Friday, June 1, 2012

Talking to Non-Writers

When you're a writer, it's hard to explain your passion to someone else. All through school you hear people complain about the books they have to read for class, the papers they have to write, and how useless it all is. I always felt kind of sheepish whenever this happened, because I never had problems writing papers. Sure, I didn't like some of the books I had to read (that's right, I'm talking about you, Moby Dick!) but I always got through them. And some of the books I absolutely loved! Examples: The Great Gatsby, Catch-22, House of the Scorpion.

Now that I'm taking with classes with English majors, it's much the same. I have met only one or two other people who are interested in writing novels, not short stories or poetry. And I've met no one whose dream it is to go into publishing.

I still talk about my dreams with my friends. They ask me how my current project is going, and if I've had any bites on my previous  ones. But I can tell when they get bored with my explaining the query process, for their eyes start to glaze over and they nod at everything I say. I find myself having to backtrack to explain terms that my Book World understands. Which makes me feel like a know-it-all when in truth I still have so much to learn.

How do you deal with talking to non-writers?

1 comment:

  1. I meant to come back to this post and comment (I think I was away that weekend) - clearly I forgot.

    I find pretty much the same thing when I'm talking with non-writers. First, they don't often ask how stuff is going. When they do, I can tell that they're interested enough to know if it's going well or not, but not enough to care about the details. I usually gauge their interest as I'm talking, and change the subject as soon as I can sense their interest is waning. I don't take it too personally; my interest in their hobbies/careers is limited and polite a lot of the time, too.