Monday, 28 May 2012

The "That's Nice" Stigmata

I met a couple in their forties last week--beautiful, smart and impeccably dressed--at a NGO meeting I had to cover for the company. They were sitting next to me taking notes on their iPads (I use pen and paper--the old fashioned way) and we managed to strike up a conversation. They asked me who I worked for, how young I was, if I was related to the fast food family McDonalds, if I had a girlfriend and then they finally got around to asking what were my goals?

"I'm writing a novel."

"Oh, that's nice," she said flatly.

"Very good," he added.

And then they quickly changed the subject to something else.

Well, excuse me beautiful couple who's smart and impeccably dressed, but writing a novel is not nice...it's frickin' AWESOME! It takes sweat, tears, a little bit of blood and a few hours of facials just to get the thing done. I might not be working on the next great piece of modern literature but, darn it to hell, I'm writing something that matters! So take that beautiful couple who's smart, impeccably dressed and who I wanted to be like in ten years before you said "that's nice" and turned me off but whom I still kinda wanna be like...

IN YOUR FACE!

13 comments:

Kyra Lennon said...

LOL!

I've actually had similar conversations before, and often I see the cynicism in their eyes. It sucks, but then I leave them and work extra hard to prove that I CAN DO IT! :D

T.D. McFrost said...

All the people I've told were stunned and impressed, but not these two. LOL.

D.G. Hudson said...

Under that beautiful facade can be very shallow people.

To them business goals would have been more preferable. Climbers? Most likely.

I always remember, that's just ONE person's opinion. They can dismiss writing a novel because anyone who hasn't tried thinks it's easy.

Elise Fallson said...

OMG I hate that condescending "oh that's nice," bit. That's one of the reasons I refrain from telling people I write. People who have never tried writing a novel just don't get it.

Allison said...

I usually feel odd telling people I'm writing a book, because I dislike both the condescending look and the fake "Oh, that's nice!" that comes afterwards. The nice thing is that the people who know you are usually excited for you.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I'm laughing because that is the response I generally get from my family. My friends who are artistically inclined in whatever way always talk about me as a writer.

Just found your blog - looking forward to what you have to share.

Paul Joseph said...

Yup. That sounds about right; I've been there.

Barbara said...

It really doesn't matter what everyone else says, it matters what you feel and think.
Keep on doing what you love :) If it feels good, it's right for you.... other people have their own passions :)

Roadtrip: On my way from A all the way to Z!
English Speaking Zone

ryan field said...

Now see this is where age comes in handy :) I used to feel the same way you did when people would react that way. But now I just go directly for their throats. But always with a smile. It's an art form.

I also learned a long time ago not to tell anyone what I do. I just say I work in publishing and leave it at that. It's just easier.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Oh you got brushed off. That sucks. I believe in you though T.D. And you're right, it's hard work. I would be/am impressed with you sir.

jaybird said...

Maybe they should spend less time in the mirror, perfecting their look and use that time more wisely, like working on their people skillz. Just sayin'

elizabeth seckman said...

I never told people I was writing. I told them I ate bon bons for a living.

T.D. McFrost said...

LOL, Elizabeth. <3

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