You don’t come across a writer every day, but when you do, there are some things better left NOT said.
1. “I have an idea for a story, want to hear it? Maybe you could use it in your story and split the profits!” Yeah… no. We have our own ideas, we don’t need your help, thanks. You’re just irritating us if you ask.
2. “Writing a book is easy!” HAHA! Have you ever written a book? It’s anything but easy. Let’s see you sit down at a keyboard for eight hours a day, writing a story. It’s much more than that, though. You must come up with scene after scene, the characters need to come to life, the storyline needs to be interesting, you must pay attention to detail and remember the little things, correct grammar and punctuation… My point is, writing a book is hard. Just getting to the keyboard each day is a struggle all on its own.
3. “I’m not going to read your book.” Ouch! We respect your decision, but saying that to a writer? Disrespectful! Maybe the better way to go, “I support your writing, but your book is not my kind of genre.”
4. “You know what I don’t like about your book? I don’t like…” First, it’s the editor’s job to tell the author what needs to be fixed. Secondly, if you want to express your opinion, do so on a blog or website. There are plenty of websites for that kind of thing. Only tell an author what you didn’t like if they ask for your opinion!
5. “I was going to write a book, but I didn’t have time.”
6. “Oh, you’re writing a book? Good for you, what do you do for a living?” Believe it or not, writing is a profession. Don’t utter those words.
7. “You’re a good writer, will you write this paper for me?” I’ve heard this one a couple times in school. Never ask a writer to do your work for you, unless they’re willing.
8. “Can I be a character in your story?” Yeah, no problem. You will be hit by a bus in the first chapter 😉
9. “When is your book going to get published?” Uh, the book will get published after it’s done being written, edited, revised and edited again. It will get published after the writer finds an agent (If they don’t already have one), after an editor edits the book, and the writer edits it once more. It takes patience. Plus, it takes much more than just a story you wrote to send to the big guys. Don’t ask that question, it’s a silly question to ask.
10. “I hate reading.”
11. “You’re home all day, at least you can get housework done.” Yeah, how do you get housework done sitting at a keyboard for hours? Writers don’t have magic powers.
12. When a non-writer says, “Here’s a little writing advice…” Writers don’t need your advice, they know what they’re doing. Now, if they ask you for help, that’s a different story.
13. “How much does a writer get paid?” None of your business!
14. “Can I read your manuscript?” If we want you to read it, we’ll ask! If you ask to read it, we’ll say no and you won’t see it until it’s in print and on a book shelf!
15. “Anyone can write a book.” Yes, anyone can write a book, but not everyone can write a good book, worthy of being published. This relates back to number two.
16. “Can I get your book for free?” Negative, you have to buy it like everyone else.
17. “I know you have a lot of free time, can you do something for me?” Writers don’t have a lot of free time.
18. “Writing is so boring, how do you do it?” Excuse me, but some of us actually enjoy writing. We all have our likes and dislikes.
I’ve heard a few of these and I’m positive I’ll hear the rest as my journey continues.