1. cherrya

    cherrya Active Member

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    Let's share people's reaction after they find out we write!

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by cherrya, Apr 27, 2017.

    I thought this could be fun, and it would be interesting to know how other people might react because so far I've gotten the exact same reactions, with the exact same tone of voice.

    Maybe it's me? I probably don't sound like I can write because I like to speak really strangely because I think it's funny, and I use the wrong words for so many ordinary things of daily life! Maybe it's because I speak french and it's a stupid, stupid language!

    Anyway, mostly I get "Well, that's nice!" like they would tell a child who showed them this drawing they made that doesn't look like anything that belongs on this planet, although today I did get a "Well to write like Hemingway you have to be a good author" after I joked about becoming just like him in character, which was interesting and a first.

    What were yours? Good and bad! I'm curious!
     
  2. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    My bosses give me grief about it mostly, giving me a hard time about how they won't live to see my book published. :p Others tell me that once I become big and famous, I'll want to be a stay-at-home writer. To that, I say NEEIIN!! Even if I do become big and famous, I'm still gonna work! :]
     
  3. Dr.Meow

    Dr.Meow Contributor Contributor

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    I rarely tell people I write, mostly because people look at you with a "oh, you don't like to say you're a bum, so you act like you're doing something artistic instead" face. I also feel silly talking about my story and characters, even to those who are semi supportive. I'll let people read it, but that's because then they'll see that I'm actually writing and not just talking about writing, and they'll see it's not all garbage either. I've never gotten a good response from anyone, except my fiance who used to be a journalist once upon a time. She says that my enthusiasm towards it actually inspires her at times, but I also don't let her read my stuff until it's heavily polished since she's extremely critical at times.

    I've never aimed to be a "great" writer, and certainly never compared myself to anyone of any legendary skill. My wordsmithing isn't my strong suit though, it's my storytelling that I pride myself in. No one will be impressed by how well each sentence is constructed, but my story and world building will capture most readers I hope.
     
  4. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Contributor

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    I only recently had the courage to talk about it to my best friend (!) when she actually asked what do I really want to do when I grow up. Unsurprisingly, she was supportive, and actually interested. I was caught off guard when she started asking what the story is about. Then I realized, hang on, if she told me she was working on a novel, I'd be super interested as well and want to know everything (especially if she's written some awesome character based off on myself!)
     
  5. Viberayshion

    Viberayshion New Member

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    As most of my friends and new people I meet are creatives themselves in a way, but the vast majority aren't writers, they usually find it fairly interesting. Fine Art, Photography, Graphics and so on seem to be dominate the art world now, at least in young people, so people are always curious to know what I write about. I get the same sort of reaction when I say I'm a filmmaker aswell. I find it hard to summarise though, usually just say, "Erm well, weird surreal stuff that'd be good to get high to," and they get the gist from that. I'm sure if I went about telling everyone though, most reactions would probably be that I did that cause I just wanted to doss about at uni. Not saying that I didn't end up doing that, a lot of the time...
     
  6. Lemie

    Lemie Contributor Contributor

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    "Well, can't you take the time to write a best seller now that you're not working" - my mum.

    Well, technically she already knew I wrote, since I've been writing since I was about 10-11. It's was more a "oh, you're still writing..." thing. But... I don't have friends, so I don't have many people to share my hobby with. Actually, even if I did, I probably wouldn't talk about it. It would just give people a reason to pressure me.
     
  7. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    I generally don't mention it because the sure-fire follow-up question is "What do you write about?" to which the answer is ambiguous and I frankly don't feel like talking much about it.
     
  8. Quanta

    Quanta Senior Member

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    I don't talk much about my writing, but when I do, the question I most often get is "are you going to publish it?" The easiest answer to that is "I hope so". Not everybody cares to hear about the long and arduous road to a polished manuscript.
    Out of curiosity, why do you think that? French sounds far from stupid to me when I read Gabrielle Roy:)
     
  9. ame_trine

    ame_trine Member

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    My partner was very supportive, when I said I wanted to drop my business, basically everything I worked really hard to achieve in the last 7 or 8 years, and just write. I won't do that, but it's good to know someone is there to offer understanding and support for my sudden, I don't know, middle age crisis maybe.
    :D
     
  10. Elven Candy

    Elven Candy Pay no attention to the foot in my mouth Contributor

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    I usually get either a polite, "Oh, you write?" to a more interested, "Oh, you write?" It's all in the tone ;). One acquaintance (friend? I haven't made it official--I rarely get to see her) was so nice I ended up yabbering about the entire plot as it was written. She was genuinely interested the entire time and said it should be a movie, hehe. In the end I got her number and she agreed to be a beta reader (if I ever get to that point!). My mom has been supportive since the beginning and one of my brothers is an alpha reader/idea bouncer. He's REALLY helped me through this thing, and in return I'm helping him with his.
     
  11. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    God, me too. I still haven't worked out a succinct answer to that one.

    I recently had the response that I've seen a lot of authors cite: "Will you name a character after me?" This from a colleague at work. She came up to me a few days later and said, "I told my son about your books and he said I shouldn't have asked you to name a character after me, since you write sexy stories. He said it was asking you to write me into porn." Never mind that I don't write erotica. :D

    The best reaction I had was probably, "Oh my god, you are officially the coolest person I've ever met." Although that was from one of those people who is irrepressibly happy and relentlessly cheerful, so I expect she comes across "the coolest people ever" at least once a day.

    Most people seem mildly impressed and quickly lose interest, or tell me about their own long time desire to write a novel.
     
  12. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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    My sister and brother are encouraging, as my sister used to write when she was in high school.
    Pretty much everybody else thinks it is mildly interesting, or have that 'oh you don't do anything'
    kinda thing.

    Unless you are a well known writer, no one really gives shit.
     
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  13. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    Isn't that question a nightmare? When someone asks me that, I don't know if I want to punch him/her in the face or cry. Always a toss up.
     
  14. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    I usually go with something intelligent like, "Oh, you know, stories... Is that a sharknado over there?" and then run away.
     
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  15. Lifeline

    Lifeline North of South. Contributor

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    My mother: 'When will you be finished?' Pretty much everyone else: 'That's nice.'
     
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  16. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    There's got to be a better way. But everything that I come up with in my head sounds wildly disappointing without context. I just need like one sentence that shuts the conversation down.
     
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  17. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Person: "So, what do you do in your free time?"
    Me: "Not much. I write a lot."
    P: "What kind of stuff do you write?"
    M: "Stories, poems, that sort of thing."
    P: "Are you going to publish it?"
    M: "There's about a one-in-a-million chance of that."
    P: "Then why bother?"
    M: "Oh, I don't know. What do you do when you're not working?"
    P: "Not much. Walk the dog, I guess."
    M: "Why do you walk the dog?"
    P: "Because if I don't, he craps in the house!"
    M: "I write for the same reason."
    P: "Oh, I get it. That's a metaphor - you write as a way of unburdening your mental bowels in literary form and all that. It's a creative outlet for you - I see what you mean!"
    M: "Actually, it's not a metaphor. I write to keep your dog from crapping in your house. I have to start billing you for that."

    Etc.

    Most people bore me to tears. o_O
     
  18. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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    That is amazing!
     
  19. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    Yeah, it was - 'cept for the blast of honesty at the end.

    ...
     
  20. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    This year - researchers studied the 'culture populaire' of France. They discovered the most detestable element or emblem of the 'Other France' of intellectuals & culture & indulgence was 'books.' The people hated 'books' over and above any ballerina or politico, strived to reject everything and anything ever associated with 'those people' and their 'books.' [and they voted NF, by the way]

    Naturally, being 'of the people' I struggle with this dicotomy, or long word, or contradiction, I don't know. Maybe they feel the same rise of bile that I suffer when I meet a photographer, artist, ceramicist paracite poet-musician with his property portfolio, heh heh, whilst I struggle for my dollar down the mines, and on.
     
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  21. ChaseTheSun

    ChaseTheSun Senior Member

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    People have no idea what goes into writing a novel. To be fair, for the 10+ years that I wrote short stories and before I started my first novel 18 months ago, I was pretty clueless about the hard work and long hours and hair-pulling moments, too. So I want to give a nod to those non-writers (and non-artists/creatives, even moreso!) who genuinely want to show interest but just have no idea how to go about doing that and usually just stick their foot straight in their mouth. They are trying, poor souls!

    I've had all the oldies-but-goodies ("Oh, that's nice."/"How much have you written?"/"What do you write about?"/"Will you get published?").

    My favourite response (which I'm still trying to decipher, a year later) is when I told a friend I had started writing my first novel. He laughed and said, "I love that you have the courage to write a novel. And I love that you have the courage to admit to it!"

    The response I dread is the "What is your book about?" It's a totally fair question but it leaves me flummoxed every time. My book doesn't fit into a specific genre. It has elements of several genres. I haven't figured out my elevator pitch. I haven't figured out my two-sentence summary that gives enough to pique interest without giving the story away. And it feels so vulnerable. Does anyone else get that? It's one thing to tell someone I write, but when I tell them what the book is about, then they can judge me and my ideas. And that's disconcerting.
     
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  22. Quanta

    Quanta Senior Member

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    I have figured out mine, but I just haven't learned it by heart, yet.
     
  23. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    I get that in my core. I get it so much I've pretty much stopped talking about it altogether.
     
  24. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    Lately when someone asks me what I write I just say, "savage shit" and walk away.
     
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  25. Avana

    Avana New Member

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    I get all the usual stuff ("oh that's nice" etc), to awkward silence. Close family and friends are all aware of my 'hobby'… As much as I'd like to make a living from this I think until I know for myself I definitely want to give up work and make money from writing, no one else will take me seriously. Which is just fine for me at the moment!
     

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