“In my experience, when I’ve told someone “I’m a writer,” the two most common responses are the following:
1) No response, head nod/smile.
2) “I wrote a novel once” or “I have an idea for a book, let me tell you about it.”
On occasion, the person may ask what I’ve written (“Can I get it at Amazon?”) or the dreaded “What are your books about?” but the conversation feels strictly one-sided and I’m often left rambling about how it’s only something I do on the side, not my real job or anything, oh no, that would be crazy. The social level guilt is a kind of “distant-guilt” because 1) No one understands writers and 2) No one outside of writing circles and MFA groups wants to engage in a two hour speculative discussion on what Donald Antrim is working on.”
Shane Jones, “700 Cats: Why I Write.”