When I wrote the first chapter of my first novel, I'm not quite sure I intended to finish the book. Writing was an experiment. A means to play. So I wrote for the joy of words and stories. I was virginal, really.
I ended up experiencing enough publishing success (by the world's standards) that my friends and those who thought they knew me, started looking at me differently, started referring to me as the author, like I'd somehow metamorphosed into a new creature. Something rare and weird. (This could be true.)
I cannot tell a lie. It was fun, at first. My life opened up. I met people I never would have met and was asked to do things I was unqualified to do, but I did them anyway. I also traveled more.
I liked the attention.
Once I understood how skewed people's views of me had become, I wished I'd written under a pseudonym. Brenda Paris or Elizabeth Moon were top contenders.
But I didn't. And now that my notoriety is waning, I'm relieved to be incognito while using my very own name.
- Amateur writing groups don't ask me to judge writing contests.
- I'm just me, no descriptor necessary.
- People don't assume I'm rich.
- I'm not asked if Jodi Picoult and I are BFFs.
- Fewer people suggest that I write their biographies.
- I'm not in a position to introduce anyone to an agent or an editor.
- Hands don't fly to mouths when their verbs and nouns don't agree.
- I have the time to use my accumulated set of writing skills to serve my church.
- I'm not asked if readers can download my books on RapidShare for free. (Scream!)
- I write daily for the love of words and story. (Yay!)
I'm also learning that I'm enough. We're so used to being paid in some way--admiration, affirmation, cash--for what we do. What I'm content to say is that...