Jennifer has some adjusting to do…still.
I’m a writer. Apparently, part of being a writer is learning to swallow your pride and embarrassment, or at least, it is for me.
I volunteer on my Temple’s executive board, which means I help set the direction we go, strategize, oversee committees and hire and fire clergy. It’s serious, it can be more time-consuming than a regular paying job and it’s stressful.
Last night, we had an important board meeting. My entire focus was on this meeting, the potential outcome, fallout, reaction, etc. Imagine my surprise when my friend and fellow board member held up one of my books, and another board member started commenting about it to me from across the room. I was more than a little embarrassed.
My Rabbi, who happens to be a good friend of mine, and knows all about my writing, although thankfully does not read my books, made a joke and asked me how many shades of red I was turning. As he was sitting next to me, he could see that I was turning approximately 15 shades of red. I called across the table to please discuss the book with me after the meeting.
I should have had a better response. I probably could have managed one if I were more prepared. But we were already starting the meeting late and it had the potential to run late into the night with lots of debate. The very last thing I was thinking about was my writing—although earlier in the day, I did contemplate bringing my computer to get in some editing (there tends to be some wasted time with chitchat, etc.).
Part of the problem is that it’s sometimes hard to be taken seriously, and being known as a romance writer doesn’t help that. And part of the problem is that I’m always embarrassed when attention is drawn to me.
I don’t mind being identified as a writer. In fact, it’s my abilities as a writer that lead the rest of the board to look to me to draft letters to the congregation, rewrite forms or manuals to better reflect our philosophy, etc. And it’s a skill of which I’m proud.
Now I just need to learn to handle it on the fly better!