Posted on 07 July 2013
A few years back I was at my uncle's 50th birthday party, which was being held at a swanky country club in the suburbs of Chicago. While I was filling up a plate with shrimp, I was approached by my uncle's best friend and his wife.
"Steve tells us you're a writer," the man said.
"Well, I would like to be a writer. I haven't sold anything yet." I had written a couple of screenplays which had done nothing but win some minor awards in Chicago and get me a completely uneventful meeting with Showtime. But I was certainly not a writer.
"Our daughter wants to be a writer," the man's wife said. "Maybe you could give her some pointers. She would love that."
I politely begged off, explaining to this extremely nice couple that since I was not technically a writer I should not be giving out advice.
Two years later I watched their daughter, Diablo Cody, walk across the stage of the Kodak Theater and receive the Oscar for best original screenplay from Harrison Ford.
Sometimes it's best to just fill your mouth with free shrimp and fade into the crowd.