Sunday, March 17, 2013

Coming Out

My name is E.B. Black and I'm a writer.

This sentence should be easy for me to say to people I know in person, but it's not. E.B. Black isn't my real name, it's a pen name I go by because deep down inside, I am afraid of the people I know in person and what their reactions to my writing will be.

I went to church again recently. It's been a long time and I got to see many people that I haven't seen in awhile. I got hugged and I felt deeply cared for. It was wonderful, until they asked me,"What have you been up to lately? What are you working as?"

Stutter.....stutter....I wrote a book....stutter....pause....it's hard to explain...stutter.....pause.....But it's about Medusa....mumble.....I'm self-publishing it.....

"Well, you'll have to tell me all about it once it's published so I can buy it!"

I should be jumping for joy, right? But I'm not because all I can think about is.....

Yes! I can't wait for people I went to church with to read my detailed descriptions of an ancient Greek whore house or about Medusa's sisters making genitalia into eating utensils. I'm sure they'll get a kick out of the scene where Medusa performs oral sex in a room full of people under the table. *hearty laughter* She's not even married for any of the sex scenes.

Uh-oh. What will they do when they find out about this stuff? Will I be kicked out of church? Will those loving people stop caring about me?

I respect their beliefs. I'm positive that at the very least when they find out what I wrote, they will disapprove of my writing and that's okay. I'm not trying to force anyone to read it, but I'd like it if they'd still see me as the same nice person because I still am. I just have a crazy imagination to go along with it.

I have cousins who have achieved a lot. One of my cousins, in fact, is a doctor, is married (her wedding was featured in a bridal magazine), and she recently had a baby. I'm very happy for her. She's a wonderful person and works hard for all she got.

But there's that terrifying fear. Am I going to be the freak in the family who self-published a novel that everyone is going to be ashamed of? I'd like it if my Grandmother is proud of me and bragged about what her granddaughter did like she does of my cousins, but deep down inside, I have to realize that she might not accept it once she reads it.

People I don't even know might read my book and hate me because of it. People that I care about could change their opinions about me. Because people judge authors by what they write. They stereotype them.

Being a writer is hard. You have these characters who live in your head and these scenes that flash in your mind. You type it out alone. You dream about it alone. You struggle with it alone.

But it's all so you can share it with other people. It's so exciting! Until you realize you have no idea what the reactions of those people might be.

When getting into a new relationship, I've always nervously had to come out about the truth to the person I'm talking to. I am a writer and sometimes I write about weird things like necromancers and corpses and stuff. Will they think I'm gothic? Will they be frightened? Why does something as silly as coming out about being a writer have to be so dramatic for me?

J.K. Rowling was called a witch who worships the devil by many people I've known just because she wrote about wizards. E.L. James' mental health and morality gets called into question for writing 50 Shades of Grey.

Authors are much more than their books and maybe with social media around, we can teach readers the truth of who we are as people.

It's why I have this blog and sometimes talk about my insecurities, fears, and thoughts. I'm just a normal person with an overactive imagination.

4 comments:

SC Author said...

I love this post. It's so true - I worry about what, especially, my family will think about my book. I think it's a fear all us writers have,

Angie Sandro said...

I agree. I was writing a post about a similar fear I'm having, and I put the post on hold until I can figure out how to express my fears. Once again you inspire me with your willingness to talk about sensitive issues.

Thank you

Martin Willoughby said...

I'm with you on that, though judging by the reading habits of some of the church members I know, you're book shouldn't be a problem.

They read psychological thrillers with more than a few sex scenes, more death than a Rambo movie and as for the in depth analysis of a corpse...

I know how you feel and it does make things tough some times.

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