What Makes Writers Scream

Question: Are you still writing?

graphics-circus-397078Answer: Nope. I stopped when the circus came to town. They needed a roadie so I figured why not. I could use the experience in case I don’t become a NYT Bestselling Author, I receive an eviction notice, or I’m eating out of restaurant garbage bins. The skills will open the doors for me to work as a courier for some pompous law firm. Because, hey, writing is just a hobby and it’s important to prepare for the future instead of wasting my time on such silly notions.

Question: What do you write about?

Answer: One could never know too much about the correlation between gratuities and ovulation. Research shows that lap dancers receive more tips at their heightened sexual cycles than any other time. I only examined the grind circle form leaving out the slap and tickle and breast stroke. During ovulation, the dancer’s thongs were loaded with donations.

Question: Someday I’ll write a book. I’m so busy that I probably won’t be able to until I retire. Wouldn’t it be cool if we collaborated?

Answer: Oh yes! That sounds exciting. I can discuss the steps it takes to writing a cohesive book and publishing. After that, you can discuss all the things you did sitting in your cubicle. It’s a win/win. Readers will learn about writing, and the amount of time it takes to learn the craft and the publishing industry, along with learning about your important job.

Question: My life is crazy. You should write about it.

Answer: Sure! I don’t have any other ideas to write about. The enormous amount of book ideas I write down in the journal next to my bed, the short stories I’ve written, manuscripts I’m working on just aren’t that exciting. Let’s sit down so you can tell me about your life, because obviously, I don’t have one.

Question: You wrote a book? It’s too bad I don’t read.

Answer: Are your eyes bad? Are you allergic to paper? Are e-readers too costly? I don’t read is like saying I don’t wipe my ass after I crap. Reading is essential to the mind and soul. It doesn’t matter what you read as long as you read.

Question: So you’re a writer. How much money do you make?

Answer: How much you got? I mean, I’m open to negotiations. I’d hate to tell you the offers I’ve received so far because that might sway you from matching their price. Now toss me an amount, and I’ll tell you if you’re close to what I made in sales last year. Show me the money.

Question: Are you going to be the next J.K. Rowling?

Answer: Definitely. I strive to mimic another writer’s style. There’s a girl I went to band camp with who is nuts, so I called her up and asked her to steal all of Rowling’s notebooks. Using her current books as guides, I can publish her story ideas just by swapping out character names.

Comment: What do you mean you’re busy? You don’t do anything all day.

Answer: Not true. I’ve been trying to regain my memory because I have amnesia after a car accident. My husband has been helping me piece my life together as we reflect back on how we met. I was in rehab, and then we went undercover for several months investigating some drug dealers. I fill my journal with daily things that have happened to me. From living in Chicago to moving to Seattle, I’ve tried to get away from a psycho who has been stalking me. Then I started working some crime cases. There have been three gruesome murders in the City of Chicago. My partner disappeared, and a close friend of mine was in a serious car accident. It’s up to me to solve these cases.

Response: WOW! You have been busy. I didn’t know you were in rehab, let alone, that you have amnesia.

My Response: Oh I don’t. Those are what the characters in my books have been busy doing.

What kind of crazy questions are you asked about your job?

Discussions, Crazy, and Writing,
Baer Necessities

11 thoughts on “What Makes Writers Scream”

  1. Is it better than have them just avoid you?

    Very funny – and I give you permission to scream. People are thoughtless – but you don’t realize how special writers are until you see the depth of that thoughtlessness. Because the more clueless the responses, the more you realize how little most people know about what a writer actually does. Even if they love reading.

    They are right up there with how clueless people are when someone dies, or gets divorced, or has a child.

    Just write good books and smile wisely.

    If someone is particularly bad, use them as the villain in your next book.

    1. Alicia, Yes! I actually didn’t know what I was going to blog about today, so I came up with this idea. It’s all in fun.

      I do scream when I hear some of these questions, especially when asked with a kind of a scrunched up face as if writing is weird. My friends and family don’t have a clue about what it takes to write and that’s fine. They don’t need to the know the steps. Just don’t ask if you feel obligated or to understand my craziness.

      Someday I’ll have to use someone from my past as a villain. 😀 Take care.

  2. Hi Denise. I can relate to a few of these questions, and I love your answer to the last one. When I was growing up and was interested in writing, I received a lot of encouragement from teachers and certain people who actually saw what I could do, but I also heard discouraging comments from people who didn’t know anything about me except that I aspired to be a writer. One comment was, “Anybody can write a book.” That’s an assumption that it doesn’t require any special talent to write. On the surface, that might appear to be true, because there are books written by celebrities who are writers, but most have ghost writers. (There are also some published works out there that are popular but don’t seem very literary.) Then, of course, I had someone telling me just the opposite, pointing out how hard it is to get published. That seems to be more accurate, because even good writers have received rejection letters for various reasons, but it didn’t seem right for him to discourage me without knowing what sort of talent and drive I had, or to merely point out the challenging end of it, without offering encouragement.

    1. Hi Susan, I know people mean well when they ask these questions, but as you’ve stated, people’s comments about writing can be discouraging. I’ve heard the “anybody could write a book” comment. Sure, anybody could paint, dance, act, it doesn’t mean they’ll be good at it. Glad you didn’t let anyone sway you from the craft.

      Some woman contacted me a year ago. She saw a post I made on The Local (German news in English), and wanted to talk about writing. She lives in another part of Germany, so we went on Skype. The woman bragged about how smart she was, how great her German is and proceeded to talk about her book. A friend of hers told her about an acquaintance of theirs selling 4,000,000 copies of her book, and this lady responded, “Oh, I can do that.” Nutso I tell ya. I deleted her name from Skype and doubt our paths shall cross.

  3. I think my favorite is, “What do you do all day?” Ummm, I’m working. At my desk. As in I have chunks of time set aside to be able to complete the needed tasks. Then I also love it when someone wants to stop by and asks beforehand, “Are you working?” They know the answer, and it’s never a five-minute visit. And then, there goes my day. I would never just show up and expect someone to visit with me for an hour if they were at a place of work other than their home.

    1. Jeri, you are so right. I’d love to see people’s expression if you called them at work (outside the home) and said, “Are you working? I’m going to stop over for a little bit.” Writing is flexible when it comes to time, but also demanding when the focus is there. It isn’t a 9 to 5 job, but hours spent here and there, sometimes into the night.

  4. Well, I am not asked questions about my job because I am a student. When I say that I want to study English literature in the future they all look at me like “well, what is that going to get you in life? Do you actually want a job that will give you money?” They just don’t get the value of a degree like that.

    1. Olivia, I received the same type of comments. I have a Bachelors of Art in English. So many people said, what are you going to do with that? Even if you don’t work in your field, English is a good degree for many other professions, if you choose to pursue other avenues. Trust me, it’s amazing how many ‘professionals’ don’t know how to write a cohesive report. English is also great if you decide you want to be an attorney. Briefs, opening and closing arguments, need a strong command of the English language.

  5. I love all of these. Mine…

    Them: So can I, like, get your books at Wal-mart?
    Me: Uh, no. You can get them on Amazon, though.
    Them: You should really see about getting your books in Wal-mart.
    Me: Good thinking, I’ll call Sam Walmart at 1-800-WAL-MART and put in the request when I get home. Why didn’t I think of that?

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