That’s the question I suddenly ask myself after I’ve been on hold for 13 minutes. Thirteen minutes with a faceless woman who spells my name wrong, three times. Who can’t find my order for 6 minutes (see above re misspelling), and who does not make me feel confident that the order, once placed, will be correct.
And what am I ordering?
Bookmarks. Customized bookmarks that feature my book and links to my book as well as my blog.Now, see where I’m leading?
Who wastes their time on faceless people after creating a bookmark for hours (oh yes, it took me a total of over 8 hours in front of the computer cursing, screaming, pulling out my hair and scaring the dog) while the ‘easy to use’ website crashed, burped, blinked, and generally made my life hell as I chose colors, downloaded my book cover, and then added text.
Self-involved people, that’s who waste their time on these frustrating tasks. I never ever considered myself one of those people who think only of themselves – those kind of self-important people who are clueless about the world around them.
But. Gulp. Have I just described writers?
We sit in a room by ourselves and make up people, imaginary people with whom we use up (some would say waste) a lot of our time and energy.
We join our friends at a café but our eyes glaze over during the intense conversations about….life…. while in our heads we plot the next chapter in our imaginary characters’ lives.
We create blogs that talk about ourselves, and our writing, and our characters, so that everyone will know about our work when we publish. (Thank you, Karen Elliott for featuring my “A Brave New World” post on your Word Shark blog today!)
We spend our time marketing our books and stories, creating bookmarks and accepting invitations to women’s groups and book clubs, and library workshops to talk about ourselves, and our writing and our books and…
I sit back in my chair as the faceless lady takes my credit card number, and I realize I’m a self-involved, heartless soul, despite my years of parent-ing and wife-ing and attempting to be a good sister and daughter and meditating peace and good will to all.
But perhaps those of us with a passion, those of us who believe in what we do, whether it be writing fiction or skiing down a mountain or collecting antique cars or hitting a small ball on a long stretch of hilly grass, perhaps we all stroke our egos to allow ourselves to believe (and to encourage others to believe) in what we do.
And what, exactly, do we do?
We make up people – but in doing so, we help ourselves and our readers to understand life just a fraction better. To understand what makes us humans work (or not work) in the scheme of this confusing universe.
So really (my big ego says) we writers are quite important.
Perhaps I should have ordered 200, instead of 100, bookmarks… 🙂