When I tell people I’m a writer, I typically get a slew of questions. Aside from “are you published?” (yes) and “where can I buy your books” (here), I’m tackling the most common ones that people seem to like to ask me, how I feel about those questions, and which ones you should never ask of any writer.
- Where do you get your ideas?
- How much money do you make?
- What’s your writing/book/short story about?
- What is your writing process like?
- I want to write a book about [x]. How do I do it?
- Do you ever get writer’s block?
- Why do you write horror? What’s wrong with you?
- Why don’t you write like Harry Potter novels or something? Those make lots of money.
This is one of the most irritating questions I get because it is based off of ignorance and assumptions, and 99.9% of the time, the person asking the question comes from a place where they’re looking down on you.
Additionally, no matter how you answer this question, you will be charged with being defensive. Why? There’s no way to answer it without sounding like you’re trying to justify yourself.
It is not a question I will answer without asking the questioner some questions:
- Why do you think there’s something wrong with a person who writes horror?
- How does horror differ to you from any other genre?
- Why do people write fantasy? Why do people write romance? Why do people write literary fiction?
Typically, the person doesn’t have very good answers to these questions. It then becomes a moot point. There is nothing inherently wrong with writing horror, nor owning your own shadow. This question does not warrant being answered, and it is beneath contempt to ask it of anyone, regardless of genre.
But in an introspective sense, I write horror because it’s fun, I enjoy it, and everyday horror to cosmic horror fascinates me. I can’t escape the genre of horror and weird fiction. It’s the same as anyone who enjoys writing any other genre.
It’s what I do.