Another person came up to me and asked me if I wrote for television. I said yes. She then asked, "How do you do that?"
"You mean, how do I write for television?"
"Yes," she said.
"I write screenplays," I said.
"Which is what, exactly?"
"The story, the action, the words that the characters say," I replied.
She stared at me. "Somebody writes that?"
"Yes," I said, resisting the urge to strangle her. "It's like a writing a play, only for the camera instead of a theatre audience."
She shook her head. "No, it's not."
I used to get the same dumbfounded question--"Somebody writes that?"--when I was a catalog copywriter. A surprising number of people imagined that the words simply hopped out of all those shirts and shoes and garden planters and magically materialized on the page.
Yeah, somebody writes that. And you know what? It's hard work.