How to Cope With Clueless Questions, Crass Comments, and Crazy Conjectures

Oh, the things people say to writers!

whywouldyoudothat

  • “What do you do?”
  • “What do you write?”
  • “Is there any money in that?”
  • “Where have you been published?”
  • “How’s the book coming along?” (Alt: “When will you be done with that thing?”)
  • “Why don’t you just sit down over a weekend and just finish it?”
  • “You should write like Stephen King!”
  • “You should put a vampire in it!”
  • “Why don’t you just go on [popular TV show]?” And, the ever popular,
  • “When are you going to get a real job?”

These are the kinds of (often, but not always) well-meaning questions, comments, and conjectures that bedevil writers. A little planning can help a lot in terms of coping, however. Below are strategies for: (a) increasing your tolerance for difficult questions; (b) maintaining conversational boundaries; and (c) dealing with hostility.

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