Do People Actually Know You?

Now that the news of my impending freelancerdom is filtering its way around work, I’m getting an interesting collection of comments and questions. This is because there are two kinds of people at work–those who have been around long enough to remember that I write and those that are newer. I really don’t talk about writing much at work (mostly because I don’t want to set up a conflict of interest kind of thing–I don’t want people in my workplace feeling they need to go out and buy my stuff). Back when it first became obvious I was writing and publishing, the workplace buzz gathered on its own, but over the past few years those folks who know I write just know, and those who don’t never really get a chance to hear about it as a rule.

So this news of mine is creating a second wave of questions–which on the whole I’ve been very happy to answer or respond to or basically just kind of wallow around in. I’m getting used to answering things like “are you published?” and “where can I find your work?” which tend to be the most popular questions people ask when they learn I write.

But my question of the day is: “Do people actually know you?” By this, they mean: “Are you famous?”

Now, this is a perfectly natural question, and I’m as happy to talk about it as any other part of my writer’s life. I like that people are comfortable enough and curious enough to ask me about what I’m doing and where I am in the big scheme of things. But I also admit that the question makes me just a tiny bit uncomfortable, because I’m just not use to answering it. I try to find a way to say something like “I’m bigger than a breadbox, but smaller than an SUV,” but I really can’t find a phrase that really seems to fit. I guess the real answer is “I don’t know.” The last time I answered it, though, I said something like “There are a few folks who know my name, but it’s not really about that.”

I think that feels about right. But I reserve the right to change my mind. [grin]

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