I had to pump this author for more information. When she introduced herself to me at a church gathering in Arizona, all she said was that she was a writer. Along the Northeast Corridor, there would have been the mandatory tag line, actually a long laundry list of credentials. That could include "My new nonfiction book X is in the 20,000s ranking on Amazon.com and I ghostwrite for Z politico."
"I write about trailer trash." That's the detail I squeezed out of her. I told her how focused I have been in the ethos of mobile home life. That's because I began life in a downtown tenement in Jersey City, New Jersey, not the stigma-laden trailer part in Bayonne, NJ. She didn't even feign interest. In the southwest, socialization doesn't demand hyper attention to whoever since they may turn out to be useful on a network.
The author's non reaction got me reflecting on how we writers may be at a creative disadvantage in the New York and Washington D.C. metro areas. We can't just be. Instead, we have to justify why we aren't instead doing something very important and very lucrative, e.g. being an investment banker or lobbyist.
Actually, before I relocated to Sandsville, I dutifully apologized that my primary motivation in writing was a form of therapy. Along with mindfulness, it helped get me off medication for clinical depression. That inner gloom? It's gone.
The New York and D.C. Metro areas are harsh referees on career choice and accomplishments. Before being in those two settings, I had lived and worked in Spain, Michigan, Pittsburgh and Ohio. In those locations, no one even bothered to ask me what I "did." Maybe writing is not a doing. It could be an existential state of being. Success, of any and all kinds, is irrelevant.