Thursday, October 30, 2014

Top 20 Scariest Things People Say to Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

In honor of Halloween I thought I’d dust off this old post and share it again. It truly is scary what people will say to writers without thinking! 

I’ve also added my rebuttals to these thoughtless observations, and I’m happy to report that I’ve yet to give into the temptation to utter them aloud, no matter how badly I wanted to.

Top 20 Scariest Things People say to Writers!
1. Are you published? (I really don’t have the space here to get into this. I usually just do a mental eye-roll.)

2. I have an idea for something you should write about. We could split the profits. (Yeah, I do all the work and you get half of almost nothing. Sounds like a deal to me…)

3. I wrote a book, can you contact your publisher/agent for me? (You really wouldn’t like what I had to say about you.)
4. Why don’t you take the day off, it’s not like you work for a living. (unprintable reply)

5. Can I read your manuscript? (Like I don’t have enough stress in my life already.)

6. Writing must be the easiest job in the world. (If you like 20-hour days, pennies per hour, horrific critiques, and serving up your heart for others to chew on daily.)

7. Anyone can write a book, what else do you do? (see number 6)

8. You should get that published. (Really? Like I hadn’t thought of that.)

9. I’ve heard that if you….you’ll be a much better writer. (Nothing I like better than advice from someone who has no clue.)

10. Aren’t you finished with that yet? (I am. I just decided not to submit it.)

11. I hate reading, it’s such a waste of time. (unprintable reply)

12. Have you ever written anything I might have read? (Yes. If morons could read.)

13. Will you read my manuscript? (*running and screaming in the other direction*)

14. Are you still doing that writing thing? (Believe me, if I could quit, I would.)

15. When can I get your book for free? (What part of “I do this for a living” do you not understand?)

16. Can you edit/write my essay for me? (I write commercially, not academically. There is a difference.)

17. Will you make me a character? (Only if I can kill you.)

18. What do you do with all your spare time? (in the vein of number 17, why don’t you come over and find out…)

19. Writing, can you make a living at that?

OR

20. Writing, it must be nice to make so much money for not doing anything.

I’d love for you all to share your experiences with funny responses as the people around you commented on your writing life.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,

Edie

TWEETABLES


31 comments:

  1. This one is mean, although I personally haven't had anyone say it to me: "Don't quit your day job." (For those of us who still work full time and write in our "spare" time.:)

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    1. Joan, like you I haven't had this directly SAID to me. But it's definitely been implied. Ouch! Thanks for sharing, Blessings, E

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  2. Sadly, I had to nod along to every single one of these. I get PM's and emails on a monthly basis from complete strangers as well as "old friends" who suddenly get back in touch with me because they "want to see how you're doing and oh, I wrote a book that I want to get published, Jessica, can you help me with that? Would you talk to your publisher for me?" Then they get mad and end all communication with me when I tell them that's not how it works and I try to steer them in the right direction.

    The last one is my new pet peeve though. Now that I have a handful of books out and am contracted for more people suddenly think I'm wealthy (if it wasn't against contract I would scan my royalty statements and post them on line for all to see...I'd stop getting that question real quick). My husband had someone at work ask him (in all seriousness) why he was still working (since his wife is a millionaire writer....) and when we'd be moving out to Hollywood...because...that's where writers live??? So weird. Just so weird.

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    1. Jess, we can thank Hollywood for the image of the wealthy writer. It is so frustratingly far from the truth! Thanks for dropping by, Blessings, E

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    2. Jess, that part about moving to Hollywood sounds familiar. "So we loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly.... Hills, that is. Swimming pools... Movie stars...." Maybe you can use your next advance to buy the Clampetts' mansion?

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  3. You pretty much covered them. But the one you missed is: "You must make a lot of money. You pay for lunch."

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    1. Ane, ROFLOT! That's so true, Thanks for sharing, Blessings, E

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  4. Why do you waste all that time and money going to writing conferences? (Why do you waste good oxygen that people who are not brain dead could use.) Have violated a lot of these over the years. Some recently, right Katy?

    Have a new name for sleepless nights. Had one last night, not because I could not sleep, but because I force myself to write down ideas, even at 2 or 3 in the morning. I now call them Rapture Readiness Drills....Some night you might wake up in the wee hours to see the eastern sky lighting up...Well it is possible...

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    1. Ric, so right! thanks for sharing, Blessings, E

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  5. I have heard a couple of times, "I've always wanted to learn to write. Can you teach me later this week?" (Uh...no.)

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    1. Oh Sandy, I definitely need to include that one - I've heard it too! Actually, if it's a sincere desire to put in the effort to learn, I'm more than happy to help. But so often it's like they think I have access to a secret formula to getting published. Thanks so much, Blessings, E

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    2. C'mon, Sandy. Be a sport. Surely you could spare her a few minutes of your time? :)

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  6. I needed to read these. I need a smile today. Thanks.

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    1. Marjorie, glad I could provide that! Blessings, E

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    1. Michelle, often it's better to laugh when we get these comments! Blessings, E

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  8. As I read this, I am preparing to go to a writing conference tomorrow and Saturday. While I haven't had anyone say these things to me, I know those thoughts are out there for some to say. I love your responses. I especially love the one,"What part of 'I do this for a living' don't you understand?" (#15)

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    1. Have fun at your writing conference! Blessings, E

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  9. LOVE THIS!!! I'm not a writer (and hopefully I'm the stupid person that gets killed off in the next novel!) but I can only imagine some of the things you've been told. On behalf of stupid readers everywhere, I'm sorry! And thank you for continuing to put yourselves out there sharing the gift God has given you! I've been truly blessed by so many of you!!

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    1. Holly, I'm certain you would never say any of these, either! Thanks so much for your support! Blessings, E

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  10. These are the two I hear all the time. 1. Remember us little folk when you're rich and famous! 2. Everybody tells me I should write a book about my life. Will you write it for me? Ugh!! Enjoyed your post, Edie!

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    1. Annette, I need to add those two as well! Thanks for sharing, Blessings, E

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  11. "I've written this collection of poetry. My doctor loves it and says I should get it published. Can you tell me how I should go about getting this published?" (No joke. A lady called me out of the blue to ask that question.)

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    1. Rick, I just cringe when I hear that, because I know, 99 times out of 100, they want a quick answer and aren't interested in taking the time needed to get something published. Thanks for dropping by, Blessings, E

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  12. I recently published my personal testimony and a relative (who will remain anonymous) said, "I should write about my life. It would be easy and wouldn't take any time at all since it's about me. How many DAYS did it take you?" I smiled and bit my tongue. :)

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    1. Patti, OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!! Days? Well, we just gotta laugh. Thanks so much for sharing! Blessings, E

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  13. Edie, this is so funny. It's also comforting. I've only had #5 and #10 happen so far (I'm a prepub. newbie) , and I didn't like how it made me feel. I'm so glad that my immediate family is gracious and supportive. When I hear any of the other ones, I'll secretly smile and know I'm not alone.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

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  14. Edie, you made my day. I laughed, and unfortunately related to most of those. Still I laughed...because what else can I do?
    Thanks for the fun!

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  15. Yep, I've heard a lot of these too. The other one I get a lot is "Will you write this ____(business letter, legal document, completely boring something or other)? You're the writer." I'm a fiction writer. Ya.

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  16. So other writers get these awful things said to them, too? I though it was just me! How about----"If only I had the time, I could write a book." Thanks for this post, Edie!

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  17. Hilarious! I think all of us rich and famous writers should get together and share the magic formula for whipping out a book on the wings of inspiration and it floating into the world and becoming a mega bestseller overnight!!!

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