|Kristin Bair O'Keeffe|
So here's a guest post from Kristin. Is your life hectic? What do you say to this question Kristin's posed?
What Do You Do?
by Kristin Bair O’Keeffe
Writers, what do you say when someone asks, “What do you do?”
Lately, it seems that every day, someone asks me that question—“What do you do?” If the interested party looks like she has the time, interest, and attention span for the delicate minutiae of my professional life, I take a deep breath and spill it:
- I’m an author. (Run out and buy my novel Thirsty right now. Yep, yep. I’ll wait.)
- I’m a speaker. (I was speaking at the spectacular 2011 Pennwriters Conference in Pittsburgh when I first met Laurie Edwards, my generous host at Downtown YA.)
- I’m a cultural spelunker (one who explores culture).
- I’m a writerhead passionista. (What? You don’t know what writerhead is? Writerhead = the magic that goes on in our writerly heads when we’re caught up in those beautiful—sometimes excruciating—sh, sh, sh, ssssssshhhhhh, I’ve got to get this down moments. Those moments when words are bubbling, popping, zinging, and swinging. The ones when the “real” world disappears behind a gauzy cloud—insert sucking sound here…sssshhhhpppttt—and the imaginative world takes on firmer lines and brighter hues.
- I run 38Write, a monthly series of online, kick-ass writing workshops designed for place-passionate, culture junkies around the world. (The July workshop had 16 writers in 9 countries. It rocked!)
- I’m a social media maven. (For the first time, I incorporated Pinterest into the July 38Write, and wowza, what a way for writers to become a cohesive group, despite the fact that they’re separated by landmasses, bodies of water, and cultural differences.)
- I’m Mom to an awesome 4.5-year-old kiddo, who tells breathless stories that usually begin with “Let’s pretend I’m a gorilla/inch-high person/birthday cake/etc. and the biggest giant in the whole universe is chasing me….”
- I’m Mom to a new pup named Gumper, who is losing his razor-sharp puppy teeth (yay!), but is attempting to use my knee as a chew toy while doing so (boo!).
- I have a part-time “day job” (a part-time day job that is only part-time on a part-time basis; sometimes it’s a full-time part-time job).
But when someone asks, “What do you do?” on the fly and the interested party is tapping her toe even before she’s finished asking the question, I say, “I’m a storyteller who loves—and who is pretty damn good at—getting others to tell stories, too.”
Sometimes, when the mood is right, I simply say, “I’m a tightrope walker.” (Or magician. Or juggler. Or mind reader. Or stunt woman. Or…)
How about you? What do you say when someone asks, “What do you do?”
If you’d like to know more, bless you. Grab a cup of coffee and pop on over to my website and blog WRITERHEAD, where I orchestrate all (or much of) the above. Check out the archives for the Writerhead Wednesday interviews (a weekly feature in which I interview an author about her/his writerhead). Check out the descriptions of the 38Write workshops. (August workshop to be announced soon.)
If you Tweet, give me a holler on Twitter (@kbairokeeffe). If you Facebook, I’m there, too. And if you Pinterest, check out my 38Write | Structure group workshop board.
So get thee to Writerhead...