Monday, April 9, 2012

The Burning Question: How do you say what you do?

I suppose this question could as easily be part of my Writing Blog (Herding the Dragon), but I want to make it wider than just that, so here it is.

Ms Danielle LaPorte clarifies thusly:
"So let me refine this Burning Question. How do you usually tell people what you do? And if you’re not giving yourself full credit for your work in the world — whether you’re rocking a cash register or leading a team of twenty — How can you light it up when you say what you do?

Let people see the full scope of what you’re doing. You can be modest and powerful. Factual and engaging. Facts + feelings = genuinely compelling.

I like that, Facts + Feelings = Genuinely Compelling. That's exactly the sort of thing that should be written down on a card and pinned to the wall, I think. Right over my desk. If I had a desk that was mine. And usable. And reasonable. Which I will! After I move, when I have more say in how the place is arranged, and I don't have to accommodate anyone else.


I think I usually just say "I'm a writer", but that usually leads to "Oh? Of what?" and then when I say "Fantasy, mostly, and a little scifi", people just shut down. When I was just writing for myself, this was fine, and almost preferred, because then I wouldn't have to tell people what I was working on, but now, I want them to know, so I have to come up with something better.

Maybe instead, I'll say, "I'm a writer of complex, detailed stories that explore the nature of good and evil, faith and deity, and especially the things that fall through the cracks or cross boundaries."

Maybe I'll say "I'm a TV and Book reviewer, focusing mostly on the ways characters interact and what it tells us about the world of the text and the real world we live in."

Maybe I'll say "I'm in love with words, all the forms they come in, and I'm fascinated by how they both define and expand the world, depending on how they're arranged. Did you know that 'silly' used to be a terrible insult, and 'slut' was a term of endearment?"

Maybe I'll say "I'm in the process of finding out who I am, now that the old constructs of my life--school, home, retail job--no longer apply, and I'm becoming fascinated with the process of being happy, of finding what makes you happy, of remembering to allow ourselves to be happy."

Maybe I'll say, "I'm a person, working my way to the life I want, by way of words, writing, television, books, tea, cats, sleeping in the sunshine, and finding where I should live."

...About half of these would depend on where I am and who I'm talking to, I suppose, but all of them are equally true.

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