Cosmos Feb 18, 2010
I don't follow some of what you've said, so I'll stick with what I had comments on: the backhanded comments. Yes, I understand how frustrating that is. I've had people say to me "I had no idea you were this good!". What automatically pops into mind is "What, you thought I *this* bad?". I don't even know if people realize how bad that line actually sounds. Some people probably say it out of ignorance of how insulting it really is, but I've no doubt others say it thinking it's a clever way to be snide. I generally think that the latter is a lot rarer, though.

And you might want to keep in mind that it might be a way of their saying that they obviously had a very limited understanding of your writing skills and therefore assumed the writing was actually quite ordinary (which when people don't know something, is generally what they assume...a happy medium, if you will). So when someone saying it out of ignorance says it to you, you might be better off saying "Thanks, I know I keep a lot of it to myself, so people don't get to see how much I've improved." It sounds modest, acknowledges your own skill, and allows them to nod and smile.

Or you can just nod and smile, which probably is easier. xD