Happy Friday and Happy May, everyone. Like many of you, we’re still stuck at home and I’ve gotta admit, I’ve been going a little stir-crazy. It’s still been hard to focus on edits, but I’m starting to adjust to my new normal and taking things one step at a time. I’ll take any progress I can get, no matter how small.
But I don’t want to talk about editing, I’ll save that topic for another time. Today, I want to talk about the things you should never say to a writer. Ever. So, grab your beverage of choice and let’s talk about the ten things you should never say to the writer in your life – unless you want to piss them the hell off.
1. Are you still doing that writing thing?
This question annoys me since I talk about my writing all the damn time. I’m actively posting writing blogs, snippets, and bitching about editing to everyone I know. It’s not a hobby, it’s a job, and it’s one that I love. So, unless we haven’t chatted in a while – don’t ask this.
2. What do you really do? Like for a living?
For some, writing is their career. It’s an asshole move to insinuate writing is not real work, or that writers are inferior to those who go into an office each day. Who do you think writes the screenplays of the movies and TV shows you love? Who writes the books that give you an escape from reality? Writers. So, if you’re thinking about asking this – don’t. Even if writing isn’t the author’s primary job, it’s none of your business what else they do for a living.
3. It must be nice to work from home and do whatever you want.
Yup. My books and blogs write themselves while I sit around and binge-watch Netflix all day. *insert eye roll* Writing is a job. If I ever want to publish anything, I need to show up and do some actual work. That means implementing a routine and schedule and sticking to it. Just because I don’t have a boss to report to or an office to drive into, doesn’t mean I can slack off and do nothing. I’m accountable for myself and work long and hard on my series. So, the next time you feel like making a backhanded comment – think twice.
4. It must be nice to have all that free time.
This goes hand-in-hand with the above. I just love how people assume that writers have all this extra time in the world to do as they please. Newsflash, when we’re not writing, we’re brainstorming, outlining, studying craft, marketing, researching, networking, creating content, and so much more. The fact that so many people think that writers have a ton of free time is mind-boggling – especially since the opposite is true.
5. Writing is so easy.
Really? Do you know anything about craft? Story structure? Character arcs? Editing? Revising? Querying? Publishing? Unless you’re a writer, it’s likely you don’t. Yes, writing is fun and for many of us it comes easy. But once that first draft is complete, that’s when the real work begins. Polishing a book takes time, especially when you’re working on a series – like me. You need to make sure the setup is there for future books and everything ties together. It’s not that easy, so don’t imply that it is.
6. Hurry up and finish that book already. I want to read it.
I hear and see this one a lot. I know the intentions are good, but please stop. Writers feel enough pressure as it is, to produce a good quality book that readers will love. This isn’t something that happens overnight. We get that you’re excited. We’re excited that you’re excited, but trying to rush us through the process won’t speed things up. If anything, it’ll just irritate us. Know that we’re working on it and be patient. Most of us have lives outside of writing and have real world responsibilities to tend to. Think twice before saying this.
7. Oh, you’re writing a book? I wrote a book once. Want to read it?
I hear this mostly from nonwriters, who usually act like writing a book is no big deal. Which it is a big deal. It kind of goes along with the writing is easy comment. It diminishes what writers do and the amount of effort we pour into our books. So, unless you’re a writer looking for an honest critique or feedback, please don’t ask this.
8. I have this awesome idea for a story. Want to write it for me?
Do you want to pay me for my time and effort? If the answer is no, which it usually is – don’t ask this. One, I’m not a ghost writer. Two, if you’re looking for a ghost writer, you’re going to need to pay them, because they won’t work for free. Three, it’s just rude. Don’t be an asshole.
9. Books are boring.
Maybe you haven’t found the right book yet or you just hate reading. Either way, there’s plenty of people who feel the opposite and love getting lost in a good book. Books are the perfect escape for readers, just as writing is the perfect escape for writers. So if you hate reading, that’s on you. Just don’t be an ass about it.
10. You’re a writer? You must be rich.
Excuse me while I catch my breath from laughing my ass off. NO. Writers don’t get paid to write. We get paid once the finished product is out. Even then, there’s still no guarantee that the books will sell well, even with a traditional publisher. Lucky breaks are just that – lucky.
So that’s my list for the ten things you should never say to a writer. These opinions are my own and purely subjective. Just remember to be kind and patient with the writer in your life. Chocolate and coffee help too.
I want to make a quick note about character blogs. They’re going to be formatted a bit differently than my personal blogs and will be a bit shorter as well. I’m going to try to keep them as spoiler free as possible. But I still want to give you a notion of who the characters are and what they’re dealing with in their personal lives.
I want the blogs to seem like the characters are speaking to you, the reader, rather than just writing in a journal. Some blogs may be written in an interview style, as not all the people who reside in my head are the cooperative types.
Nick’s blog is posted if you want to check it out. Character bios will be updated about once a week, so keep your eyes open for those. I’m putting the social media outtakes on hold for now. Character interview snippets should be posted within the next month.
That’s all I have for you today. My next blog will be on Friday, June 5th and the next character blog will be Karina’s, which will be posted on Friday, May 15th. Stay safe and stay healthy. Until next time.