1. Squeakyfiend
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    Squeakyfiend Member

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    Embarrassed?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Squeakyfiend, Mar 21, 2012.

    Hey guys,

    Just wondering if anyone has ever felt embarrassed or shy about telling people that they write?

    I play in a band and regularly get up on stage with full confidence and I love telling people about it, yet when it comes to my writing I get totally embarrassed! :(

    I've only told my girlfriend and one other friend that it's something I do and I still have a compulsion to shut my laptop when they look at it so they don't see that I've been writing.

    Any advice?
     
  2. Jowettc
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    Nah - only when they ask me what has been published....so far nothing..hehe
     
  3. Henning
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    Why do you get embarrassed about writing? I can't think of any reason for that to happen, now I'm curious.
     
  4. Squeakyfiend
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    The only reason I can think of is growing up, there was always a social stigma about people who read/actually enjoyed creative writing and maybe I subconsciously think about that. However, that sort of thing has never bothered me in any other way before...
     
  5. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    I don't tell anyone that I write stuff, just because I'm just fiercely private in real life and it's a personal thing to me. I wouldn't tell anyone irl about it until I had something I felt was publishable, and needed some opinions. I did idly mention an idea I had to my husband recently and he was really enthusiastic about it so I might actually share this one with him :p
     
  6. cs2212
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    cs2212 Member

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    Im a little like that. I dont mind people knowing Im writing, but I wouldn't want then to see it.

    I feel like Id need to have something that was bestselling or award winning pretty much to be enough reassure me that it was of a sufficiently high standard to show my friends!
     
  7. Allan Paas
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    Allan Paas Contributing Member

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    I would rather not have people see my writing stuff, unless that something is finished or I feel like an opinion is needed.
    Whether people know that I write or not I do not really care.
     
  8. Erato
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    Erato Contributing Member

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    No. I don't tell people that unless they ask what I do in my spare time in which case I wouldn't mind telling them I write. But then people haven't asked me that very much since I really started writing. Which was like last year.
     
  9. TheSilverBeetle
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    TheSilverBeetle Member

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    I play guitar and I am just of proud saying I write as I am saying I'm a guitarist, though I am a bit embarrassed when I tell them I'm working on a novel.
     
  10. Henning
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    Embarrassed about writing a novel? What...? Where do all you guys live?
     
  11. Phoenix Hikari
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    Nope, I only told my boyfriend that I am writing, other than him I don't feel obliged to tell anyone else. If people ask about my hobbies, I mention everything except writing but that's only because I want specific people to know about it. And I don't think people look down at writers/creative individuals or think that we are nerds. There was once in the lecture room, we were discussing websites and I mentioned a poetry website to the teacher, most of the students found that very impressive that I regulate( and probably write poetry) a poetry website.

    What you got is a gift so don't hide it. It's like having a beautiful child who you hide in the basement because you're afraid someone might steal them, how would that child feel? Saying that doesn't mean you should go everywhere yelling about it to random people either.
     
  12. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    Nope, I've never been embarrassed - I'm quite proud to have aspirations (and a realistic prospect, since getting an agent) of being published. It's not quite the first thing I say when introducing myself to someone new, but it comes right after my name :D In fact if someone asks me what I do for a living, I usually say 'oh nothing interesting, but it pays the bills while I'm writing my novel.'
     
  13. Henning
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    I'm not trying to judge anyone, I'm genuinely interested. Oh and I'm not trying to start a debate!

    But I still don't get what there is to be so embarrassed or secretive about. If I had an obsession for boomerangs maybe I'd keep it to myself, but writing? Is there other reasons besides social stigma and lack of confidence?
    Come on guys writing is one of the most liberating forms of art, it's how people form identities, and whether you're good at it or not you have no reason to be ashamed of it! So many people in the world can't even read. Be proud of it and share it with others. :)
     
  14. Christopher Stile
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    Writing is personal. I prefer to share only when I'm stuck, or if a piece is finished. If someone reads a work in progress, it's merely a work in progress, and I would prefer they didn't. But yes, I will get embarrassed if it is a work in progress. It's not something to be ashamed of however, I just see it as wanting to share only the final result, the best, without consideration to my process, or how the piece was when it was lesser.

    You asked for advice, and the only thing I can really think of is to post your writing. Once you've shared work you're proud of, and other people have acknowledged it, you might start feeling more proud than embarrassed. And the only real way to know how far you've come is through feedback, in my opinion. And I'm sure it's worth sharing!
     
  15. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a very responsible, high-profile job so I keep my artistic persona separate from that. I do a lot of photography too, keep that separate also. Art, and writing especially is really personal. It's best to do it under pen name, and tell only a select group of people in your life about it. All I would do in the future would be to admit I am a writer but I wouldn't tell them which books I wrote. It's better that way, for me at least, makes me write without censoring myself all the time.
     
  16. Rybe
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    I will tell people I write if asked, but I don't tend to bring it up, and I dance around the word "novel" like no other. Why? Because there seems to be a certain sect of people who are "working on their novel!" who never seem to ever actually accomplish anything (like their novel never goes anywhere, forget about publishing) and are greasy nerds with terrible jobs...like me- aw crap. Okay I'm not greasy. And I have a lot of progress. But yeah, there's kind of a stigma, so I get it.
     
  17. Kaymindless
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    While you're inspirational, unfortunately emotions don't always follow logic.

    Personally, I don't broadcast it, but I'm not embarrassed by it anymore. But I was, not for any reason that'll be helpful to Squeakyfiend, but because it drew attention to me and that is still something I do not like. People see you writing and they ask questions, and I'm not a planner, so when they randomly pop out with something it is an embarrassment to go "uhhhh.... well... its..." and have them looking at you like you've lost it if you're writing without a hard plan. Now that's for writing in general.

    For my actual writing, which does kind of go back into just in general, they find out, they want to read it, this little WIP that is not good yet, is not perfect, and not close to finished and it's risking them thinking that is your skill.
     
  18. a.d.berry
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    Why would you be embarrassed about writing? Everyone else in your life does the same humdrum bullsh1t; works, marries, procreates, retires and dies. You've created something from your imagination; be proud of it.
     
  19. Elvis
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    This is why I tend to be embarrassed about telling people that I write. If I made money off of my writing (ever), then it would be a legitimate job. But until then, I feel like I'm just screwing around with a hobby. I typically don't care to hear about someone else's hobby, so why would they want to hear about mine?
     
  20. Henning
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    Good point!
    I don't like attention either. But what I said wasn't emotions, it's logical to me.
    If I get asked something and I don't want to answer then I don't. No "uh.... well...." needed.
    As far as actual writing goes, if I don't think it's ready yet then I don't tell people about that particular story, I just finish and then they can read it. If they do read it before it's finished and they think I suck, so what? If you care just tell them it's work in progress, if you don't then just let it go.

    None of this has anything to do with being embarrassed of being a writer. Your post sounds like you're afraid of what people will think of your skill, not that they will judge you just because of the fact that you write.

    For the stigma comments, anyone who judges and categorizes someone else just because they write has to be one of the most close minded person in the world. Don't waste your time with that.
     
  21. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, imagine that you trained as a psychiatrist. It is very important in your job for people to focus on themselves rather than you so they can be helped. This is by no means rare, many doctors are writers also, in fact, many writers have other primary professions in which they built their reputation and where lots of people depend on them, even after they change jobs.

    For many jobs it is necessary to have a professional persona which is different, less "colourful" and more job-oriented than you are after work. Writing a sexy story or a vampire story or a detective story and your patients or clients knowing about it, it would shift the focus from them to you but also would make some people question your dedication to the other job. It's just how people are and to go around broadcasting your successful fiction-writing career to your patients or clients or bosses might as well jeopardise that job in one way or another. In that sense, it would be you putting your own needs for affirmation before the needs of people who depended on you, and that is unprofessional.

    On the other hand, imagine if you were unwell, and Stephen King or JK Rowling were your psychiatrist (hypothetical, I am not comparing you to him). Then imagine some non-descript person with kind eyes was your psychiatrist? Who would you trust more to help you get better? A multi millionaire who is obsessed with magic or horror and who has no need to hold a job so they can just leave whenever or someone onto whom you can project your needs and issues comfortably including the belief that they are in it with you for as long as you need them?

    It is hugely important to honour all responsibilities one might have, if you have multiple ones, and for lots of people that is a strong reason to separate their careers in this way.
     
  22. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    nope!... never have been, not even when i just started writing seriously, as a career, since i'd always been good at writing just about anything and had written 'professionally' for my high school newspaper, of which i was also the editor...
     
  23. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    I feel embarassed. And a lot at that... I don't know if it's because I'm young -- only fifteen -- and I don't think I can write good things at fifteen, or because I'm really reserved with anything that might show something personal... Because I'm an introvert and completely awkward sociallywise, so I don't really like to expose anything that might embarass me in the future... Or in the present.
    I know that I will hardly get any better without receiving opinions and critiques, but... Well. I'm not up to telling anyone in real life that I write.
     
  24. Henning
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    I see what you're saying but that's called, like you said, being professional. Has nothing to do with being embarrassed.
    What kinda of idiot would go around broadcasting his successful fiction-writing career to his patients or bosses? It's still possible to do that job in a professional way and be proud of your writing at the same time, there's just a time and place to talk about it.
     
  25. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah yes, but your original question was
    So, the answer is yes, there are other reasons to be secretive besides social stigma and lack of confidence ;)
     

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