Cringe-worthy Questions and Queries

Oh dear, here comes the flurry of questions again. At a party, in an after-church conclave, at a dinner with friends. I cringe despite a resolution to relax. I paste an ‘I’m pleased to answer you’ smile on my face and inhale. Ready, set, go!

Most times the inquiries aren’t even questions but are suppositions and negations meant to corner a writer, who the questioners clearly consider a strange wildebeest. An airy-fairy word nerd incapable of… well, you fill in the blank. One thing that has been pounded into this burgeoning writer’s head is that you can’t head hop, so I have no idea what drives the inquiring mind to pelt me with questions. Envy? Curiosity? Pity/ Dread?

What’s your routine? Do you set a specific time, have a specific place, an assigned word count?

Faces fall when I don’t lock-step with “Yes” to each of these inquires. I rely on an oft-repeated phrase, “Writing is my elegant hobby, so I do it whenever I can, when I want, on this day or that.” The other person shrugs, unable to grasp the thought that discipline isn’t required, that creativity is a muse that never leaves me, and often compels. Since most are 9:00 – 5:00 workers and ‘on the clock’, and I’ve declared writing as an encore career, I guess they can not conceive of a person who writes without a whip lashing at their back, enslaved to the tax of productivity.

Where do you get your ideas?

Clearly, the questioners think that there are supermarkets with shelves and shelves of ideas which can be bought. Or else they can’t imagine that I pluck them straight from my fun-filled mind. Some are leery, very, very leery that I only engage in conversation to purloin lines from them… As if! Others are certain that I plumb news headlines.

Honey, I don’t want to read the headlines. I want to avoid them. I want to create a better world. I write from the heart.

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12 comments on “Cringe-worthy Questions and Queries
  1. Louise (Fundy Blue) says:

    Hi, PJ! I loved your post ~ You have a zany fun voice! I think writers must write from their hearts, and good ones create worlds that pull me in and let me escape from the real world. I have to admit that I’m a news junkie though. I want to know what’s going on, and one of my “genres” is writing to my congressman and senators. This idealist loves to tilt against windmills. All the best to you in the coming year!

    • PJ Colando says:

      Good day to you, Louise! Someday we must discuss your ‘Fundy Blue’ moniker!

      I, too, scribe – and diatribe – in the genre of writing to my elected leaders, captains of industry, etc. to exhort on the topic of customer service… Don’t these people know they shouldn’t disappoint or taunt a lady with high verbal skills?! And, a pen as sharp as her tongue! Ha!

  2. Peggy P Edwards says:

    Once a writer, always a writer (and reader also, I might add).

    I find Facebook a necessity because it gives me a daily platform on which to write, which I find almost as necessary as air, water or food.

  3. Diane Burton says:

    Love your voice, PJ. And your uplifting attitude. Have fun writing.

  4. Sandra Cox says:

    The question I hate the most is ‘Where do you get your ideas’.

  5. Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine says:

    This is why I avoid having people ask about my writing at all costs! LOL

    • PJ Colando says:

      Patricia Lynne, have you told you my secret, declared to only a select few in my adult life-?

      My real name is Patricia Louise. Argh – guess what my cousins called – and still call me.

      Now that’s a cringe-worthy nickname 😉

  6. Gil Stewart says:

    PJ – I like your “I’ve declared writing as an encore event,” and it is amazing how compelling it has become. Some do this to escape. My affliction pulls me toward late0-life reality…..the challenges and rewards we find there spite of hard times. Sad to say, no one ‘escapes’ to my stories, and they don’t ask many questions.

    • PJ Colando says:

      Well, Gil (and I hope you are well as you read this reply). Your statement compels to search out your stories to read. ‘Escape’ ain’t always great 😉

      But empathy is –

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