Today, I was telling my dad how lately life had been stressing me out…enough that I talked it over with my doctor and got prescribed a “happy pill”. (Okay, those of you who thought I was slipping into dementia, blahhh!!!) Anyway, I also warned him that I was on deadline for a writing contest next week and would be available only for emergencies…please. His response was that maybe I should give up the stuff that came with deadlines. After I freaked out a little, I tried to explain to him that as a selling author, I would have to get used to deadlines, and probably very short ones at times.
On the way home, I got to thinking…those closest to us usually just don’t get it. They don’t understand that writing is more than putting the story to paper, mailing it out, and getting a check. To them, it can be done in your spare time…in between the “important” stuff like day job, housekeeping, washing the car. I know my family didn’t understand why I had to do sooo much more travelling to promote my eBooks than I did with my Silhouette Desire. The difference between a well-known name publisher and a new publisher (not counting a new medium!), totally escaped them.
Other missed understandings–I actually had an acquaintance (not a friend, thank God!) who felt sure that if I wrote her life story, it would be a best seller. She survived an abusive marriage by killing her husband in self defense to protect her unborn child while the old man was beating on her… again. When I explained that while her story of survival was inspiring, I wrote romance, about love. Her response? “But I still loved him when I pulled the trigger.” Somehow, she couldn’t understand that because her relationship story didn’t have a happy ever after, it wasn’t a romance.
Then there is this gal at work who tells one and all that “Jackie writes smutty books!”, giggling all the while. Time and time again I explain that I write sensual romance, not smut. Of course in my defense, it didn’t help when one of our female doctors announced to one and all that after she finished reading my Desire, she woke her husband up at three in the morning for some action. Flattering, but not conducive to convincing people I’m a serious writer who creates stories about healthy, loving relationships.
But I think the most frustrating misunderstanding is from my friends who have read all my Star Trek/Science Fiction stories, but don’t read my romances. Oh, they’re proud of me for selling, but they’re waiting for me to write a “real” book. The kind that is eligible for a Hugo nomination! Though my sister did read, love, and re-read WARRIOR’S HEART, but I have to wonder…is it because the hardcover made it a real book? 🙂