From Writer Unboxed:
When I said I was majoring in Creative Writing, it began.
“Do you know how hard it is to make a living as a writer?”
Then, when I said I was applying to graduate school programs, they said, “Do you know how hard it is to get into an MFA program?”
When I said I was trying to publish short stories, they said, “Do you know how hard it is to get published?”
When I said that I was working on a novel, they said, “Do you know how hard it is to write a novel?”
When I was pregnant and starting to have kids, they said, “Do you know how hard it is to write and have kids?”
This was all part of Phase I, though I didn’t yet know this beast even had phases.
When I had two kids and said I was publishing a novel—okay, here they were outright baffled. We moved into what I’ve come to call Phase II – which is: You seem to be saying you’ve experienced legitimate success and I’m confused.
“A novel that you’re publishing yourself?” they said.
“No, it’s coming out with Simon and Schuster.”
“But how did that happen?”
“I have a literary agent.”
This appeased them. Okay, someone else made this happen for me.
“Is it a children’s book?” they asked.
“No, it’s an adult literary novel.”
Then they circled back to Phase I and said, “Do you know how hard it is to get good reviews and have a bestseller these days?”
Let me be clear. These were accountants, teachers, lawyers, doctors, stay-at-home parents, chemists… People who did hard things to make a career and who knew absolutely nothing about publishing and yet, still felt free to—maybe even compelled to—explain things to me.
And, of course, when I mentioned that I was pitching ideas in LA for film and TV, they said, “Do you know how hard it is to get something picked up in LA?”
This incredibly consistent cultural effort to keep my hopes down—and therefore keep me in my place—continued on for a few decades. I published over twenty books, had four kids—my career kept going.
Fast-forward, I was recently at a small dinner party with friends and mentioned I had a new book coming out, a collection of mostly high-concept, literary short stories, intimately told, written with an eye primarily for film and television.
The man hosting the party seemed very interested. I explained what I enjoy—making a film or the beginning of a television show appear in someone’s mind as they read—and also explained my business model, that the stories go out to producers.
“And have you had any luck selling them?”
“Yes, we’ve sold many of them.” At this point, my spouse, Dave, and I were thinking about setting up a production company —“do you know how hard it is?”—which we now have done.
“And who have you sold these stories to?” the man asked.
I understood we’d moved into Phase II, and I needed to help him make sense of this.
“We have over twenty projects in development with some at places like Netflix, Paramount TV and feature…”
The conversation went on as he ate, saying very little. His spouse asked some questions, and I tried to explain how the stories worked as intellectual property…. And then, as he was trying to make sense of it all in his head, something clicked for him.
And he said this new line–one I’d never heard before.
Friends, get this.
He said, “So, I guess it must be easy to sell things in Hollywood these days because there are so many streamers.”
This was Phase III. I didn’t know there was a Phase III. I felt like I witnessed innovation. To rationalize my success—as a woman because it always seemed gendered to me—he had to completely recalibrate his entire view of the entertainment industry, a complete overhaul.
It had to be the only rational reason why I could succeed at this level.
It couldn’t be that I was actually good enough to succeed at this level.
Link to the rest at Writer Unboxed
PG suggests that the author of the OP hangs around with the wrong types of people.