Monday 27 August 2018

Spoonie Writer: Being A Writer Revisited


As I sit here writing my blog posts, while nebulising an attack into submission, I realised that it's been a while since I talked about being a writer while also being a spoonie. I know I'm nowhere near the only one, and that's a good thing because I feel like spoonie writers bring about a different kind of character, but that's a talk for another day. The reason I wanted to go over this topic again is because of one I did recently about awkward conversations when being a crime writer (found here). I mentioned there that as someone who has a whole ton of random conversations about crime, I also get asked that question a lot too. You all know the one I'm talking about. It's the one I talked about in that real talk video (found here).

For those of you who aren't spoonies, or who just aren't following, lemme lay it out for you. When you're a writer, you'll get asked a ton by people what you do for a living. When you're a spoonie you get asked the same, but there's a whole different tone to it. This is how it usually goes.

THEM: So, what do you do for a living?
YOU: I'm a writer.
THEM: Oh that sounds cool! Do you make enough to live off?
[This is a really rude question btw!]
YOU: *shrugs*
THEM: So do you work anywhere else?
YOU: No, I'm also disabled/chronically ill/both
THEM: that's why you're a writer! You  have nothing else to do with your time. Wish I had time to write a book.
[Also really bloody rude!]
YOU: Well, I do do a lot of work, it's just more about being able to set my own times, days and schedule.
THEM: *no longer listening*

I get this a lot. People assume that because I'm a writer, I work another job, which is a fair assumption to make since the majority of writers do work elsewhere because writing isn't a case of write a book, become a millionaire. However, when you bring your health into it, that's when the tone changes. Suddenly you're no longer a serious writer, you're someone with too much time on your hands and you "play" at writing. It's not a real job to you and therefore isn't valid as an actual occupation. And I have to say, it really grinds my gears when people make this assumption.

I mean, I know I'm not alone, and I know it's not limited to spoonie writers. I watched an awesome video about the things people say and questions they ask when they find out you're a writer (can be found here.) But when it comes to spoonies, the implication is that because we're also sick and unable to work a conventional job that we are, somehow, not really writing but playing a game that the grown-ups let us play. Like seriously? I'm 36 years old, I've written a ton of books and a few weeks ago I celebrated having been published for over 13 years. I'm an author. I'm a writer. And no one can tell me otherwise.

Remember that, and along with the rude questions of money issues, remember that you're valid no matter how you write. Whether you take years or months, whether you also manage to do some outside work as well. You are a writer. You are valid, and your stories are needed. Keep writing. It's gonna be worth it in the end.

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