How to Cope With Clueless Questions, Crass Comments, and Crazy Conjectures
Oh, the things people say to writers!
- “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.