Don’t you hate when people ask about your writing, but not really? A week ago, I go to this gathering with friends, enemies, and everyone in between. All night, I repeat the same annoying conversation with people who have short-term memory. Let me go back and set up the scenes for y’all. The accounts are real, but names have been omitted to protect the innocent…and the asinine.
Scene I: The Hater
“Hey, Jaime! I haven’t seen you in a while. What have you been up to?” girl friend asks—way too chipper for this party.
“Writing,” I answer.
“Oh, you’re still doing that.” She looks shocked and slightly annoyed, as if writing was something I should’ve outgrown by now. “That’s so great. I admire your tenacity.”
“Thanks.” I look for someone else to talk to.
“So what are you writing these days?”
“Teen paranormal fiction.”
“Oh. Okay. So is that like Twilight?” she asks.
“It’s the same genre, yeah.”
“Oh that’s great! You know I always wanted to write, but I haven’t had the time.” She gets a far-off look in her eyes. “I have this story idea I’ve been working on for years, but I can’t seem to get it down. You’re so lucky to be able to write all those stories. I wouldn’t know where to start.”
“One word at a time,” I quip.
“Yeah, but I can never finish.” She gives the sad face. “One day, I’ll sit down and type it out, but right now, I’ve got work and two kids to deal with.”
“A lot of writers work full-time and have kids. They write in their free time.”
She brushes away the issue with her hand. “I don’t have that luxury. But it’s good that you don’t have a husband and kids or anyone special in your life. You can do all your writing and not have to worry about people around you.”
I contemplate throwing my drink in her face, but chug it down instead.
Scene II: The Merger
“How are you, Jaime? You still doing that writing thing?” Guy friend asks.
“Yeah,” I reply.
“When are you gonna get published?”
“First book comes out in January.” I smile, mainly because I’m buzzed.
“Oh that’s great! I’m so happy. What’s your book about again?”
“Girl finds out her cute co-worker is a chick-magnet, the deadly kind. It’s a teen book that satirizes teen books, but still has its own story.”
“Oh! Right. Well, that’s good! You know, I dabble in some writing myself--poems and short stories and all that. What would I have to do to get published?”
“Research.” I’m still smiling.
“Okay, well maybe you and I can collaborate on a few things. You know, write a bestseller together?”
My smile drops. “Tempting, but my plate’s full with books two and three. Sorry.”
Scene III: The Networker
“Hey, Jaime I heard you’re getting published. Congrats!” another guy friend gives me a hug.
“Thanks!” I say.
“You know I’ve always wanted to write, but I always get distracted by stuff. It must be so lonely for you, girl. How do you do it? How do you keep from dropping an idea?”
“My OCD won’t let me,” I reply with a straight face.
He looks confused. “Right. So is your agent hot?”
“Nothing. I just got this cool book idea and I was wondering if she might be interested, you know.”
“Is it finished?” I ask, wondering what that has to do with my agent’s looks.
“Well…sorta, I got some stuff written down in my notebook, but I gotta flush out my characters.”
I sigh. “You do realize you have to submit a letter and maybe some sample chapters—typed up, right?”
“Yeah, but I figured you could hook me up with your agent so I wouldn’t have to do all that. So you got her number or what?”
I take another drink. By this time, I’m tore up and ready to leave. And these are just the highlights—imagine repeating these same three convos SEVEN times during a party. I don’t know if any of you guys have experienced this, and if you have, rest easy in knowing that you’re not alone.