In the Writer's Relief January Newsflash
(sounds like a menopause remedy, huh?) Ronnie Smith concocts an hypothetical conversation that would supposedly invalidate a writer. Sorry, I can't quote parts, because she insists her whole newsletter be used. Questions like these need not bring a writer to his/her knees if practiced answers are at hand:
You're really a writer?
Would I recognize your name?
What are some titles?
Do I know of your work?
Isn't it a nice hobby?
Do you send your writing in?
Don't writers live a romantic life?
It must be nice to be rich and famous, huh?
What books have you written?
One that Smith mentioned, "Where do you get your ideas?" all professional writers have heard repeatedly, along with "Have I got a story for you!" The latter is especially intimidating when you're a young female, 100 lbs. soaking wet in sweat because the speaker is a fat, old, influential member of local society or government. Or better yet, a major advertiser for the publication for which you write. The best to do in that instance is to take notes and impress on the tipster that you will get the idea directly to the editor who will make the decision about assigning the story.
My responses to the first questions are a simple "Yes" in most cases, or the information, if available. I'm still waiting to be rich and famous, and romantic went out the window a long time ago. My novels are unpublished, and I feel no need to apologize for that--so are most of my poems. I haven't even tried very much to get those forms published.
The point is, it isn't necessary to be defensive and snarky, even when you're a beginner. No matter what you do in life, some will come along who delight in undermining others' self-confidence, tearing you down to build up themselves. That's just life. They're to be pitied. No one can invalidate you as a writer, as long as you're writing
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