I’m considering Pole Dancing. And Elephant Training.

I think Im going to start telling people that I’m a pole dancer. Or an elephant trainer at the circus. Because telling people I’m a “writer” is giving me a headache. Because I have to deal with stuff like…

1. “Really? I always wanted to write a book about my life. But I’m too busy. A book about my life would be sooo interesting. You should hear some of the things I’ve experienced…you should write a book about MY life! Blah blah blah.” Like I don’t have enough misery in my own life thank you very much – now I have to sit here and listen to a recital of yours?

2. “Really? What do you write?” Ummm crap?

3. “Oh you mean you write books? Like Harry Potter?” Oh yeah. That’s me. Your everyday billionaire writing genius. Aha. I write books exactly like that.

4. “Oh. A writer. But I haven’t heard of you.” So? So whats your point? I bet you haven’t heard of Euripides either. Or Homer or Sartre. Lady, there’s a billion writers writing on this planet that you havent heard of, and that doesnt stop them. So what’s your point!? I’m poking my tongue out at you in my mind. So there. I’m doing the wiggly squashed-bananas-on-you dance, so there. Besides, who in heck are you? I haven’t heard of you either.

5.”Really? You’re so lucky. You get to sit at home all day and write whatever you want, whenever you feel like it. Not like us hardworking folks who have to work our fingers to the bone to earn a decent living.” Yeah, I love it. Writing stuff you never know if anyone will ever read. Querying agents who probably use my chapters to line their litter boxes. While they laugh maniacally. No, I’m just writing. Sitting in my little hermit cave, all by my lonesome. No coffee breaks with the rest of the office gang. No power lunches with fabulously powerful people. No. Just me. Writing. All by my lonesome. Gnawing on a hunk of stale bread and rationing sips of Diet Coke gutter water. Please excuse me, I have to get back to starving and suffering in my cave.

Yep. I’ve decided. It’s official. I’m not a writer anymore. I’m now Lani the Luscious and Acrobatically Amazing.. Occupation? Pole Dancer.

I wonder what response I’ll get from random people now…

Do you love YOUR job? What do you hate the most about what YOU do?

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17 comments

  1. I'm an accountant. There is absolutely nothing I love about it. Now I've decided to switch professions and study law to which my mother said, "Just as well. God knows you've lied to me enough. You might as well put those skills to good use and get some money out of it." Sigh.

  2. Stella – it takes guts to switch careers and start studying something new. Im sure you will make a kickbutt lawyer ( and not, not because u lie really good lol) I kind of tripped over and fell into becoming a school teacher. I enjoyed a lot of things about it and certainly learned heaps – but always knew i wanted to do something else. My dream job? Writing movie screenplays and then producing them. I would love to adapt Shakespeare to Pacific Island settings, on the big screen. Mayb one day I will get up the courage to try it.

  3. This is a post after my own heart. I've encountered many of these reactions. It gets worse when they finally ask what it is that i'm writing and I have to say "young adult urban fantasy". Either their eyes glaze over or they very hastily say "that's great" whilst vomiting a bit in their own mouth. No matter. It will all even out when we are watching out books turned into movies on the big screen.

  4. Lan I havent even DARED to start confessing to people what it is that Im actually writing. At least back when I was writing the NF tsunami book, that had some reading/literary credibility. But what do i say now? Umm…YA urban fantasy romance? I just know they will do that shifty eyed thing and the massive effort not to vomit – i hear you! No, Im brave enough to say, 'Im a writer'. But in response to "what do you write?" umm books.I really gotta go now…" LOL

  5. Yeah, I've heard all these. A friend of mine was watching DaVinci Code for the twentieth time and I mentioned Dan Brown and he finally asked me, "Who is Dan Brown?" I wanted to smack him. So even famous writers are sometimes still unknowns. I too avoid telling people what I write. When they ask I say fiction, more details? Adventure. 😛

  6. The more I think about this the more upset I get. We shouldn't have to hide our writing preferences away like dirty little secrets. We should be singing it loud and proud. I feel like starting a frivolous writers support group…

  7. "I bet you haven't heard of Euripides either. Or Homer or Sartre."Exactly. I actually love the anonymity that comes with writing. If my books can entertain people and I can stay annonymous (but get paid decently), that would be awesome!! Who cares if your average Joe doesn't recognize your name? Have they written a book? I thought not.

  8. Last year I got my dream job. I'm working for an international organisation flying all over the world working with people to fight crime. Yes it is that cool. But then I found out I was knocked up. I'm just about to go back from Mat leave. Somehow travelling to Paris one week and Papaete the next no longer has the same appeal. I never thought I'd say this but it now seems my dream job ould be being a stay at home mum. Oh and I've always wanted to write a book 😉

  9. Try explaining you're an aerobics instructor/personal trainer…I swear,the "oh"…followed by the slower enunciation of words and condescending remarks that are meant to "go over your head" are enough to make me scream.

  10. Lan – sign me up for your Frivolous Writers Support Group. Will there be Diet Coke and Doritos for refreshments? TLJeffcoat,Chris and TeineSamoa should join us too. ( i promise not to bore you all with tales from my exploits at my new job.) I am slightly encouraged that people dont even know who Dan Brown is. (Poor Dan. Dont worry Mr Brown, I worship at the altar of the Da Vinci Code. And i want u to knw that when Samoa banned the DaVinci movie I even wrote a stirring and rather brilliant letter to the newspaper attacking the censor's decision. Mr Brown, I am on your side.)Chris, youre right. Anonymity is probably for the best. I certainly dont want people hanging out on my front lawn with a telephoto lens trying to get shots of me in my pyjamas. TeineSamoa, i think you should write a book. Get started today. And dont stop until youre finished. Sia Figiel was right – law is the death of writers! lol. And I love that youre loving the journey of motherhood. I've never been to Paris. Or Papeete. But Im 100% certain that they would not compare with the thrills ( and horrors) of parenting the Fab5.

  11. Hi Anonymous Personal Trainer – Im pretty sure that a lot of their irritating behaviour comes from jealousy because you are kickbutt fit and toned and healthy and can wear lycra (and make it look good.) One of my longtime super-coolest friends from my school days is now a personal trainer/gym instructor and manager/owner of her own fitness center in Samoa. Like me, she started having her children 'earlier' than others in our class and like me, Im pretty sure she has endured lots of the condescending patronizing remarks and downright insulting attitudes of people when they find out Im "a fulltime mother" and in her case "a gym instructor". People really need to get rid of their stereotyped thinking. Maybe sweat it out in a really good Zumba class.

  12. The dreaded "What do you do?" question. I just started with a new client, and my title is "Senior Integration Analyst". If anyone out there knows what that means, I would appreciate it if you could explain it to me :DLet's just say I "work with computers". I'm a recovering workaholic (minus the recovering) so it helps that I love my job. But ideally (i.e. finances allowing) I would be a stay at home mum. And when the kids are grown/semi-grown, I'd love to own/run a little cafe 🙂

  13. I don't know why you shy away from what you write. If you can't tell people what you write, what you write will remain a secret and no one will be able to see your talent!You may not be a pole dancer or an elephant trainer and some people may not take you seriously as a writer until you're pulling some big numbers. It doesn't matter. Follow your dreams. Flaunt your talents and your personality.There's a lot of us out there that would love to see it!:)

  14. I'm a Trade Marketing Distribution Manager…whatever THAT means. I grew up wanting to be a writer. My father told me there's no money in it, be a lawyer instead, that way I can fight for all the lands of my forefathers in the jungles of Savaii which have been lost to the white man (possibly sold for a shiny bead and an apa pisupo). Well to hell with that, I took up a degree in Communications instead which I totally hated and inevitably, flunked. My father was right behind me saying "Seee I told you!". And now I am in Marketing. I love my job. I love being out on the field. But (as you may have read somewhere in a post that has been deleted) I hate my boss – and THAT can hinder my love for my job…but I'm getting over that :)But yes, someday I will sit down and WRITE. By the way, did you know that when you won the Telecom Short Story Competition for Category 21 and up (you know, when you were 22), I won the 20 yrs and below category lol. Just saying. Heh.

  15. Bina, I have puzzled and puzzled over your job description over in RockFob blog and i still have no clue what in heck you do. Which means I am in awe of you and your career because you've got to be disgustingly clever to work at a job that requires a 300page manual to describe it. When you open your cafe, I will be a devoted customer. (esp if you have your photo collection displayed on the walls) I do think that you should be a professional blogger though. As well as a "senior Integration Analyst". Your writing is too good to be locked up in analyzing integration…Anonymous girl who works in Communication and Marketing. I agree 100% with your fathers advice – I would NEVER want any of my kids to be a writer. Ugh. Or a teacher. No money in either of them.(Unless youre Stephenie Meyer and JK Rowling…) I will tell my children to 'get a real job' that pays buckets and buckets ( and please share a bucket or two with me, I luff u so much dearest children) AND THEN write on the side, in their 'spare time'. Yes, I knew you were the winner of the Jnr division (when you were like…eight?! u child prodigy you…) Which is why, when you started yr most recent blog, SOMEBODY 'anonymously' left a comment on there, about how you should write and blog, EVERYDAY. Because, from experience I know that stifled writers can be depressed and drowning in acid. If i didnt blog/write? I would be way nuttier than I am now. Which is why I also think, that book you're going to write in the year 3000? You should hit it now and aim for the year 2012.

  16. I did pole dancing when I was 12. Tether ball bored me, but that pole, I ran as hard as I could to fly as far as I could to the top of that pole, just to see how many times I could spin around before reaching the bottom, what I was really amazed at was how quickly I developed these really awesome blisters and callouses, and how quickly the waiting line grew to master said pole. ~Slides over a diet coke slushy with added caffeine drops.~ Now what I would have given to have an MP3 player then, I might have even made an outfit for the occasion.

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