In case you haven’t noticed, it’s that holiday time of year. You know the routine. Parties and calories galore. Crowds and credit cards smoking from overuse. Getting together with relatives you haven’t seen for an entire year.
And—worst of all—having to answer the inevitable, “How’s your writing going?”
Oh, on the surface, it’s a harmless enough question. Much less in-your-face than a glitzy-gaudy Christmas sweater gone wrong. Don’t misunderstand, either. I’m not dissing the genuine interest that others hold in regards to the writing journey. In fact, the question shows care and concern from loved ones.
Still, why in the world do those four simple words, “How’s your writing going?” always drop me to my knees?
Because this question is like a bag of potato chips. You can’t have just one, folks. It’s the follow-up questions that sucker punch a writer into a drooling idiot . . .
“You still haven’t finished that book?”
“You still haven’t been published?”
“You still haven’t gotten an agent?”
“You still haven’t heard from Publisher X?”
“You still haven’t made it to the NY Times Bestseller list?”
The definition of insanity, according to Albert Einstein, is doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results. This year, stop the madness. You know those questions are coming, so writers, let’s be proactive. How? Plan ahead.
Share an interesting bit of research you’ve uncovered.
An engaging tidbit of information oftentimes turns the conversation in a whole new direction. And who knows…you just may have found someone who can add to your knowledge base on a particular subject.
Prepare a fun and snappy comeback.
You don’t have to feel defeated because you “still haven’t.” Lighten up the situation with a quippy reply. Don’t just grin and bear it. Really yuk it up.
No, not your finger. Flip the question back to the questioner. Be honest and admit you haven’t whatever-they-asked, then ask them if they’ve accomplished one of their goals yet. Only use this tactic, however, if you really care. Otherwise, you’re going to come off as a sour grapes connoisseur.
Remember, ‘tis the season to be jolly, not crabby. Instead of cringing in the corner at the next holiday gathering, go out there and have fun!