There is a phenomenon in the Western world consisting of a person being often asked, "are you a writer?"

The question is asked without any context whatsoever, often within seconds of initial encounter, and sometimes before the questioned person has said anything. Those asking the question do not consider themselves writers, and do not write nor edit works intended for mass consumption or flair. The question is asked in a tone of goodwill.

What can be inferred about the questioned person?

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    I don't know how we can be expected to know what someone is thinking when they ask something. I've personally never heard of this phenomenon before. – F1Krazy Sep 3 '20 at 13:08
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    Without some context to suggest you are a writer, I can't see why anyone would do so, and I haven't seen it. What is the context in which you were asked? – DWKraus Sep 3 '20 at 13:38
  • I am skeptical. The only plausible explanation that I see is that the person questioned bears a striking resemblance to a well known writer. – Alexander Sep 3 '20 at 16:21
  • What phenomenon is this? I'm not aware of anyone being asked this, in public or private. – Chenmunka Sep 3 '20 at 17:20

As with any profession --doctor, say, or lawyer --people outside the profession have a set of vague stereotypes about writers, formed by books and movies, and with little-enough basis in fact.

The mythical writer is a novelist. He is a man. He is at work on his next bestseller, but is afflicted by writer's block. He is intelligent and intense, but perhaps a bit pompous and self-important. He lives in the world of his book. He writes all the time, and everything he writes gets published immediately. He wants nothing more than to be given ideas for his next book. And so forth, and so on.

And of course, there are ample stereotypes about the look of the writer as well. As it so happens, I found your question puzzling, until I looked at your profile picture. I would venture that, for whatever reason, you look like many people's internal stereotype of what a writer should look like. I imagine if you humored one of these people by saying "yes!" they would lean in close, with a look of satisfaction, and say "I knew it!"

But don't expect them to actually be interested in anything you may have written.

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