This weekend I went out to coffee with this guy I know from work. He just started a few weeks ago and he’s pretty cute. I told him I’m a writer and that I plan to finish my novel soon and he said, “No way! That’s awesome. I’d love to read your work.”
He said, “Maybe you could read my stuff, too?”
“Sure,” I said. “What do you write?”
He tells me fiction. He says he writes literary realist fiction and that sort of intimidates me. But we get coffee (NOT at the shop we work at) and chat and he’s really cool. I told him I’m not ready for anything yet. I told him about my rocky break up with Tyler and how it’s hard for me to trust people.
Prior to our meeting we agreed to each bring a short story to exchange. So we’re reading each others’ work, sipping on our lattes every few paragraphs and as I’m reading I realize: this guy can fucking write. He’s way better than me. Of course, he’s a different style and writes in a different genre, but still. Suddenly I’m way more intimidated. I can’t focus on what I’m reading because I keep thinking about what he’s reading. All the mistakes I’ve made. And ohmygod what if he’s repulsed by it.
But I swallow my worries and keep reading. When we finish we both look at each other and I’m waiting for him to speak, but since I’m afraid of what he’ll say, I talk first and tell him, “Yours was so good. I’m a little embarrassed actually.”
I didn’t want to admit that, but I did and there it was and now I hoped he’d breeze over it. But he didn’t.
“Thanks, but why are you embarrassed? I loved yours, too.”
It took some talking, but after a while, he convinced me that he hadn’t judged me. Which was good. Then I asked him if he’s been published and he told me he hadn’t. I asked him about self-publishing and that’s where the story takes a turn. Basically, my new man-friend is not a fan of self-publishing, which has been my plan from pretty much the beginning. It sort of hurt at first, hearing his reasons, but he made some good points. Anyone can publish whatever they want and often time it’s bad — really bad — and anymore, he said, people are looking for an easy money maker like Fifty Shades of Gray.
It gave me a lot to think about, but in the end, I’ve decided to stick with self-publishing. It’s just the right fit for me, and I’m really going to work hard to create a stellar novel. Hopefully my new friend can help me with it.
One thing is certain, though. There’s only one thing sexier than a man who likes to read, and that’s a man who can write really fucking well. I hope our next date goes better and he can come over for some hot and heavy literary foreplay (as in reading, you perverts).