that came out of my mouth. Did I just say that? Thank goodness for editing.

Several years ago I was the subject of a documentary that was shown at the Ozark Film

Documentary

Documentary

Festival. For many hours I was interviewed, and followed around while I held my own interviews. We discussed so many experiences I couldn’t possibly remember them all now. As with the Internet, that documentary will remain forever available for viewing. That person on the screen no longer looks like she did then, and perhaps she might have said things she would never repeat today. But it was a wonderful, fabulous experience. Attending the Film Festival as their guest and watching myself on a huge screen was a humbling experience and taught me a lot about presenting myself in public.

Writers have to learn, sooner or later, that they cannot shut themselves away in a garret and create their precious books. Not in today’s society. We have to get out and amuse and

Fair in Holton, KS

Fair in Holton, KS

entertain and teach, and not only about writing but about the other things we know. Over the years of researching for our books, we must have learned a lot about many subjects. Now, we are expected to share our knowledge on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, You Tube and Google Plus, to mention only a few.

So I’ve been trying to think up another word to tell what it is we as writers do for a living, or try to make a living at, if that suits you better. A man who sells shoes is a shoe salesman, a person who sells property is a real estate agent, so I’m thinking we writers need a two or three word string of nouns that tells what we do. Explains our career, if you will. We create, write, speak, amuse, entertain, teach and interact socially. If we can’t do all these things, we cannot sell what we create and write down.

Perhaps we need an Acronym. I’m thinking CWSP for Creator, Writer, Speaker, Promoter, but that seems so blah. A truly good acronym spells something. If we substitute Author for writer, then we have a vowel to work with, which helps. PACS is a possibility, but that puts promoter before author. I don’t like that. CAPS comes the closest to something workable. Then we are Creator, Author, Promoter and Speaker. But to go around saying I’m a CAPS might make people look at us like we’d lost our marbles.

Oh, well. I know when I tell someone I’m a Writer, they probably get the drift of all the jobs that includes. We are truly Writers as well as Authors, for we write our books and we are the author of those books. The other stuff is icing on the cake. Enjoy, and the next time you meet a writer, shake their hand and nod sagely. That lets them know you understand what it is they really do.

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About veldabrotherton

I'm primarily a writer, but I also speak and teach workshops and co-chair a large critique group. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. After almost 30 years in this business, I still have something to learn and attend conferences to network with other writers, publishers, editors and agents.
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7 Responses to What’s talking got to do with Writing

  1. Sorchia D says:

    Now you’ve got me thinking of what acronym or phrase to use. Maybe WIP for Writer in Progress or, to be more specific, WOR for Writer of Romance (but that sounds like another word I might not want to be mistaken for.) Maybe Creative Writer would be enough or Writer Extraordinaire. Could we get away with Wile E. Coyote’s Super Genius? You’re right–none of them seem to say it all. Thanks for this post.

    • Some good ideas, Sorchia. At least it makes us think of precisely who and what we are. I played around with Writer Extraordinaire, which I like, but it needs something added to make a good acronym. Something to think about. Thanks for the comment.

  2. cjfosdick says:

    Ha! Good brain exercise! How about WORN- OUT? Writer Of Romance Novels -Or Under-appreciated Technophile? I’m thinking…. I’d also like to know if you have a Critique Partner, Velda? I bounce ideas off my totally- biased husband, get critiques from contests, recently paid for one at a WC silent auction that was good, but resist handing my babies over to friends and acquaintances who also have personal or genre bias or little literary expertise. I put my time and energy into writing all day, while dust …and guilt accumulate. Guilt over not blogging or tweeting or schmoozing or even getting up to exercise!

    CJ Fosdick

    • Hi CJ, No, I don’t have a critique partner. We have a large critique group that has been around for over 25 years and if I’m stumped or not sure I’m doing something the way I should, I read there. I usually leave it up to my editors at the publishing houses to steer me in the right direction if something is wrong.
      By the way, I liked your acronyms.

  3. A bit sad but true. Actually, I don’t have trouble doing the occasional panel or show or speaking. It’s the setting it up that is tremendously difficult for me.I’m just not good at opening the door and putting myself in the center of it.

  4. rgayer55 says:

    Nice post, Velda. I don’t think most people realize what they are getting into until their first book comes out. 🙂 It’s sure been a new experience for me, but I’m not too bashful so I think I can make the adjustment.

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