Swiped this exchange from Peter Hodges’ blog.
Old Friend: So…I hear you’re a writer now?
Me: (hesitant) Yes.
OF: Cool. Where are you at in the book store? I want to pick up some of your stuff.
Me: Well…I’m not in the book store yet. I’m trying to get published.
OF: Oh, so you’re not a writer, yet.
Me: I haven’t quit my day job, no, but I am a writer. I write. Every day.
OF: Yeah, but you can’t really say you’re a writer until you get something published, right? I mean, that’s when you get the big money.
Me: Writers don’t make big money.
OF: What? Of course they do. Clive Cussler has dozens of antique cars. Clancy founded a video game empire. They’re living the dream, man.
Me: Even if I get published, I probably can’t quit the day job.
Me: Well, yeah. Look–if you write in genre, then your advances are based on what the market will bear. You’re talking about an audience of ten or twenty thousand, tops. Besides, with ebooks, the economy being down, writing isn’t what it used to be.
OF: Dan Brown is rich.
Me: And Dan Brown writes predigested, anti-religious, controversy-generating bullshit. (This is the point where I get frustrated with the conversation.) He uses contrived narrative stops to simulate a sense of pace and style. It’s like a bad action movie, only it has delusions of being this great intellectual mystery.
OF: You’re jealous of Dan Brown, aren’t you?