“What did you do today?” “Write.” “Lucky. I wish I could do nothing all day.” #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter
— Jenna Moreci (@jennamoreci) July 28, 2015
I’m not on Twitter, but I’ve heard that there’s this huge group of writers coming together to rant about the nasty things people have said to them about writing, using the hashtag #tenthingsnottosaytoawriter. So, obviously, I’ve decided to board that train. No further thought needed. *wink*
1) “Oh, you’re a writer? What do you write?”
Never ask this. You’ll make the writer, a usually very introverted person, panic. Chaos will ensue. You’ll get a stupid answer, something along the lines of, “Um… books. Novels for, uh, teens. Christian novels. Yeah.” Just don’t do it.
2) “I guess you’ve got a lot of free time, then, haha!”
No. We have the opposite of free time. We think about our books constantly. Do not tell us this.
3) “I don’t understand why you’re not done with your book yet. It’s not that hard to put a few words on paper.”
4) “I’ve got this great idea for a story – you should write it! I’ll split the profits with you!”
No, why don’t you write it? Then maybe you’ll understand why we get so annoyed with #3. (And splitting profits sounds great – “Nothin’ into nothin’, carry the nothin’…”)
5) “Oh, you write (insert genre here)? Have you ever read (insert uber-famous author here)? S/he is a lot like that. You should write like them.”
I write what I write. I do not write what John Green, J.K. Rowling, or Suzanne Collins writes.
6) “Buy a copy? Nah, I’ll just wait ’til it gets to the library. Or I’ll get it for free online. Free is best, haha!”
Well, gee, thanks. I guess I’ll survive on whatever the non-name-brand Ramen is while I try to pay for my higher education.
7) “Yeah… but what’s your job?”
Well, I’m a full-time college student. I also have five siblings and play two instruments in a university orchestra and at church every week. (I, personally, feel further shame when I finally regretfully admit the fact that I’m a nanny. There’s no shame in babysitting twice a week, but people make you feel so bad about it. *glares at People*)
8) “Hey, you’re the main character, right? Can I be in your story?”
Of course not and absolutely not (unless you want to be killed off in a graphic way).
9) “I write, too. I’ve got a book going. I’m on the third chapter. Three. Thousand. Words. Beat that.”
And, my personal favorite, SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO ME:
10) “That book you recommended was the first book I’ve ever read by a woman. And I was surprised that I actually liked it!”
JUST. NO. Do I even need to go through the reasons why this is offensive??? First, to basically flaunt the fact that you’ve never read a book written by *gasp* – a woman! – and second, to be shocked that a book written by *gasp* a woman is actually good? Excuse me, sir. Do you know what I do for a living? What I want to commit my life to? What the Lord has called me to do? What gives me more joy than anything else??? “Your mouth’s talking – might want to look to that.”
If you or your loved ones have said any of the aforementioned things… STOP. Just. Stop. Writers worldwide will thank you.
P.S. Two things – I’m going to be gone this weekend, so no posts, and I finally got an Instagram account! Follow me for pictures of books and my siblings and food and college textbooks, because that’s what my life consists of right now.