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Tag Archives: PR firm

How to Tell People You’re a Writer (Without Telling Them Anything)

2 Sep

writerIf you’re anything like me, making small talk with strangers is high on your list of least favorite things, just below unpacking groceries and losing a limb. Most people don’t have a lot of trouble making meaningless chit-chat, but then again, most people aren’t socially anxious writers like myself. Even if I wasn’t socially anxious, I’d still be a writer, and therein lies the crux of my small-talk impairment.

Say you’re at a party, bar, or a very boring orgy and someone asks you, “What do you do?” Most of the time the questioner is trying to determine how you make a living, your hobbies, interests, etcetera. Most people can reply with, “I’m a teacher,” “I work for a PR firm,” or “I find money on the ground.” Any of these and countless other responses are perfectly acceptable, and will barely create a blip on the questioner’s conversational radar. However, when writers answer this question, the questioner’s nostrils expand, their pupils dilate, and in some cases, salivation has been known to occur; in short, they smell easy conversational prey, and are ready to put you (the writer) on the defensive.

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