I often refer to myself as the World’s Laziest Linguist because I know a smattering of several actual languages (French, German, Latin, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, American Sign Language, and Spanish) and several no-less-valid-but-not-official languages (Nerd, Teenage Girl, Knitter, Hip Hop lyrics, Gamer, and Man), but I’m not fluent in any of them. I can now add another to the list: Writer.
With the others, I was aware of the shift in my brain, and that with that knowledge came a division between those who know the language, and those who have heard of it. I was aware I was acquiring Writer Language, but I didn’t realize it brought the same division.
Recently I was talking to some non-writer friends about my contest win, and half of them were ready to run out and buy my book. Besides being flattered I was flabbergasted. Didn’t they know that not every book was available in a brick and mortar store? And that those books were sold 18 months ago? Or that it wasn’t as easy as win a contest and instantly get published?
Slush piles, royalty rates, agents vs editors, MS formatting, the dreaded synopsis. None of them had a clue. Right there in the Panera I had an impromptu This is How it Works seminar. Some of their eyes glazed over. Some of them thought I was exaggerating. And some walked away a little more informed and slightly disillusioned.
I walked away realizing as much as I know about Writer as a language, there’s still more to go. Unlike the other languages which I pick up and use when it strikes me, this one needs to become second nature to me, the way English is. So new item on the Goals List: Become Fluent in Writer