It's really hard to explain to people what it is I actually do. That's why my City of Modesto business license is for "Services Not Elsewhere Classified." I don't want to simply tell people I'm a writer, because that leaves out a good portion of the work I do that's merely writing-related, or editing, and totally doesn't mention anything about visual art or design, which I also do.
That might still seem relatively simple to explain, but when I say I'm a writer and artist, or a writer, artist and designer, people then tend to latch onto one of those and grill me about just that one aspect. Usually it's "So what do you write?" Which often means I have to launch into a lengthy explanation of the various different types of projects I do, because if I say, "Oh, a variety of things--fiction, articles, whatever," that will provoke a blank look, or further curious questions.
Lots of times this leads into either "I had an idea for a novel once," followed by the story of said idea, or "I've been thinking I really should write my autobiography because I had a really interesting life." Variations on this conversational thread happened to me several times today, at the annual Chew family picnic in Point Richmond (my husband's extended family). On the other hand, there was a delightfully chilly breeze that we here in the valley are only privy to after the midnight hour.