Oh, how I have hated that question.
It’s funny, because I got mildly irritated when my parents asked me where my income was going to come from. But I was pretty upset when they told my little brother that he’d have to get a day job to pay the bills. (He wants to write, as well. Apparently I’m his role model–an idea which still seems ridiculous to me).
As for buzz-killing reality checks, let’s back up here: My parents are wonderful people. They’re supportive and encouraging of their kids. They’re also intense realists. So yes, my dad is thrilled that I’m a writer, and yes, he is also thrilled at the prospect of my being able to eat regularly and pay my rent. I don’t want to be unfair to the people who have given me so much, and are largely responsible for who I have become.
When I look back I realize that it’s just their way of being protective, of looking out for their kids in the harsh, real world. That being said, it seems a little insulting that people assume we don’t know that the world is harsh and real. Last time I checked the job postings on CareerBuilder, “Best Selling Author” wasn’t listed. I get it. It’s difficult to make a living as a writer. You’re seriously harshing my mellow, dude.
As for my little brother, he’ll have plenty of time to deal with reality. And as for me, I’ll be dealing with the little sliver of reality I call my “day job” in just over eight hours, here. It’s ok. I’m thankful to be working and making enough money to live.
Someday I’ll do it with my word processor.