This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Before anyone gets confused and thinks that there have been some new and unusual developments in my life since getting married to my husband last year, I actually wanted to tell you that over the past few months, it's felt I’ve come out… as a writer. I’ve been writing this column for over a year now, and I’ve been writing books for close to three, but I’ve only recently started to tell those around me and to let people read my work.
For the last few years I’ve kept my writing private. Not because I’ve been ashamed of it, but I wanted to keep it out of my day to day work and social life. I didn’t want my work colleagues sniggering behind my back as they looked at my website and I didn’t want friends and family thinking I was a complete fantasist wanting to become a writer.
But when I published my eBook it gave people an opportunity to really see what I’d done. And I actually posted the link on my Facebook profile, which I very rarely wrote anything about my writing life on – as that to me was a separate part of my life. The response I got overwhelmed me. From friends resharing my link to people that I haven’t seen for fifteen years from school writing me emails to tell me they’ve read my book and enjoyed it. I’ve been genuinely surprised.
I winced that my mum and my brother read my book. None of it was based on true life, Mum (honest…!) My aunt downloaded it to her kindle and told my mum it wasn’t her cup of tea, but then she apparently read it and surprised herself that she actually enjoyed it. And I’ve managed to convert at least two non chick lit fans to the easy, loveable nature of chick lit.
Even though it has been totally nerve wracking having people I know read my work, its been a really lovely experience. I no longer feel embarrassed or ashamed of saying that I’m writing rather than coming to the pub. And now I’ve got a ready made fan club of friends that are pushing me and encouraging me on. It's a weight off my shoulders and I'm no longer feeling like I have this secret life.
I guess I always felt silly for having a dream of being a writer, as so few aspiring authors actually make it on to our bookshelves, and I felt like my friends and family would think I was crazy for trying. But what I’ve found is that a lot of them are in awe, not perhaps at my book, but at the fact that I dedicate the time to write them and I’m trying to make my dream happen. Instead of being embarrassed, it's made me really proud of my writing. Now I feel a little bolder when I tell people that I’m an aspiring author.