Fishing for my own identity

22 May

This week, I’m a small fish in a huge, eclectic pond. I’m meeting LOTS of writers here at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. There’s a man who is working on a parenting book, a “garden whisperer,” and even a woman with a split personality who is writing about herself. (I didn’t have the nerve to ask if herself knew about this). Anyway, I love them all, and I could listen to them talk all day because hearing writers talk about their work is inspiring and fills me with hope.
But when the other writers question me, I falter. You see, I still have trouble answering that Big Question: WHAT DO YOU WRITE?
Now, Back Home, when I tell people I’m a writer, they usually just smile and ask to see something I’ve written. Here, they already know I’m a writer, so they dig deeper…
Fiction or non-fiction?
Mostly fiction I say.
That’s not enough. Do you write suspense? Historical? Romance? Historical romance?
No, none of that.
So, speculative fiction? Contemporary? Dystopian?
Not really, I say, too cowardly to ask what a dystopian is. I write short stories about seeing God in the everyday things.
Ahh…that would be devotionals or inspirational fiction. Christian living stuff.
Well, yes, but I particularly want to tell people’s stories.
So, you’re a ghost writer.
Well no…I’m really here…
(That’s usually when they start backing away.)
So, after two days of searching for my niche and dodging the Big Question as if it were a wayward lawn dart, I’ve pretty much decided what I’m going to say the next time I’m asked. (I’ve written it on my arm so I can practice in my down time.)
I’m a contemporary, non-dystopian, but inspirational fiction writer who ghosts.
I’m going to need a longer business card.

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