Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ten Things NOT to say to a writer

Do you ever just wanna get to that point?  You just want to forget about the hours of editing, carafes of coffee, bags of peanut butter M&M's - and be published already.  I know I don't want anything but my best published.  I self-published a book last year and it wasn't high quality.  I only kept it up for a few months.  I want to show my best writing and share it with readers.

But... some days I just want to be published.  I get tired of... all the stupid comments.  So, I've made a list of my top --

"Ten Things NOT to Say to a Writer"

1.  Why are you not published yet?
Seriously, I hate this question.  Never ask me.  It takes quite a bit of time and work to have a finished and revised novel which is ready for querying.  Then there's finding an agent and publishing house and more revisions.  It's not like baking a cake.  Put cake in, back at 350 and done.  Nope.

2.  Why haven't I read your book anywhere?
See question one.

3.  How long does it take to write a book/think I could write one with you?
It really depends on the book and the writer and no thanks, I'm not much on collabs, especially if you don't have any previous writing background.

4.  Do you make a lot of money on your book like J.K. Rowling?
Not typical and writing books isn't about the money for most of us.  It's about writing the story, one we think is our story to tell and no one can write it in the same way.  We love stories.

5.  Will you write my biography?
Simply no.

6.  Will your book be made into a movie?
I don't know.  See question one.

7.  Oh you write!  Do you know J.K. Rowling (or another famous author)?
Sorry, I don't know her personally.  We have writing in common.  It doesn't mean we all know each other.

8.  Is your book on Oprah's book list?
See question one.

9.  Are you actually writing or wasting time?
I do waste some time when I'm supposed to be writing by looking at Pinterest for writing ideas or a few cat videos on youtube.  Again, writing takes a lot of time and energy.  Also, lots of coffee.

10.  Are there vampires in your book like "Twilight"?
No.  Never.  That's not quality writing.  Sorry for those of you who like it.  I'm not a fan.

That awkward hug moment...
Do you have any comments which you would add to the list?  What are things that people say to you which annoy you?


  1. This is a good list! I hear question 1 all the time. That question also leads to the question "Maybe you should try something else." I guess if you don't get published right off the bat, people assume you'll never be any good.

    Since I write science fiction, one of my most hated questions would be "Oh, that's what you write. Maybe you should write (fill in the blank with genre of choice) instead." That just tells me if I did have a book published, this person would never take it seriously.

    1. I hear that too - maybe you should do something else. But - this is my dream and my passion, writing. Not (insert mundane activity). I've been suggested genres to write too, but I like writing fantasy. I'll never be as good as Tolkien, but I'm okay with that. :)

      Great additions to the list! I'd take sci-fi seriously! I like reading it.

  2. Awesome post, Krista! I know how you feel even though I write nonfiction. It takes tons of time, energy and lots of motivation to write. And the questions people ask to writers are sorta ridiculous - we're not famous, we're working on our dream come true more than anything.

    1. Thanks Livia! It does take so much time and it's hard for others to see the work we put into it because the book isn't published yet. We are working hard to make our dreams come true.

  3. I think for me, my biggest thing is people always ask, "Are you going to get it published?" Which is such an honest thing to say, and it shouldn't bother me, but it makes me feel pressured. I don't feel ready yet to publish, and saying "no" sounds wrong to people who don't write and don't understand. Then there's floods of trying to build my self-confidence and whatnot.
    But YES on the J.K. Rowling thing. I'm not at all expecting to be as famous as her (anyone who is needs a reality check). I'd be over the moon about being able to make my living on writing alone. No castle needed.

  4. Writing is an art form, love. Our culture doesn't take art as a serious, legitimate career. Everything I do amounts to an art career, and it really sucks when people don't take you seriously. Don't be discouraged. Its more important to do what you love for a living than do something that our culture would consider a real job. Screw culture. I love your perseverance in this. It's inspiring that you keep plugging at it. Keep it up. I bet there are other writers and artists out there that need you to stay the course just as much as you need it. This is a great list, and while I can't relate to some of it, there's a graphic artists equivalent. Hugs lady. I miss you.

  5. I hate the ones that are like "when are we going to see your book?" Or the ones that ask what its about and then just stare at you when you give a vague answer because you don't want to give away too much of your story... or the halfhearted replies of "oh that's nice"...oh or the ones that say things like "when you finish your manuscript you should send me a copy. I'd love to take a look at it". I say no to people like that for two reasons: 1) I have a coauthor, so he would have to agree to that also which I know he won't, because 2) I'm not going to give out a copy of a manuscript that hasn't been copyrighted or submitted to a publisher first. I wouldn't be able to easily prove I had written it first, if the person tried to plagiarized it... that's ibe of those moments where you go, I don't care how long we've been friends, I'm not giving it to you if I don't trust you with it! (And yes I have some friends that I'm not sure I would trust with a manuscript - Krista isn't one of those ones though).

  6. I hate that first question so much. And Boy, does that ninth question get under my skin. Your answer to the 7th question made me laugh out loud. Great list!

  7. Yep, #1 is always the first to pop out of someone's mouth. I keep telling myself that they just have no idea what they're talking about and let them smile and nod when I give my puny answer. Actually, I read a good article this week on why you shouldn't wait for that huge 'I'm published' stage because it's not necessarily as great as writers think. (It's in one of the last questions in the interview.)

  8. All of those questions suck for writers! The one I get lately is, "Is it like Fifty Shades of Grey?" Urgh. No. No, it's not.

  9. ha ha ha! great horrible questions!
    getting that publishing contract (and you will!) is the perfect revenge!

    i get mostly positive comments, impressed and surprised (writing a book is quite an accomplishment in itself!) my most asked question, how many pages is it?!
    but some try to relate with their own experiences, oh, my daughter writes all the time, or i wrote a childrens book. its hard to just be encouraging when they're jealous! ha!

  10. Love the list! Too funny!

    Sometimes the tables are turned. The teachers at my son's school know I write and found out I do a grammar series on my blog. Now they're all afraid to email me. 'She'll be critiquing anything we write.' hahaha xD

  11. Awesome list!

    I don't have anything to add, except that I just feel a lot of pressure from people who can't wait to see my book. It's not that easy!