Do you ever lie about your writing success (one way or the other)?

Let’s face it: writers are essentially paid to be liars. Can you really trust us to be truthful about anything, even about how good we are at our craft? This week we asked the Confabulators if they’ve ever fibbed about their writing career (or lack thereof). I think the answers are pretty interesting.

Ted Boone

I’d have to have had some degree of success in order to lie about it. :) My short on Amazon Kindle sells 20-30 copies every month, which is, quite frankly, shocking to me. Other than that and a quarterfinalist placement in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novelist Award a few years ago, I have nothing to share one way or the other.

Sara Lundberg

Success? What’s that? Oh yeah, that thing where you get recognition for your work. I am probably more inclined to tell people I’ve never had any success than brag that I’ve had some when I haven’t. At this point I’d hardly define what I’ve experienced as success. More like small triumphs that only mean anything to me. Maybe if I publish a book someday I’ll lie and round my sales up to the nearest hundred or something.

Paul Swearingen

I lie by omitting specific figures. “Yep, I’ve sold copies of my novels in the U. K., Spain, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada …” The rest of the story: That would be six in Canada, two or three in the U.K., two in Spain, one each in the other countries. Actually, more in the U. S. A. But I’m not telling how many! So far the actual income of all of my Amazon fiction sales would allow me to invest in a Happy Meal or two. When I was writing a monthly column for a radio magazine, at about a thousand words per column, I was paid the princely sum of $50 per column over about three year’s time. At that rate, if I keep selling my novels, I should be able to match up my fiction vs. non-fiction income … oh, about the time I’m dead and forgotten!

Kevin Wohler

I’ve discovered that there’s no reason to exaggerate my success to co-workers or friends. Writing stories in my spare time sets me apart from the average Joe. When my poetry was published in a university lit magazine, everyone was encouraging. When a short story of mine was recently accepted into an anthology, my co-workers were amazed. Success is what you make of it. I’m proud of each of my triumphs, no matter how small.

Jason Arnett

I can’t say that I have, but I don’t know what other people may think. When Evolver came out I was as surprised as anyone but in the Grand Scheme of Everything, it’s a small success. I certainly don’t use it to get drinks at a bar or anything. I’ve shared what might happen if it goes any further, but that’s more along the lines of dreaming out loud. At least I hope so. I’m happy. If that translates to others as bragging I can’t do anything about that.

 Jack Campbell, Jr.

I don’t lie about my writing success, but early on, I would be vague. I would use my experience writing for college-access television shows as a credit. I would also use any writing of any type as a credit, rather than just the type of writing I was submitting. I would include experience in journalistic and editorial writing, and not specify that it was not fiction that was published. It wasn’t lying. I wrote what I said I wrote. That writing was published where I said. But I wouldn’t specify the type of writing. These days, I have enough creative writing credits to give, but early on, I took advantage of any type of my writing seen or heard anywhere.

Cafe Management is run by the administration of The Confabulator Cafe. We keep things running smoothly, post stories by guest authors, and manage other boring back-end tasks.


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