What Are You Doing?
A Blog for Kelly

If given the choice between publicly declaring that I’m a writer, or running naked down a busy interstate, you can be sure that I would come back with a sunburn on my bum. Acknowledging that I’m a writer, that I’m actively trying to take up your finite hours with these stories, is tough for me.

For better or worse, I’m currently studying in program that focuses on personal development, with the idea being that if you can understand yourself better, it will be much easier to manage the staff working beneath you.

Fine. No problem there.

The trouble comes in when you spend 18+ hours/day with your fellow students. Writing is a big piece of my life, and it would undermine the process not to acknowledge that piece.

And of course, it doesn’t help that I sit down right after dinner in the group dining room, flip open the lap top and “go to work” every evening. Eventually these highly intelligent people are going to put one and two together and pop the big question.

So, yes, for anyone reading that isn’t familiar with my work, I write fantasy stories and setting material for a couple different role-playing games.

Why this is such a big hurdle me, I’m not sure. In fact, as any of my old friends can attest, it is more of a wall than a hurdle. A sheet wall with loops of razor wire and glass shards sprinkled on the top.

Get over it, already, Harley, you obnoxious, whiny, brat. You get paid to write escapist fiction and love every minute of it. Be done with this piece and move on.

There, see? Was that so hard? Personal development happening right before your eyes.

Whence the Elven Bard?
It looks like ECs blog is down again. As a dedicated reader but occasional poster, I'm going to leave the link up for a bit, just in case.


At 12:10 AM, Blogger Marcy said...

Yes, I'd also noticed her blog was down; hope all is well with her.

As for telling people I'm a writer, or that I've sold quite a few stories and poems -- I just generally don't do it. Why? The people who would understand already know about it, and it just isn't worth explaining to the people who wouldn't understand. Until I've got my name on the spines of several novels on the bestseller list, they won't take me seriously anyway, so why not save us all the frustration? It's like trying to explain to a career woman (been there, done that, BTW) how my work as a SAHM is more demanding than her 60-hour a week job will ever be...a complete and utter failure to communicate. Which is the surest way to drive a writer insane, heh.

At 1:26 AM, Blogger SnakeOil Sage said...

I intend to run naked down the interstate loudly proclaiming I'm a writer. Ha ha.

But I won't do it until I have something major to wave with. Like my campaign setting.

It makes it seem more credible, less "hobby" when you do. How many "don't quit your day-job" smiles can you bear when you claim to be a writer? How many times to they respond with an "Oh, really?" response that is at once curious and patronizing. God it drives me up the wall.

S'why I'm gonna savor having a hardcover of my own. The next person to give me an "interested-for-reasons-of-pity" tone is going to get a face full of published wrath.

Speaking of which, how's the editing going, Harley? I can wait until you're done your course, if need be.

At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Edits should be coming soon --- sorry it is taking so long.


At 11:03 AM, Blogger SnakeOil Sage said...

No no, I know these things take time. Chrissy McCoy is around pages 50-60 right now, and she has double that in notes about what I've done wrong. Should make for an interesting second draft.

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Kameron said...

According to her thread on Candlekeep, EC is taking another break from the Internet. I'm leaving her link up in hopes she returns soon as well.

At 3:28 PM, Anonymous laurie said...

I hope EC will be back soon too.

I tend not to advertise I'm a writer either, but if it comes up, I usually mention it and just endure the questions or attempts to commiserate. As long as they don't talk about how they almost had a book deal except for some factor X I generally can put up with it. I admit, it's actually pretty nice when the person thinks what I do is a real accomplishment.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger ec said...

My blog is back up.

I don't particularly like telling people I'm a writer, either. I think it's more about context than anything else. At a sf con, I'll be introduced as a writer, and that's fine. At a house concert of Irish folk music, I'll be introduced as one of Jimmy's fiddle students. In Little League baseball bleachers throughout the state, I was known as Sean Cunningham's mom (he was a damn good ballplayer) and constantly asked what I fed him. (He's now over 6'4") To me, it'd feel as odd to talk about writing fantasy novels at a gathering of folkies as it would be talk about fiddling at GenCon. If I started teaching history and music again, I wouldn't be inclined to introduce myself to students, parents, and teachers as a fantasy writer. To everything there is a season yadda yadda.

At 9:33 PM, Blogger SnakeOil Sage said...

Yes, but when someone asks you what you do for a living, you don't reply with "I feed him high-protien meats."

At 12:48 PM, Blogger ec said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:55 PM, Blogger ec said...

Turning your question around, when people comment on Sean's height, I don't respond, "It's because I'm a writer."

When asked what I do for a living, of course I respond appropriately. I just don't find it necessary to announce my profession at all times, and in every situation.

And frankly, that's usually not the first or second question that comes up in casual social conversation, unless people actively try to work it in. When a group of parents are watching their kids play baseball, they're more likely to talk about their kids (or baseball in general) than themselves. If I brought a laptop or a chunk of manuscript to a game, then I would expect to field a few questions. But when I go to my kid's game, I'm there to watch the game, so why would that topic come up?

On the other hand, "What you do FEED that kid?" is frequently directed at parents of tall kids. It might be inane, but it's the sort of joking comment people frequently make--it's something to say when they don't particularly have anything to say. It's closely akin to, "How's the weather up there?" and "Bet you play basketball."

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Kameron said...

Hey, Harley, you need to tell Mr. Goodman to print another run of your module. I went to my local hobby shop on Saturday and when the owner tried to special order it from his supplier online, inventory showed they were all out except for a few copies left in their East Coast warehouse.

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...


*laugh* Thanks for looking for it.

I'll see if I can't get my hands on some copies for you. I also need to send a copy to Chris and Chrissy, just as soon as I'm back home in CO.


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