Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Why I Don't Call Myself a Writer

The Pleasure was all Mine
Thanks to everyone who de-lurked Monday. It was very nice to meet you all. Sometimes I feel like I am typing into the big black void of computer wasteland, so it's good to know there are a few readers out there.

Everyone who commented yesterday is entered in the contest to win a free book of your choosing from Amazon. I may even draw three winners, depending on how Smokey the cat feels about it. (He is in charge of drawing names, of course).

Smokey's nannies are out of town this week, but hopefully I will have the winners by this friday.

Why I Call Myself a Typist, not a Writer

Unpublished writers often debate the best way to explain what it is we do. Do we call ourselves "writers" when we aren't getting paid for it?

To each his own, but for me, I call myself a "Typist". The reason for this is simple. Whenever I answer "What do you do?" with "I'm a writer", the following chains of conversation inevitably take place, and it makes me feel like a big doofus:

You’re a writer?
I could write a book. Quick way to make a buck, right?

You’re a writer?
Like that Potter guy?

The boy wizard.

You write books?
Yeah. I try.

(In bad Yoda voice): Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.
(Awkward pause)

Umm… thanks.

So, when does your book come out?

It’s a long process.
I’ve got a printer out back. Let’s get this thing going. Family discount.

You’re a writer? Have I heard of you?
Well, Aunt Meg, it’s me. Brodi. Joan’s daughter.

I think I’ve heard of you.
Only since, like, birth, and every subsequent Christmas Party.

You’re a writer?


I just read a book.
Which one?
Something about… oh, what was it?
Was it vampires in high school?

Yes. That was it. Did you write that?


Aren’t all writers mad as snakes?


You’re a writer?
Do you know Stephenie Meyer?
But, you’re both writers and both Mormons.

You’re a writer?


No wonder your kids are so… unique.

Is your book out yet?
Now is it out?
Now is it out?
Can you get me Stephenie Meyer’s autograph?
Um, sure. I mean, we're both Mormons, and we're both writers.

Finally, after learning my lesson, here’s my new answer:
So, Brodi, what do you do?

I’m a typer. I type. Like on a computer.
Ah. (Nods in approval) Yes. Good for you.

I won't be here Friday, because I'm flying to L.A. for the semi-annual SCBWI conference. (Which stands for: Writing a Bunch of Stuff for Kids and Teens Conference). I am way excited for this adventure. Anyone from L.A. area?

Sam will still post the winners of the de-lurking contest on Friday (if the planets align and Smokey works his magic). And then I'll try to post on Monday with all of the conference shenanigans.

Have a fantabular week, y'all.


  1. A new conference, yay! Can't wait to hear the stories!

    Hmmm, SCBWI = Writing a Bunch of Stuff for Kids and Teens Conference, the letters don't match up. My ocd is kicking in...must figure out...

    Uhmmm, is this the School Collaborative Book Writing Institute?

    Yay, thank you for the picture of Smokey, his picture always brightens my day. Have fun at the conference!

  2. Hopefully you don't feel bad. Most of us have jobs as typists, Brodi. There's honor in being a typist! Right? Right? (right?)

    When people ask me what I do, it usually goes something like this:

    Hi Kent.
    You owe me $5.

    Yo Kent.
    You work for IBM? Do you know John Doe from Saskatchewan?
    Yes. I know each of the 400,000 IBM employees intimately.

    Hi Kent.
    You still owe me $5.

    So you work for IBM?
    What do you do?
    I sit in a chair, look at my monitor, and type on my keyboard.
    whoa...I think we have the same job!

    Indeed we all do. It's so rare that you actually run across someone whose job does not require 90% of the time sitting in a chair, staring at a screen, and typing on a keyboard. Except Sam, who spends too much time with cows.

    Chair-typists of the world unite!!!

  3. Hey Kent--I knew a guy named Steve that worked for IBM for years and I am not sure if he is still there. Would you check for me and get me his email address, I would love to say Hi. I will wait to hear back from you on that.

    Bro--I have 'written' 3 books in my head and they are fabulous. The hard part was coming up with the idea. The easy part, I think, will just be putting it all down on paper. If you know of any agents that want to sign me, have them contact me. The books should be pretty cool and I should be able to pound it out in a week or two. But, I will wait to hear back from an agent before I get working on it. Thanks for your help in advance.

  4. Hey Brodi, do you know Stephenie Meyer? I mean you're both writers and both Mormon, so you should totally be like her best friend!

    I totally a typist too. I type more than I do anything else!

    Have fun at your conference and have a safe trip!

  5. Oh gosh! Laughed out loud at the comments about being a writer. "You're a writer and a mormon, right?" Soooo funny

  6. Una- It's the Society for Curing Baffling Writer Incontinence.

    They're not sure why they don't have more members.

    Kent- How do you not know John from Saskatchewan?

    And we should start a chair-typists union. Then we could fight the man for our rights.

    Sam- You'll get an agent in no time.

    Jenni- join our new chair-typist union. Together, we can negotiate a pay raise.

    And I'll tell Steph you say 'hello'.

  7. Olivia- happy you enjoyed. Is it true you have a cat named "babykiller"? If so, you are so meant for this blog!

  8. I'm friends with Shannon Hale, who is Stephenie's ABFF (author best bud), and you know me, so that makes you only 3 degrees removed from Stephenie Meyer! Or is that two degrees (me and Shannon)? Anyway, see how well networking at conferences can work out for you? I mean, you've got ALL the connections now. ;)

  9. Nikki- Great point. So Stephenie can have her people (Shannon) contact my people (you) and we'll do lunch.

    Now, can you get me within two degrees of Rafa?

  10. You're a typer too? What are your favorite keys? I like the . myself.

    Leave me alone. I am tired and miserable and stranded in Tennessee so that is the best comment you are gonna get today...

  11. Sam, I looked and couldn't find anyone named Steve at IBM. He must've gone to a different company. Sorry!

  12. Cam- is that really the best you got? Boy, Tennessee sure sounds like quite the brain suck.

  13. Seriously, I almost wet my pants I am laughing so hard. (Sadly, this has become more common as the pregnancy has progressed.) Think of how much further you are than a bunch of us poor saps and really all I say lately is "I'm JUST a MOM!" I wonder why people think I'm huffy all of the time.
    Really though, could you get me Stephanie Meyer's autograph? Wow 'em this weekend. (With your book and with your craziness.)

  14. Keersten- I'm at the age where I pee my pants just reading the paper, so I can empathize.

    If my good friend Stephenie Meyer is in L.A. I will tackle her handlers to get you an autograph. Because, that's what friends do, right?

  15. It's just one of those professions that I find so fascinating. But I like the claiming to be a typist thing. Im really good at that and it's something I can brag about. I mean 90+ wmp isn't small potatoes right? Right? Although perhaps it's not that impressive if it looks like asdf asdf.

  16. Hey Y'all- this weekend I sometimes have access to the blog, but mostly I don't. So, just wanted to say a quick hi!

  17. MESSAGE TO SAM: Sam, I think whoever "Kim" is meant by her comment, "Have you tried the more traditional, fun, "appropriate" (there I said it) things to do with your kids? Gilgal gardens? Are you serious? You ONLY go to Gilgal gardens as part of a dare, or after a stomp to kiss or somethin'. You DON'T take your 5 and 3 year old there as if it is some equivalent of the Children's museum or the zoo. Do I need to come and pick up your kids? (and protect them?) The last comment in parens was mumbled under my breath.