(JB does it right!)
I’m curious…how many authors out there separate their writing careers and their day jobs entirely? And readers, are you aware authors do this?
I’m certainly one of them.
I wasn’t sure what to talk about here today at the SMP blog, but a few nights ago, I had some downtime at the hospital while working a night shift. I had my iPad with me, so I loaded up Spotify and played some music to fill the silence in the reading room.
One of the techs entered as Jay-Z’s beats thumped against the walls and she asked me to check out a study. I gladly pulled it up and she kept looking at me funny.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“You’re listening to Jay-Z.”
“Oh, sorry, I can change it if you don’t like him.” (and for those who know me, Jay-Z is one of the most benign artists I listen to)
She laughed nervously. “No, it’s okay. It just seems so…normal of you.”
Huh? Normal of me? Why?
Because I’m a doctor, that’s why. And I guess doctors shouldn’t listen to Jay-Z.
Honestly, I wasn’t the least bit offended. I get it. An M.D. tagged to the end of your name comes with expectations. You should behave a certain way. Do certain things. Listen to certain types of music. Be politically correct, socially acceptable, graceful in everything you do.
I hate to break it to you, but I’m definitely NOT graceful!
Don’t get me wrong, I consider myself very good at doctoring (okay, maybe there’s an eensy-weensy bit of ego in that statement). Granted, I’m still in training, but I work hard and do the best I can every single day. That’s all any resident could ask for.
But the above incident is one of many reasons why I choose not to share my writing with my medical cohorts. My books are not only out of the norm, they’re dark, sexy, horrifying and violent. The creative world I live in is politically incorrect, socially unacceptable and not the least bit conservative by any means. I write about monsters, death, love, hate, revenge, possession, addiction. My stories can be morbid and macabre, and even if they end happily, the journey to that final destination is brutal.
Think of your primary care physician (hopefully you have one!). Imagine if they wrote stories like this, or some other “taboo” topic like say, BDSM. How would you perceive them? Sure, some would find it interesting, even fun, maybe. Others not so much. Particularly if they’re your colleagues, your boss, the administration (THE CAPITOL!). A fellow writer friend of mine pens steamy romances and is an elementary school teacher. I can intimately relate to her fear of parents discovering her sexy author counterpart and demanding that she stop teaching or “influencing” their children. Isn’t that sad? But it’s a reality many of us have to face.
And it’s hard. My life is so consumed by medicine and I spend so much time with my medical colleagues that I wish I could share my writing achievements with them. “Guys, I published my first book!” “Guess what, I signed a three book contract for a series I’ve been dying to write for years!” “Look at this awesome cover, ahh, I’m so stoked!” But alas, I cannot, and it’s disheartening at times.
Yes, secrets can be revealed, and if my colleagues find out about L.D. Rose, then they find out. There’s nothing I can do to stop them. But I’m going to try real hard to keep them disconnected, hence why I use a pen name and an alias to at least separate these two “entities” within me. I know many people do this for a variety of reasons, and this is mine.
What about you, dear reader? What’s your take on this and have you ever experienced a similar conundrum in certain aspects of your life? Inquiring minds want to know, so please feel free to share. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me. 😉