I've stopped explaining to people what I'm working on. The fact is, unless you have attempted to write your own novel, you simply are not wired to understand what it entails. It isn't my fault, nor is it your own.
Sure, people still ask, but the majority are just being polite. They don't really care about my book, nor are they interested in it's progress. Which, to be perfectly honest, makes me not care a whole lot about them. This must be why, with the exception of a handful, I have little desire to interact with non-writers. I can't shake the vibe that certain people are waiting for me to fail.
Too many people try counseling me. Paul, it's March. Get your teaching applications ready!! No. Paul, it's great you are playing this little writing game, but you really need to think about how to make money. What's money? Paul, I have to tell you that I'm concerned. I really think you should look into a stable career - something with benefits. Thank you; nobody ever pointed that out before. Paul, what will you do if you fail? Wait, I could fail? Crap! I have never failed at anything. Teaching worked out perfectly, didn't it?!
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I have people who are genuinely supportive - but, bless their souls, don't understand at all.
Case in point: my parents. I love my parents, but they are really in the dark on this one. I give you the abridged version of our latest conversation. Drum roll please....
Dad: Off to write your book?
Dad: Are your mom and I in the book?
Mom: Yea. I bet.....
Me: No offense, but neither of you are that interesting. I don't think it would appeal to a very large audience.
Mom: Aren't you writing about yourself?
Me: No. Even I wouldn't read that. I'm definitely not interesting.
Dad: Is the dog in the book?
Dad: You said there was a dog in the book!
Me: A dog. There is a dog in the book - not my dog. It's fiction!
Dad: You're writing fiction? I thought you were writing about Louisville.
Me: Holy [cow]! It takes place in Louisville. It is not about Louisville.
Dad: But Louisville's a real place. That isn't fiction.
Me: Sometimes, as odd as this may sound, fiction stories take place in real locations. Don't you watch CSI?
Dad: So when do I get to read it?
Me: When it's published, which may very well mean never.
Dad: Your mom and I could help edit. We could give you suggestions.
Me: Dad, you don't read.
Dad: I read the paper.
Me: Oh, okay then. But family members should not critique your work.
Dad: Says who?
Me: Says everyone.
Mom: Isn't it almost done? It's been two years.
Me: No. The first draft is almost done.
Mom: It took you two years and all you have is the first draft?
Me: Yes. And I don't have it yet. I said almost done. I still have a few chapters left.
Mom: How can that be? You write every single day!
Me: Yes. I do. Some days I write lots and lots of words. Other days I write very few words. And some days, I write zero words.
Mom: Is that normal?
Me: No. Not at all. I obviously suck. There is something wrong with me. Maybe I should be evaluated.
Dad: I've been saying that for years.
See what I mean?????