Sunday, November 15, 2009

Everything Changes

I've discovered something rather odd recently, something I'd never believed to be true until it started happening to me. It has taken me completely by surprise, being the sensitive true-blue kind of gal that I am, and I'm not quite sure how to handle it.

People treat you differently when you find some success.

Seriously. I mean, how weird is that? Writing a book didn't make me a different person any more than changing my sheets makes me a different person, but suddenly, just because I have a book coming out next year and people (my publisher) are calling me "the American answer to J.K. Rowling" suddenly I am being treated as if I am somebody special. Somebody important.

It is a very odd feeling. How does getting published or becoming a recording artist or a movie star make you different? When did society start to place people on pedestals just because they are being thrust into the public eye?

The people who should be on the pedestals are the ones who get the least recognition. The teachers. The volunteers who read to children. The Librarians who direct us to books and take such good care of them. The Police Officers, the fire fighters, the ambulance drivers. All the people who are there throughout our lives and make such an impact on who we become.

Of course, as a writer, I hope to make an impact on people. I pray that my words will reach and touch someone when they are in need of a friend or some comfort. I want to write the kinds of books that people keep with them and treasure for the rest of their lives, but in the end, they are just words on a page.

And yet those words have changed how people treat me. I co-teach a writing class with my friend Shanna. This is the second year we've done it and she has said several times that the kids treat me differently this year. Why? What is it about becoming an "author" rather than a "writer" that makes me different?

I guess this is one of those questions I'll just have to let go of and enjoy the ride, but it's not easy to do--when everything changes.

Quote of the Day: Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.
- Rod Serling


Brenda Susan said...

I can understand your students seeing you differently. It's easy to say you are a writer, anyone can say that. A published book or article verifies what you said about yourself.
Sad but true I guess. I look up to published authors & many of my close friends have published books. I admire what they have achieved & I love that it did not change them into someone different.

Wendy Sparrow said...

I LOVE the quote.

I don't have anything better to say than what Brenda said. I'm looking forward to feeling more like just a writer, but being an author would be AWESOME. In the meantime, I think it's cool that people are saying such nice things about you. :)

elizabeth said...

I love you the same as you were before. I think that's why there are lots of stories and movies about celebrities/royalty who want to find friends, loves who don't know who they are cuz they love the purest without the popularity aspect involved.

I'm afraid of that, but that's just how life is. :(

I'll always be here for you if you need anything.



L.T. Elliot said...

Change is a tough thing. I think as long as we remember not to change ourselves too much, to not let the spotlight change us, then what the world sees is just a facet of what you already are.

Diva Donna said...

The world has ALWAYS treated people differently who have found success. THat is one of the challenges of life to cope with the blessings as heroically as you do the burdens. Success is both a blessing and a burden. I for one have not doubted since I saw the first glimpse of your writing that you would be published. However, people who don't know you will only know that you are a published author and that gives you more credibilty to teach about writing because while you may not KNOW that much more about it than you did before, other people THINK you KNOW more now. Good Luck with the ever changing challenges of seeing your dreams come true. Congrats.