I recently had a discussion with a gifted musician about a bizarre exchange he had with a chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. And, as it often happens, something that had bugged me for years was illuminated by another person’s experience.
“Don’t you see?” I asked. “He wants to talk to you about what you do, but he doesn’t actually understand what you do. I think this must happen to creative people a lot. After all, almost everyone _likes_ music, but that doesn’t mean we know how to speak to a musician and composer about what he does.”
And, yes, that goes for writers, too. In today’s New York Times, a writer named Caitlin Macy complains: “Or else I get, ‘Hey, how’s that book thing coming?’” as if she could just as well have a potpourri shop on Madison Avenue.” (Note: The reporter adds the comparison to the potpourri shop; I happen to think being a writer is almost exactly like having a potpourri shop. And “Hey, how’s that book thing coming?” is actually a perfectly fine question.)
My friend, the writer Maria Lima, recently pointed me to this wonderful entry from John Scalzi’s <a href=”http://whatever.scalzi.com/2009/02/26/10-things-to-remember-about-authors/”>blog</a>.
And I’ll throw in, from my own <a href=”http://www.lauralippman.com/april06.html”>archives</a>.
Meanwhile, I had a nightmare about my new book last night. I dreamed my sister hated it. “You just feel it’s too close to home,” I said, which, in real life is not the case. “No,” my sister said, “it’s just not very good.”