Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Secret Writing Life

Most people don't know you are a writer. Most people wouldn't know what to do if you told them you were. You are the father, the husband, the wife, the mother, the sister, the brother, the neighbor, the shopper, the guy in the garage, the man on the roof, whatever. But most people don't have any idea you spend most of your time alone and unseen in a different world. It just doesn't fit into today's hyper connected world... if it ever did.

Ralph Ellison never told his neighbors what he did. Everyone thought he lived off a sugar mama. Cheever would leave his house in the morning so his neighbors would think he had a job. A lot of writers never tell anyone they are a writer. They tell them they are a business man or a teacher or a housewife, but never a writer. People aren't comfortable with this. Writers don't really they?

Nothing new under the sun. The question I get of course is what have your written? I tell people and they shake their heads. Never heard of those books. Or the very courteous, I will have to read your books. Fine. Fine. But then it is forgotten. Much easier to tell someone you are a plumber or a roofer. They accept that on face value. You work. You work just like me. Not like a writer.

Books by William Hazelgrove