What That Makes You   7 comments

What assumptions do people make about you when they hear you are a writer?


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Making Assumptions

I suppose you’ve heard the old saw about what making assumptions says about you?

Enough said on that topic since this is a family-friendly blog.

Assumptions Made About Me

I’ve only really encountered three assumption from people who learn I’m a writer.

The first two are perhaps understandable. What do nonwriters know about the lives of writers?

First, they assume I’m unpublished. Twenty years ago, they would have been correct because back then the big publishing houses could control the gateways to publishing, but that’s changed in recent years. It’s an understandable assumption but an incorrect one. I wrote for my own entertainment for a long time, but now I write for the entertainment of a paying audience.

Then, upon hearing I’ve actually published 15 novels, they leap to another incorrect assumption — that writing is all I do. This is not true. I have a life outside of writing (or my life includes writing) and I also have a money job that pays for things like the mortgage, medical care, and funding my retirement. It takes a lot of effort and no small amount of luck to become a self-published author whose writing pays the bills. I’m not there yet. Because I don’t assume stuff, I am not expecting to quit my job before my retirement plan reaches maturity.

The third one is an assumption that I find annoying. They leap to the assumption that published authors make a lot of money and therefore I’m rich. This is most annoying when it’s my husband’s relatives making these assumptions. My books do make money, but they don’t make me rich. In fact, if you look at the lives of truly professional writers, you quickly learn that most aren’t rich. Even the ones who work for a big publishing house make middle incomes.

And, so this third type of assumers truly earn my first comment. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, folks, and I don’t have a huge bank account. Maybe someday my books will get the readership (and the earnings) I believe they deserve, but for now, they’re a hobby that pays for itself.

7 responses to “What That Makes You

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  1. I still remember Rule 7 (c) of the International Regulations for preventing Collisions at Sea. I spent 40 years with them memorised in my head and applied them in my job most days. You might think they would be irrelevant to anything other than ships but this paragraph is fundamental to life. It clearly states, “Assumptions shall not be made on the basis of scanty information.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that! There’s a sandbar in the local river, just under the surface. Every year some young military guy with his first Alaska boat makes the assumption it’s like a rock — it doesn’t move. You can guess where I’m going with this. My husband and I have a running competition to be the first one to spot a stranded boater sitting in the river channel where the deep water was the year before because every spring breakup re-channels the river.


  2. That’s a good one, Richard. I’ll have to save it!


  3. Lol, we all need jobs outside of writing, or we’ll be on Skid Row. Writing is a great hobby as you say, but it doesn’t pay the bills.


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