When people are bored by your writing

Has this ever happened to you?

*ring ring*


"Hey! How's it going?"

"Great, actually. I've been really engrossed in my writing."


"Yeah," you continue, "I'm so proud. I'm pretty close to being done with editing."


"So did you watch Big Brother last night?"


Or, you run into someone you haven't talked to in a while...

"So how's that book coming?"

Which one? You think.

"It's going well. I'm knee deep in the next one already, and working on queries."

*dead stare*

*you clear your throat*

"That's nice." They finally say. "We'll I'll see you around, then!"

And you're left standing there, feeling like you said something bad.

How do you, as a writer, respond to situations like this? I realize that for the most part, people don't really care about the answer anyway. But I find myself wondering, what was the point in asking in the first place?

I had a friend once tell me that she didn't ask about my writing progress because she didn't understand it anyway. Understandable, right? I mean, to an unwriterly person, what kinds of words are editing, drafts, and queries? Boring ones, most likely. About as exciting as cardboard, stale bread, and dust bunnies.

In fact, I hardly ever bring my whole writing conquest up to anyone for that very reason. The whole process *is* boring. (How long have you been working on that one book again? Over a year? And nothing has come out of it, but you're already writing another one? Uh, okay...) Unless you're the one working on it, day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute, that is. Then it practically consumes you.

I guess I'm just trying to say that once in a while, it would be nice to get an actual, interested reaction. Someone who, for even just three minutes, would listen, absorb, and truly care to hear what it's all about.

And then again, what would I do, if someone started explaining the intricate details of heart surgery?

"So. Have I told you about my writing?"

~This post was written by Snip. All names have been deleted to protect the innocent. (Especially the dust bunnies. Not looking for a mud bath at the moment, thank you very much.)


Nicole said...

ooooo yep. I know this. I just avoid telling anyone now and do it anyway. They ask how its going and I just respond 'great' ;p

Artemis Grey said...

Great post! The funny part is that all of my friends ask how my writing is going and yet we all know that what they're asking is 'Are you happy with how you're writing is going?'

They'll ask if I've gotten feedback from anyone, heard from agents, if I'm working on anything new, and that sort of thing, but none of them want to know about the process in depth because none of them have 'writer brain' and have any understanding. As long as I'm happy their happy :)

Elissa J. Hoole said...

hahaha! just this last weekend, we had some guests who asked me about my writing and I gave them the typical, "Yeah, it's going great!" response, only to find them asking question after fascinated question...and yes, I talked their ears off for the better part of a half hour, so happy was I to have someone so excited and interested in what makes up most of my life at the moment, haha!

DL Hammons said...

Its for this very reason that I don't tell anybody about my writing. If I ever get published, then that'll be a different story, but for now the only explaining I have to do is to myself.

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Nicole. Great. That response is great. Really. LOL

DL - yes, it's easier that way. I don't "tell" anyone anymore, but being a blogger, and avid tweeter and all, it's kind of out there.

A. Grey - good for you. Friends who make sure you're happy are great friends! :)

Elissa - I imagine, if I had that kind of opportunity, I'd probably go on and on too. It's fun to teach people about it, long as their eyes aren't rolling into the back of their heads;)

Lila Swann said...

My teachers are the only ones who are really excited whenever I talk about my book (and the only ones who really ask questions, too). Of course, I think this has something to do with my age, and how they're merely excited that some young person loves to read and write (since so many other young people don't). I expect this will fade as I get older.

Some people are interested about the process. Questons like, how did you come up with your idea? Or, how do you find the time to write? Or, is it published yet? You were writing this a year ago, why isn't it published yet? What are you going to do with your life once you've given up on this silly dalliance? (Answers are, respectively: I don't know, I don't know, No, I don't know, This isn't a silly dalliance. Shut up.")

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

LOL Lila! I joked with Lovemuffin one time that it would be a good idea to carry a card around with answers on it. (No, not published. Yes, trying to be. No, haven't given up yet. No, I'll be trying to *make* money, not give them all away. And so on... )

Travener said...

I sometimes have the opposite problem. People ask me about my writing and I don't want to talk about it.

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

Ha! This is my life. Except I do have 3 people that love to hear about writing--my husband, my mom, and my oldest daughter, who also loves to write. So I figure out of the hundreds of people I know, I can count myself fortunate for having 3 who are interested. I mean, I can, right? I figure that's 6 ears! 6 Ears!!!


C.M. Villani said...

Oh thank goodness I'm not the only who gets fed up with the lack of enthusiasm. It literally drives me bonkers when I bring up my writing and no one wants to talk about it!

The sad thing is that even the people I ask to read my manuscripts barely want to talk about it with me. And I usually have to provoke the conversation. :\

Sorry for the venting, its just when you are the type of person that spends all your time and energy being there for your friends - letting them vent, letting them tell you all about everything that means anything to them and when you want the same kind of treatment in return and they just look at you blankly like they just don't care. Its sucky!

I agree with you though. I really wish I could have one friend who will talk about my writing with me with some genuine enthusiasm.

I guess that's why we writers stick together. We're the only ones who truly get it.

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Travener - is that because of the crap you've been going through lately? I can't say I'd want to talk about it either. It must be so frustrating!

C.M. - I know what you mean, and after that one friend of mine explained why she doesn't ask more about it, I understand why no one really asks, at least. Not that it necessarily makes me feel much better about it or anything!

And you're right. That is why we writers stick together. Thank goodness for the internet! Lol

Davin Malasarn said...

I've been getting this question more and more lately. I hate it. I don't advertise my writing anymore. I won't bring it up unless I find another writer...and in LA luckily that's not too hard to do.