This was on Faster Than Kudzu way back in May, and I'd saved it somewhere (this was before I was a blogger myself) and just found it. It was one of those things I'd stashed away thinking, if I had a blog I'd so post this, and now I do and I've refound it and still love it! If you've seen this before, revisit and enjoy. If this is the first time you've seen it, try to come up with your own "What you say, What they hear" and leave it in my comments section. (P.S. I didn't come up with the ones below, these are the ones that were on Faster Than Kudzu)
What you say: I'm a writer.
What they hear: I sit at a typewriter with my hair pushed back and my glasses low on my nose and tappity tap into the night. I crabbily repel all humans who attempt to contact me, forgetting what time it is, eating take-out, showing up at engagements absent-minded and preoccupied and late. I may smell. I may have a cat or a basset hound. I live "on the bluff" in a dramatically shaped house. My family finds my habits alternately endearing and infuriating. I have complicated relationships. I frequently pull one last page out of my typewriter and slam it down on top of a pile of other pages and say, "Finished!"
What you say: I'm a novelist.
What they hear: I'm a psychiatrist. I understand people. I tell Stories. I understand YOU. I may put you in one of my Stories. I live in a fantastic world of my own creation, and yet my characters are always fantastic versions of my own family. Go ahead. Say something witty. Tonight I will graft you into my epic. I have an Imagination. I am Imaginative. I also have Morals and there are Issues that I care about. My Novels focus on these Moral Issues and make Serious Points about the Issues that I care about, driven by the fantastic characters which are all based on you.
What you say: I'm a fiction writer.
What they hear: I buy and read magazines no one has ever heard of because they are technically literary journals (even though I call them magazines) and the reason I buy and read them is either because I am published in them or I want to be published in them. I write things no one can understand, largely because I was influenced by my endless and unprofitable stint in graduate school, which I enjoyed so much that I became a professor. If you attempt to read my work you will be stymied immediately by my nontraditional punctuation, my reference to obscure middle eastern politicians, and my insistence on using the format of a musical sonatina. If you aren't stymied, I may become irritated.
What you say: I'm an author.
What they hear: I write books with titles like "How to Improve Your Community in Five Easy Steps" and I appear on Oprah and I wear coordinated suits and I am very VERY WISE. My signature is worth money. My friends speak to me deferentially and my family has a giant portrait of me in the living room. In the portrait I am wearing Chanel. I have never written a lick of fiction and I think it's frivolous and exasperating when people do. What matters is truth, and I have the truth. Ask me anything. I am well read and I probably have a degree in sociology or communications.
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