From Jon’s post “Every Word’s a Gift”:
The world trains young people to feel this way. If you are not making money, then what you are doing is worthless. I think this of all things discourages writers, especially fiction writers. Someone at a party will ask, “What do you do?” and you will respond, “I’m a writer.” This will be followed by a pause, and that same person will ask, a little gently, “But what do you really do?”
Hardly the most important or interesting part of our trip, but there was one small thing that I really enjoyed: not having to explain what I do. Maybe it was because of the language barriers, or the cultural differences, but after I shared that I was a writer — miming a book with one hand, a scribbling pen with the other — that was it. No further questions. Nothing like, What genre? Have you been published? What are you working on now?
I don’t mind talking about my work sometimes, but not having to talk about it is nice sometimes too.