1. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Social Standing

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Torana, Oct 23, 2010.

    Have you ever found your writing, more so the genre of which you write, affect your social standing?

    I have found that just being with a horror writer has affected my social standing, because people really ARE that small minded. Not that I mind at all. I'm a bit of a snob and dislike most social gatherings.

    Anyone else have stories where their social standing has been affected by simply, being a writer, or a writer of a particular genre?
     
  2. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I don't know any other writers, so I expect my social standing to go up whichever genre I write in :) Also, I don't have any friends who are cultural workers or bourgeois intellectuals.
     
  3. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    Most of my writing belittles humanity. I often try to find a theme which picks out a flaw.

    I wouldn't say I'm a negative person, but i do this as a person of society as well. Sit down, have a coffee and laugh to myself at the sights i see, and the ones i don't see, but pick up upon.

    Edit - The real question is; Does my writing become what i feel or do i feel because of what i have created and written? A bit of both.
     
  4. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I write literary fiction. Most of the people I meet/befriend read literary fiction. I don't let people read it often, but just the fact that I write it and carry notebooks and whatever seems to impress some people. Which is nice.

    I haven't really had any negative experiences with it though, except for a couple of (published) writers giving me that super-condescending "oh, it's so hard to get published, isn't it?" Bitches.
     
  5. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    It depends. I'm usually very self-conscious about my personal writing, so I don't let on about with my non-writer friends, and if I do I'm extremely vague to avoid them being weirded out ("Oh in the story I'm writing a character has that name...."). My non-writer friends do think my writing is "amazing" when they do read it (peer-editing school assignments, etc.), for some reason :redface:. Luckily many of my close friends are writers too, so I'm free to be myself.
     
  6. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    My personal experience is that you get a higher social standing from being a writer (and in my case also a painter), as long as you have already have the social standing, the social grace and EQ to not come across as a an awkward duckling turning away from the world, pretentious wannabe or fangirl of some kind.

    And this is true no matter what genre you write, as long as you able to pull off presenting it without giving away any the awkward duckling, prestigious bastard or fangirl vibes.

    But the world is an unfair place, if already got a low social standing, for example perceived as social unconformable geek to begin with I do believe that being a writer can lower your status and some genres in particular. Or id you present yourself as a writer in an anti-intellectual social group would generally lower your standing and set you up as an outsider.

    So i think depends on who you are, what social group we are talking about and how you are able to present your art.
     
  7. Axo Non Roadkill
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    Axo Non Roadkill Member

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    I don't have the fame for my writing to affect my social standing. However, my blog may soon get me a certain standing among islamic extremists...
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, but yes, Tor. There can be no doubt.

    Where I live, my beloved science fiction gets frowned upon even more than was to be seen when I lived in the States.

    In the States, Science Fiction gets treated as not serious, fluff, for kids or those who are poorly adjusted to adult life. The usual nerd-geek stereotype.

    Here in PR, Science Fiction is seen as a form of propaganda created by Americans in order to indoctrinate the local culture away from traditional values.

    Trust me, if you've just put on your Wha? face, you're not the only one.

    I tell my friends I write. They act politely interested and start to rattle off the usual Latin authors. I say, "No." I say, "I write Science Fiction." Uncomfortable pause. People look at their shoes. Conversation ends with that last out of the corner of your eye glance that says, "I have my eye on you," and not in a good way.
     
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  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Hardly anybody I know knows I'm a writer. That's probably as it should be. The reaction of the few who do know has been along the lines of "Dream on, loser."
     
  10. Sabreur
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    Sabreur Contributing Member Contributor

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    Eh, most people I meet don't care. If I was a musician on the other hand, I think people would look upon me with awe ;)
     
  11. Capt Bob
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    Capt Bob Senior Member

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    I would prefer "Peer" recognition and acceptance, for a small amount of good or serious work, to, "Social standing" in our world of today. Which seems more ordained by the flocks of clueless sheep who are solely guided/bedazzled more by the numbers of $$$'s collected than any criteria of quality work. Cranking out vast amounts of "popular" garbage would meet that quantitative goal.
    Social standing in the small group of friends I know and care about is more than enough.
     
  12. Eoz Eanj
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    Eoz Eanj Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't even have a social standing because no one reads what I write. Lulululul.
     
  13. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd be amazed if anyone read that much into my writing, to be honest, lol. The most controversial thing I've ever written about is a Transgender girl, and another girl who likes to dress as a boy. Other than that it's been...vampire lesbians. And to be honest, only weird people who live in boxes would find either of those things controversial. Interesting, I hope; but not outlandish.
     
  14. Naiyn
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    Naiyn Contributing Member

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    Most of my friends have a view that my writing is just a minor pass-time. I don't think it effects my status any more or less than if I collected stamps.
     
  15. Tessie
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    Tessie Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm. . . Are you sure about that? I respect authorship much more than stamp-collecting. :p

    EDIT: My writing does not affect my social standing very much. It's just a past-time until I can invest more time into it.
     
  16. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well I can't say I've ever been a part of those groups, especially not the uncomfortable geek category! As much as I dislike social gatherings, I've always had a reasonably high social standing, no matter what I've done to try to get rid of that. *sigh* Yet, being with a horror writer, and writing horror poetry, and liking horror in general, DOES affect the way people perceive me. Although, I've never had this issue till recently, and it isn't the people around my age, it is people from the age of 34 and upwards.

    I do not agree that it depends on your social group or personality what so ever. This is about writing and the genre in which you write affecting your writing. I've had this discussion with a large group of professional writers on another board I frequent, and each one of them has mentioned how being a horror writer DEFINITELY affects how people perceive them. For example:

    One woman went nuts at a writer friend because animals were harmed in his horror story.

    A writer friend of mine writes romance and erotica, she has coped quite a lot of flak for it. Especially over the erotica when people found out it was her. She changed her writer name pretty soon after that and I don't blame her.

    That's what I'm talking about! Peoples views on genres and how their view on a particular genre, affects how they view you as a person.

    It's terrible how people can be THAT small minded. Is it really that hard to see that 'fiction' is just that, not reality? Can they not see that what we write is not what we do? It's not like we act out these stories in our every day lives. We write them, we send them to publishers, we get paid! We don't go around with an axe in our hand chopping some girls head off because we wrote about a character doing it in our book. *sigh*

    I was actually told by a friend if she'd of read my partners stuff before meeting him, she'd never have wanted to meet him, nor have him around her children. Why? Because he wrote a story about a farmer who loves him animals a bit too much? Do they really think Dan is that way inclined from reading a story? *shakes head* I'd be more concerned about the horrors in every day life, the news stories, etc, not some make believe story that someone wrote.

    I think that people honestly need to pull their heads out the sand and wake up to reality. What someone writes in a story (unless otherwise stated it is real) is not real.

    And Wrey, I can't see why you should be judged for writing sci-fi. Although I can definitely believe people to be like that. I'd never have believe it a year ago, but definitely now. Because once you get away from the writer people, you are no longer understood. I know this is going to sound a tad arrogant, but non-writer people really don't get writer people, and I've proven that on many occasions, both online and offline! One of my cousins is prime example. She never seems to understand anything my partner or I put on FB about his publications, etc.

    And I honestly can't see how: "Daniel I Russell has just received an email stating his story *insert story here* has been accepted by *insert publisher here* and will be available in *insert time frame here*"
    is hard to understand. *rolls eyes*
     
  17. natsuki
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    natsuki Active Member

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    I agree with you, these themes are interesting. I am also writing a story with a lesbian main character, but unfortunately people do think these things are weird.

    The other day, for example, I told a friend about this story and he went "oh, so are you bisexual?" I was astounded that he would suggest that I can only write characters with the same sexual preferences as mine.

    From what I see (I don't know if I am right though) the UK is more liberal regarding sexuality. I've met more than a few brazilians that went to the UK and got "out of the closet". Here, if I were to mention the theme of my story to some other friends and my mother in law, for example, they would get truly worried about me, I am sure.

    I only show my writing to Bruno. He is the only one that understands it, and the only one that can read English, anyway.
     
  18. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Torana: I think you got a valid point. To clarify my standpoint, I of the mind that how something affects you social standing isn't just a fix plus or minus, but rather a tricky equation.

    It people in some way has a negative view of you for example, any fact will likely be seen as one more negative thing about you. And the same is true for the opposite.

    Any is some one shrinking away, being very uncomfortable and shy, or becoming over eager presenting their interest is less likely that the interest will add to their status.

    Group norms in the group you present you idea will also effect the reaction.
    So i agree, if the group got a strong bias against some genre or some values in what you write about, it will effect you standing for good or for bad.
     
  19. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    No matter what you write about, some people may look up to you while others may look down on you.
    It is all part of being a writer and putting your writing out there.

    A few years ago I was on a creative writing taster course at uni. I read out a short story for which I received a lot of favorable and positive feedback from the course leader and fellow students. On the way out a fellow student caught up to me and said something quite disgusting about my writing, The course tutor and the other people within earshot all looked shocked and appalled by what she'd said. When she saw the reaction of those people around she stuttered and said, 'Oh! did you not mean that? I shouldn't have said it.'
    It was to late she had said it. I went home thinking that, if something so innocent could be misconstrued to sound so vile and disgusting, I'll never write again.

    I knew that there was nothing wrong with my writing, the thought that someone could pick something out of it that wasn't there in the first place troubled me. I knew that the disgusting thoughts were hers, not mine. It took me about a week to understand that my writing is not responsible for what may go on inside somebody else's head.

    On saying that, for a while the experience left me bit paranoid, I never wrote anything for about a week and when I finally did start to write again, I reread everything I wrote over and over, to see if anything, no matter how innocent, could be taken the wrong way.

    Now. Who cares?

    Sorry. I went off on a tangent. What I am trying to say is that no matter what you write, you will encounter mixed reviews and surely the same must apply to social standing.
     
  20. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think I'm lucky to have very open-minded friends. I don't think any of them would feel put off if I told them I wrote erotica, fantasy, SF or something violent.
     
  21. Capt Bob
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    Capt Bob Senior Member

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    Rather than the "repellent" effect, I'd be more concerned with readers whose "inner" beings were attracted to my fictional characters/plots and sought my company as a result.
    I don't discard those-(characters)-that repulse me, but neither do I develop an affinity for them. Just as in real life, characters have to constitute the "whole spectrum" found in a fictional work.

    Funny looks from across the room can cut both ways.
     
  22. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    back when i was writing for money, since i lived in a town that was a renowned writers/artists/theatrical colony, my being a writer was a major plus to my social standing... to the point where i was invited onto the board of the prestigious westport arts center and entertained often for that august group and the famous westport country playhouse, as well... so i had many 'big names' in the arts in my home and enjoying my efforts and company at art gallery and play openings...

    being also known as a poet led to my being commissioned to write a comemorative piece for the town's sesquecentennial, printed as an illustrated double-page center spread in the local rag... and it didn't do my writing consultant business any harm, either...
     
  23. Rotten Timbits
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    Rotten Timbits New Member

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    I think if I got a positive reaction from people, the ones I tell anyway, it might make me lose my pleasure in writing. I thrive in fading in the background. I also hate having expectations cast on me.
     
  24. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, it's amazing really. I mean, when I was in school, I was more inclined to not mention I wrote poetry, as I did kind of think it was a bit geeky... but then people began to find out and it actually caused the opposite effect of what I thought it would. People were extremely interested in my poetry and I ended up with a very busy social life... my teachers however, were quite concerned about my writing, thinking I had emotional problems and what not. I didn't. I just had an imagination which was taken the wrong way, like your writing.

    It's fantastic that there are people out there that get a positive response like your own because they are a writer.

    It is also amazing at what people ask of you once they know you are a poet. I have, in the past, had people try to commission me to do some poetry for advertising purposes (didn't do it), memorabilia for a certain time and place, etc. I have also been approached by a couple of teachers at my sons new school about my writing and possibly doing something at the school with poetry. Surprisingly, the fact that my partner and I write horror, has not discourage their desire to use the writing skills in their school.
     
  25. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    in that case, of course it was only natural, since i was surrounded by people in the arts... but i've also lived in many other places where i've been a 'social catch' due to being a professional writer, so i don't think it's a drawback at all...

    i was well-enough paid for that commission [$150 i think... and that was back in the 80s, when it was a lot of dough], so i didn't consider it an imposition... and i would've done it for free, anyway, since i loved my hometown and its place in history, as well as in re the arts...

    as for eschewing advertising, nestle's once asked me to do product tags for their valentine's day chocolate heart lollipops and i had no qualms about using my poetic skills to turn out witty little quips for them... it was fun and brought in some dough... plus a whole carton of lollies!... what could be better?!
     

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