The Lonely Life of the Writer
People often ask me what I do for a living. If I say “I’m a literary agent,” I’m likely to receive a blank stare. I quickly tell them I work with authors to help them get their books published; sometimes I’ll say, “You know how actors and athletes have agents? Well, authors have agents too.” Occasionally (depending on my listener) I might say I’m like Jerry Maguire, but for authors. Show me the money!
The point is, most people in the “real world” are pretty clueless about the publishing world. And those who think they know something are quite often wrong. But you can’t explain it to people — if they’re not involved, they just won’t get it.
As a writer, you experience the same thing. Much of your energy is consumed with writing and the pursuit of getting published, but the people around you — in your job, your church, your school — don’t have a clue what the writer’s life is like. It’s hard to have satisfying conversations with people because you are so deeply immersed in something they don’t know a thing about. The divide is deep.
People rely on stereotypes for their understanding. In my case, Jerry Maguire (or Ari Gold for you Entourage enthusiasts). In your case, Stephen King, or JK Rowling. Of course, none of these bear any relation to what our lives are really like.
As either an agent or a writer, it’s easy to feel lonely or separated from many of the people who populate your real world.
Do you find the writing life lonely? What do you do about it?
“Do you find the writing life lonely? What do you do about it?” (Click to Tweet)
“Do you find most people are clueless about your life as a writer?” (Click to Tweet)
“I’m like Jerry Maguire, but for authors. Show me the money!” (Click to Tweet)