A Writer Who Actually Writes? Inconceivable.

One of the funniest things people ask me–whether they remember my “hobby” of writing  from the past or my enrollment in graduate school is under discussion–is: “So, have you written anything lately?”

To which I always want to respond: “Have you breathed lately?”

I’m not sure if writers fall in the category of mythical creatures in some people’s minds, perhaps slightly less rare than the spotted whangdoodle or chupacabra, but I think one of the perks of being considered slightly mental by the “responsible, contributing members of society” is that people will ask the most inane questions. Listed here, in no particular order, are some of my favourites (That’s for you, Helena):

1. “So you’re getting a degree in Creative Writing, what do you want to do with that?”

Well, I think I’ll solve world hunger and then perhaps discover an alternate universe that I can then visit with my handcrafted spaceship and/or time machine.

2. “Have you ever written about me?”

No, but if you keep harassing me, I will. And it will not be to your advantage. Or, yes, go read it and then you’ll most likely stop harassing me anyway.

3. “So…like…do you want to work for a newspaper?”

I’m fairly certain the newspaper is supposed to report facts. This issue is, however, under review.

4. “Have you written anything lately?”

Firstly, define “lately.” Have I written anything in the five minutes I’ve been enduring tortuous small-talk with you? No. Have I written something since the last time I spoke to you which was before we had learner’s permits, much less driver’s licences? Yes. Several things.

5. “Can I read your blog?”

Well, I don’t know, can you? You may read my blog. If you follow me on any form of social media you’re harassed with it weekly. If you can’t manage to find then then I will assume, no, you can’t read it.

6. “Do you write stuff like Twilight?”

*Screams and throws whatever heavy object closest at hand at offending questioner*
 

Related rant: Five Things Your Writer Friends Want You to Know

(The title of this page should be read in the voice of Vizzini)

25 thoughts on “A Writer Who Actually Writes? Inconceivable.

  1. Every time I see or hear the word “inconceivable” I can’t help but put it in the Vizzini voice- and somehow it always ends up with a rhyming game… Too funny. And I hate all those questions, I hear them far too often. Though thankfully no one has ever asked me if I write things like Twilight. I shudder to think what I might do if I got that question…

    • I assume that one is probably gender skewed towards female writers. It usually follows on the heels of me saying I typically write fantasy, which makes it more cringeworthy.

      • I can only imagine the frustration involved… It’s a shame folks don’t associate you with more talented female authors. Or just authors in general- I don’t see why there’s even a difference. A writer is a writer is a writer. That’s my opinion anyway.

      • I try not to take it too personally—the people asking all these questions have never bothered to actually read my writing. If they had, I hope the Twilight question would be moot. An interesting question that has been addressed on many a blog lately! But as I seem to put my foot in my mouth on that particular argument, I’ll just say I agree with you and leave it at that.

      • Hehe, good enough for me. 🙂

        So here’s another question I hate getting: What do you write about?
        I usually give the quick comical answer. Stuff….and things.

      • Yes, this is one of my “favourites” aswell and the suggestions either keep getting more propostreus or I am just more then the usual one leg inside another world 🙂

      • The best escape afforded to us as writers—we can disappear inside our little worlds and still smile and nod at the people in the “real” world.

  2. I forgive you for appropriating “unwashed masses”. Just footnote, next time, darling! Next thing you know you’ll be making off with couche-tard, and then I’ll turn on Big Bang Theory, and Penny will be calling Leonard a couche-tard, and I’ll be all “Where’s my royalty checks, bitches?” and then I’ll trace the leak back to you, and things will get ugly.
    I have people ask if I have ever written about them, and I TRY not to do that, but that’s not to say that I haven’t created composite characters where I blend a few people together. I find that’s always a good threat to make when they ask that — threaten to make them a villain, or a victim of a particularly brutal killing.
    Of course, trying to explain what I write is difficult.
    “I write stories.”
    “So, what? Short stories?”
    “Some of them are short, yeah.”
    “What genre?”
    “Um, well, it’s mostly post-modern deconstruction of the very nature of writing and storytelling, and… HEY COME BACK! Don’t you want to hear more about what I write????”

    • Clearly I’ve been corresponding with you too much, it just slipped in.

      AHEM- to all readers/commenters the term “unwashed masses” belongs to Helena Hann-Basquiat in all her glory. Anyone attempting to steal said phrase and use it for pernicious reasons is a couche tard.

      I usually just pause after saying “I write stories” and wait to see if they follow that with “oh really? I’ve read a book before” or if they ask intelligent questions.

      • There is no such thing as too much correspondence with yours truly, darling.
        My favourite question is “Fiction or Non-Fiction?” Which I invariably answer “Yes”.

  3. “Unwashed masses” is great, if I ever use it I’ll be sure to give proper credit. I usually just call them “Randoms.”

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