I let the cat out of the bag last year when I told people I know and replied to people I met that I was a writer with a published book. It was weird but funny to see how people dealt with it. Here's the reaction I received and I found a nod and a smile helped: -
"I can't believe it! But, you were always so good with words."
My thoughts: "Then you didn't really know me."
"Oh! Have you written anything good? I loved 50 Shades and read all the Harry Potter."
My thoughts: "My definition of good is obviously different from yours."
Then, without giving me chance to reply they went on to say:
"50 Shades was great but badly written and well, HP was so easy to read."
My thoughts: "Sex and magic - sums up most people and I suppose I'm not that different, I loved Harold Robbins books and Lord of the Rings, but then again, that was when I was a teen."
"Well, I suppose if that's what you want to do but it wouldn't do for me, I prefer to work."
My thoughts: "Someone hold me back!"
"Oh!" followed by a sideways glance and then a complete loss of words.
These are just a few of the reactions and it was remarkable how whenever I did try to reply to some people I was quickly interrupted by: "Well I..." or "But..."
Not one person asked: "So how did you do it?"
I don't know what I was expecting but even weirder was weeks later when a complete stranger came up to me in the street and said: "Oh its you!" and then stared me directly in the face before walking away with a puzzled expression. Later, I realised they had seen my photo somewhere and hadn't recognised me but thought they must have met me in the past.
More amusing was hearing people whisper behind me while I was in the queue at Sainsburys: "That's her! You know, the one who writes."
My thoughts: "I know, its a terrible sin but you can always put a bell around my neck and send me into the streets as unclean!"
And so, if I wasn't doing this then I would still be slogging away at my old career and wishing I had of done something more fulfilling....