Saturday, July 18, 2009

I AM a Writer Damn It!

I stand fumbling with my drink and looking around the room. There is a sea of people and I obviously do not fit. They all seem to know one another in either a personal or professional setting. There are exaggerated hand gestures and lots of air kisses. I stand and observe. My back to the wall next to the sign that says “Women”. Then what I fear most happens. I hear “so are you famous”? I shift from one foot to other turn and look at the eager eyed woman next to me, “no, I’m nobody”. Then I kick myself. I am not a nobody. I am a somebody. I am just a somebody that no one in that room has ever heard of. “Oh, I was just wondering because I saw that man over there taking your picture” was the reply.

I take a deep breath and said “I am kind of a writer”. My brain immediately is into panic mode and I get that squishy feeling in my stomach because I just know someone is going to start singing “liar, liar pants on fire”. I listen but no one sings the song so I press on in explanation. Why I feel I must explain myself is a mystery to me but I do “I mean I write a blog”. The inquisitor gives a half smile, half smirk and says “oh I see. What kind of blog”. Again I take a deep breath, really I am not good at the self promotion thing. I don’t know what my problem is or why I feel so self conscious. “Oh, it is just stories and stuff. Really it’s pretty random.” She looks at me again with a bit of disgust this time and says “blogs are supposed to be about something”. Okay now I feel really inadequate and scramble in my brain to come up with a purpose for my blog. I come up empty handed. I have no purpose for my blog. I mean I’m not a mommy blogger, nor do I give technical advice. I don’t cook on my blog nor do I give bad photography advice. Heck I don’t even sew or decorate and forget me trying to tell you what the hottest latest fashion trend is. I swallow hard clear my throat and say “my blog is sort of like a Seinfeld episode, a whole lot about nothing.” I can tell she is done with the conversation and she has that how the heck do I get out of here look in her eyes. I decide to let her off the hook and excuse myself to the powder room.

I stand and look in the mirror and wonder why I didn’t stand up for myself. Why didn’t I say “I am a writer and I can be damn funny if I want to?” Is it because I write a blog or is it because I have not been published that I refuse to call myself a writer. Maybe the reason I haven’t been published is because I have never submitted anything. Maybe I haven’t been published because I would rather blog than write a book. I square my shoulders, lift up my chin and poke my tits out. I am steeled and ready to answer the difficult questions. I am ready to go out there and tell the world that I, Gladys, am a writer. I fluff my hair, check for lipstick on my teeth and totter out on my high heels.

I look around for the inquisitor and spot her across the room. I head her way when the security guy stops me and says “ma’am if you’re just a spectator you need to move on into the theater.” I tale a deep breath look that rent-a-cop in the eye and say “I am a writer. I won the KTLA contest for my story about my worst date.” Rent-a-cop sighs heavily and says “ma’am I don’t care if you wrote the bible. If you are not part of the production please go take your seat.” I stand firm and say “I am waiting right here. I won the KTLA contest and I’m waiting for someone from KTLA to come talk to me.” He shakes his head and then goes to harass some movie star’s parents.

I stand there looking for someone from the television station to recognize me. Not that they would, I mean honestly why would they. Why would they even know where to look. I mean they didn’t even say they would meet me there. I just guessed that since they advertised and promoted this thing for the last bazillion days that they would want to personally speak to the person whose story they chose to represent their station. I stood and waited and watched feeling very much like a very small fish in a very small pond. I check my crackberry for a message from the station’s representative only to find nothing. I wait and wonder did I make more of this than it is?

The lights begin to flash and it is time to enter the theater. This is when I realize I am a writer because I am already composing another story in my head.

17 comments:

joanie said...

Every morning I check the SF Chronicle online for columns from my 3 favorite writers - Leah Garchik, Jon Carroll and C.W. Nevius.

Every morning I check Gladys Tells All for her online column.

Believe me, you're a writer.

Bob said...

"Oh, I see," the commenter sniffed. "So you've never been published. Pity you've never had a work published ... as I have." ("Well, okay. So my only published work is seven pages in Transactions on Power Systems and it bore the title Creating Electrical Distribution Boundaries Using Computational Geometry, but I have been published, you know!" he stammered petulantly.)

Gladys said...

Joanie- Your comment gave me goose pimples! Really You check me every morning. Oh crap now I have to think of something witty to write. The pressure!

Bob - Wow I think I read that. Maybe not. I think I read Creating Electrical Distributions by Rubbing Your Feet On the Carpet.

lagirl/sweet tea said...

Yes.
You ARE a writer.
You make me laugh and I thank you for it. Congrat's on the award!!

Gladys said...

Sweet Tea- thank you. I have my blog roll and that is the first thing I do every morning is read everyone on my roll. Cause you know that's how I roll. ;)

LiLu said...

This is by far my favorite post of yours. Forget that woman... she doesn't understand. But we all do. Thanks for being a writer.

Dawn on MDI said...

What a bunch of pompous fucks.

There is some of the best writing in modern literature being produced and PUBLISHED online right now. What the powers that be don't like is that they cannot control, edit, or profit from it, and it pisses them off.

You are a writer, Gladys, fear not.

I've been published. I self-published some stuff in college, and some stuff through the university press. That counts, thank you very much. I used to be published every day. I was a reporter. After the first week or two, trust me, the thrill wears off.

There is no glory in "being published." All that means is that some corporate schmuck has decided that he (they still are 99% HE) can make a profit for him and for his friends by printing your efforts. Book publishers care only whether they can get someone to pay good money for your words printed on a collection of pages. Newspaper publishers want to know if they can sell ad space around your words, your art, your craft. They care not for the craft itself, only for its income potential.

Otin said...

I am a writer, too! Damnit! I write some stupid shit, but I am a writer! LOL! Jaime sent me over a while ago, and I never really had the chance to check back, sometimes I just need a reminder!

Gladys said...

Dawn- I am an avid reader. I love reading and when the blog world opened up I was happy as a kid in a candy store. They are much less commercial.

Otin- Yes you are a writer. A witty one at that.

Gladys said...

Lilu - I have to be honest you have inspired me in many of my post. You are young and fresh and funny. Keep it up.

Melinda said...

You ARE a writer!! And this is coming from another writer! I always feel self-concious about telling others I'm a writer, too ... it's like I feel they think, "Oh yea, aren't we all??"
;0)

You obviously have talent ... don't let anyone make you feel inadequate! Keep going after it, Gladys!

Thanks for visiting my blog on VGNO! Glad you found me!

Wild Boomba said...

OMG, my BFF, Gladys! That post is so ME! I Am a Writer, too, Damn it! But I would have stood there feeling just as self-conscious as you did. Only you went into the powder room, checked your teeth for lipstick and then went out there and told that security guard that you ARE a writer. I would have left in tears.

I am a writer because I am too shy to talk. I am a writer because things come out of my head through my fingers, not my mouth. I am a reader of all the fabulous blogs, especailly yours, that are out there. We are writers, DAMN IT! I wish there was a way for us to get really published so lots of people would get to read our stuff and we'd get paid for it, but I don't know what that way would be. If anyone has any ideas, please, let us know!

Gladys, my sista-from-another-mother, you are MY FAVORITE blogger. I hope I am not dissing anyone by saying that because I love all the blogs I read and think there are so many talented people out there, but you have to agree with me that Gladys is one of the funniest and best writers out there in the blogoshpere. Thank God for her humor and willingness to share it.

That snobby witch who looked down her nose at you should only be so lucky to read your "blog about nothing." You ARE famous! Just look at all the people who read you religiously. To us you are famous and someday that bitch will know your name, too.

Thanks for sharing that experience. I totally get how you felt and I'm proud of you for handling it with such grace.

You go, girl! (Sorry, that just slipped out. I cannot pull that off.) Rock on! May the Force Be With you, Etc.

Lots of love and admiration,
Leslie

mama-face said...

I blog about nothing too, and I am NOT a writer. I love to read REAL writer's blogs though, and that would be you. :)

There is a lot of blog trash talk these days. Stupid trash talk. I have loved so very much the stories and experiences that I've read on blogs.

Keep on writing your brains out! ;-)

Queenie said...

I am published every day - every day for 25 years. Newspapers, magazines, blog. And if - and that is a HUGE if - if I could be half as witty and perceptive as you, and have half the memory of my childhood as you, and be able to express myself as well as you, and do it with your grace and humor, well then MAYBE I'd feel like I was a writer too. You are a great writer, my friend.

Gladys said...

Melinda- Thank you so much. I’m glad I found you too.

Boomba – you brought tears to my eyes. And Leslie YOU too are a writer. You have talent and style. I love reading your stuff and can’t wait to read more.

Mama-face – Thank you and thank you I will write my brains out. Well what little brains I have.

Queenie – coming from you that is such great praise. Thank you so very much.

Carolee / Home4ever said...

You are a writer, you are a writer!

Happy Late VGNO!

Cher said...

I'm sick of reading lists of blogging categories that fail to include "humor" blogging! Erma Brombeck is turning over in her grave at the very thought of you not being a writer!

The Texas Woman