Ever had someone find out you’re a writer, just to say something absolutely stupid, irritating, or rude in response? Believe it or not, it’s a lot more common than you think. There’s probably 50+ things you should never say to a writer. For today’s blog, I’ll narrow it down to ten of the worst things you could ever say to a writer. Period, end of story.
#1, I wish I had time to write.
I don’t have time to write. I make time to write. If you’re too lazy to make the time, then you clearly don’t wish for the time after all, eh?
#2, I have an idea for a book! You write it, and we’ll split the profit 50/50.
This one is particularly annoying, having had this one said to me personally. The problem with this one is manifold. First of all, I have my own stories to worry about writing. But let’s set aside that fact and the fact that a story from a non-writer is unlikely ever to be published. If the idea was worth my time, I wouldn’t be putting in 50% of the work. I’d have to write the book, then I’d have edit it, then send it to a professional editor, then more edits on top of that…. Do you get it? A simple idea is not worth that much time and effort for 50% of the profit. That’s 95% of the work at least, meaning I better be getting well over 50% of the author royalties.
#3, Can I have a free copy of your book?
Not if I want to do this full-time. Authors need this little thing called food, rent money, and various things like that. If I were to give away free copies, I’d live in my parents’ basement forever.
#4, You won’t let me read your book? @$$hole!
If a project isn’t ready, it isn’t ready. I don’t become a jerk just because my book is in the early stages of it’s development, and if you can’t accept that, go screw yourself.
#5, Can you base a character off me?
#6, But what’s your real job?
Unless you want a knife in your back, never say this to a writer. People don’t ask this question when they find out someone plays basketball or disk golf, so why writing? It’s unfortunate that people treat writers like lazy, idealistic fools just for being creative, yet they never ask someone who plays ball when they’re going to join the NBA. This is what I like to call a double-standard.
#7, But there’s no money in books.
I write for fun, and to produce art. I’m not in this to get rich. We’re not all J.K. Rowling. If I wanted to be rich, I wouldn’t have chosen to self-publish my books.
#8, You should write about this, not that.
The first amendment says I can, so kindly take that advice and shove it. Don’t ever tell a writer what he or she should write about. It’s rude, and nine times out of ten, you’re just plain wrong. You don’t know what I’m good at writing about. Who are you to judge?
#9, But what about your social life?
I’m perfectly happy without one, thank you very much. All I need is my writing, my family, and my woman. A social life is not important to me at all.
#10, What’s your book about?
This is my least favorite thing to be asked. If the book is published, you can find it online. If it’s not published, it’s not ready for the world quite yet. I’m not going to bother giving you an oral synopsis just to make you happy. If you’re really curious, either buy the book and read it or shut your freakin’ mouth. It’s not cute, it’s not funny, and it’s not my fault you’re not willing to wait to find out.
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