This summer at family reunions, weddings and anniversary celebrations, you, a writer, no doubt have encountered numerous questions regarding your career. Though you are a wordsmith, a master of communication, you often find yourself at a loss for answers. Fear not. After extensive research (mostly eavesdropping in restrooms at writing conferences), I offer succinct replies that should help you navigate such inquiries with aplomb. For example:
Q: Where do you get your ideas?A: I plagiarize.
Q: You work at home, don’t you? I wish I could. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about looking good, either.A: Yes. [Staring hard at questioner’s hairdo and outfit.] Are you sure you don’t work at home, too?
Q: Writing is a nice little hobby, but I’m sure you have tons of time. Would you please: unlock the door for my plumber/move my baby grand(s) up the stairs/watch my kids, who have head lice/sand and paint our fleet of church buses?A: No.
Q: Did you know God told me you’re supposed to write my book for free?A: [Big smile] That works. He told me you’re supposed to be my free maid for a year.
Q: Do you write only when you’re inspired?A: William Faulkner answered that: “Yes. And I get inspired every morning at nine.”
Q: You keep saying you’re a writer. When are you going to publish a book?
A: It’s only a matter of time before someone appreciates my brilliance. Yours? I’m not so sure.
Q: My brother/cousin/cocker spaniel published his book with Premier Predator Press. Why all this bother with agents, editors and publishers? Why don’t you just sign a contract with the PPP?
A: I prefer to keep my literary integrity. Also, my gold fillings and my first born.
Q: How did you get your agent?A: I held her at gunpoint.
Q: I’ve never actually written anything, but would you introduce me to her?A: No. She has her own gun, now.
Q: A writer. Wow, is your family proud of you?A: Absolutely. I’m sure they’ll tell me so, once I track down their new identities.