Writers are a rare and odd breed. Sometimes we don’t even get ourselves, and I can only imagine the trouble other people have trying to understand our habits… If you’re a writer, you’ve probably heard one or more of these recently.
My response depends on what time of day you ask (never before the first smoke), my mood (whether or not there’s a cloud hanging over my head) and whether or not I started the day sober (never a good idea).
To cut down on a lot of time, here’s what I’d respond if I could…
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Q: So, what do you write?
A: Anything that pays, really. I’m working on the nutritional blurb on the back of a cereal box. You’ll love it.
Q: Have you written anything famous?
A: Not yet, but you might’ve spotted the graffiti under the bridge. I’m very proud of that. In fact, my family thinks it’s my best work.
Q: Can you read my manuscript / short story / poem / lyric?
A: At $20 per hour, sure!
Q: When are you getting a real job?
A: It’s great that you should ask! I’ll be scrubbing toilets at Barnes & Noble next week. Pop in for an autograph.
Q: Have you ever really killed someone?
A: Not yet, but I might start!
Q: Can you name a character after me?
A: Of course, there’s a serial killer in my new novel I don’t have a name for yet and I think I just found it.
Q: My friend / cousin / cat writes too.
A: Cool. I shower. Take walks. And make coffee. How are they at that? Are they any good? I need someone to make my coffee.
Q: You can’t smoke in here!
A: Keep your voice down, goddamnit! This is a library. (People will back away, even if it isn’t…)
Q: Please, for the love of God, will you get some sleep?
A: One more chapter… Sleep is for the weak. I’ll sleep when I’m dead! Coffee?
Q: You’re going to be the next Stephen King!
A: I’m not even sure Stephen King wants to be the next Stephen King, and he didn’t make it anywhere by writing like anyone else.
Q: Have you figured out the ending yet? (Usually when watching a movie or series…)
A: Yeah. They all die in the end, and then they’re back for the sequel.
Q: Do you drink a lot?
A: Yes. Oh, God, yes.
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: I keep a midget – sorry, little person – under my desk. In return for coffee, he writes all my ideas down on a piece of paper and hands it to me. Man, has he got some good ones.
Q: Do you really believe in ghouls / ghosts / long-leggedy-beasties?
A: No, but I believe in the girl that hides in your closet. What do you mean you don’t know about her? Yeah, yeah, she speaks to me…
Q: You’re probably really creepy, aren’t you?
A: Of course not. There’s nothing wrong with us. We’re all normal.