Dude: "So you want to be a writer, eh?"
Me: "No. I AM a writer."
Dude: "I mean a PUBLISHED writer."
Me: "I AM a published writer, that's what I'm saying."
Dude: "Ah, well, self-published doesn't count, does it?"
Me: "I'm NOT self-published, man. I have a book out from an actual publisher."
Dude (frowning thoughtfully): "How come I've never heard of you, then?"
Me: "I... well, I don't know. I mean, most people haven't. It's a small press, and, um... a niche market, and all."
Dude: "Right. That's very cute."
Me: "The book has gotten very good reviews."
Dude: "Hey, we all gotta start somewhere. Don't feel bad about it."
Me: "I DON'T feel bad about it. Well, I DIDN'T, a minute ago."
Dude: "Keep following your dreams, man."
Me: "Excuse me while I go hang myself from the rafters now."
Dude: "Right on."