This week’s guest poster is the lovely Sandie Docker who discusses being a writer. Enjoy 🙂
Own it baby. Work it!
by Sandie Docker
“So, what do you do?”
A simple question. One, unless you’re a spy, that is answered easily.
Except it isn’t.
It’s a question that fills me with dread. Because what I am, is a writer. But I’m an unpublished writer so to answer that most simple of questions I feel like a complete fraud if I answer with the truth. I have no books out in the world. I don’t get paid to write.There is no tangible proof of what I do (other than my manuscripts languishing in various slush piles waiting to find a home). And even though I write every day (nearly), and I do courses which in other circles would be considered ‘professional development’, and I’m chasing my dream with query letter after query letter, and all those memes out there tell me that if I write I’m a writer, it still feels wrong to say it out loud. “I’m a writer.”
So most of the time I avoid the topic altogether. “What do you do?” I’m a stay at home mum. “Do you work?” I teach swimming on the weekends. ‘Name, age, occupation?’ Sandie, forty-two, mother. It’s like I’m embarrassed to say I’m a writer. Like I’m hiding some deep dark secret about my life. Not because writing is an embarrassing pursuit, but because of that whole aforementioned fraud thing.
That if I say I’m a writer and they ask further questions, I’ll get found out that really, I’m a hack who happens to scribble down a few words every now and then, the quality of which is yet to be determined. Two and a half full-length manuscripts, quite a bit of interest, some industry insider validation, a pile of rejections and a note book bursting with ideas for future novels later, and I still get queasy if I even think of declaring “I’m a writer.”
Except the other day.
I was speaking at my daughter’s school kindy orientation, and I mentioned in my speech that I’m often in the playground if anyone ever has questions because I “work from home”. Oh, I was so clever – in my heart staying true to myself, admitting, proclaiming in public I was a writer, but with none of my unsuspecting audience actually knowing what I was referring to. Ha ha! I did it. I did it and I was safe.
Except I wasn’t.
Because there was morning tea after the orientation, and they took me up on my offer of asking me questions anytime, and one of them asked me, “so what it is you do from home?” There was nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. And I wasn’t about to lie because what other work-from-home job could I realistic pass for? So I did it. I answered. “I’m a writer”. I embraced it and said it proud.
Except I didn’t.
I followed it immediately with a mumble of “not yet published” accompanied with a shameful look and then quickly changed the subject. So, I guess I’m going to have to live with my feelings of fraud a little longer and retreat back into avoiding that question ‘what do you do?’, because clearly I’m not ready to say it loud and proud. Clearly, in my own mind, until I’m published, there will remain a block that tells me I’m not a writer.
Except I am.
About Sandie Docker
Sandie is a writer (aspiring *wink*) of contemporary women’s fiction set in small Australian communities. She came to writing quite by accident after her university Mandarin lecturer suggested she take up writing on the back of a translation course she was doing at the time. That idea sat quietly at the back of her mind for quite some time before she decided to do anything about it, but once she put pen to paper (yes, she writes everything the old fashioned way before hitting a keyboard), she knew there was nothing else she wanted to do with her life.
You can find her on:
About Sandie’s manuscript
OF CUPCAKES AND DANDELIONS
In the quiet town of Kookaburra Creek, 38-year-old Alice Pond enters her café expecting the morning to be like every other of the past 20 years. But asleep on her pantry floor is a young homeless girl with familiar eyes. A girl with the power to open old scars. A girl who might just offer Alice a second chance at the life so cruelly taken from her.
Long-buried memories resurface and Alice is 18 again with plans to escape a broken childhood and her neglectful father tormented by guilt. She works, she saves, she studies. But with the arrival of new boy Dean McRae and his ability to see right into the truth of her heart, distraction jeopardises those plans. When her father disappears, taking all of her savings with him, Alice is left with no option but to flee Lawson’s Ridge – broke, alone, pregnant.
When fire tears through her world, Alice is forced to face the truth of her past and present – of love lost and love found, of a life taken and one saved, and of painful secrets that could destroy her chance at happiness.
Firstly, apologies to Sandie and my readers for the delay to get this post up. I hope you enjoyed this post and do make sure you check out Sandie’s social media pages.
Secondly, big thanks to Sandie for being this week’s guest poster and sharing her experiences and the blurb of her current manuscript 🙂
There may not be a post this Friday as I’m finding myself a little swamped right now. But I’ll do my best.
NB: pictures supplied by the guest poster.