6 Things I Wish Non-Writers Would Stop Saying To Me19:00
Non-writers are amazing people. They can be super supportive, even if they don’t quite get what you’re doing, interested in everything you’re up to, and happy to dissect books/characters/plots all day. Or they can say the most annoying things writers ever have to endure in a casual conversation. I think every writer has their own list of comments non-writers make to them on a regular basis that they wish people would stop saying. Even the most well-meaning people can unthinkingly annoy a writer through an off-hand comment. I, like most people, have a list of these comments, and today I thought I’d share some of them with you. So, here are 6 of my least favourite things non-writers say to me.
“Oh you’re a writer. So you’re doing journalism then?”
No. No I am not. I have the highest respect for journalist. I did two units in university that involved journalism and from that I know two facts: a) journalists are awesome people, and b) I am not one of them. There are plenty of other kinds of writers apart from journalists. I happen to be of the novel writing variety. Those novels don’t write themselves you know.
“There’s no money in writing you know.”
This is often the follow up to the last remark, after I’ve cleared up the misunderstanding of exactly what it is I write. And I get it. You mean well. But anyone who goes into writing for the money is either delusional or not really a writer. We know most writers don’t make a fortune out of their books. We also don’t care. Writing is our passion and we’re going to write, money or no.
“So, what have you published?”
This is the point where I start squirming and wishing I hadn’t said so forthrightly that I am a writer. I mean, it’s nice you’re asking about my work, but please, not everyone who calls themselves a writer has achieved a published status yet. And every time someone says this to me, I feel like I have somehow failed as a writer.
“Haven’t you finished writing that book yet?/When will you be published?”
Used interchangeably and equally frustrating. No, I haven’t finished writing this book, because books take a very long time to get right. They don’t come out of my head in perfect polished prose. I so wish they did. And getting published takes equally as long. I so wish I knew when I was going to be published. But alas, the writing gods haven’t granted me that knowledge. Trust me, when they do, you’ll be the first to know.
“Oh, I read a book just like that.”
Thank you for crushing my beloved idea. A little piece of my writerly soul dies whenever people say they’ve already read the idea. It’s like my book is being written off before they’ve even tried it. Yes, you probably have read a book with a similar idea. Doesn’t mean mine can’t be good too. This statement is a lot less encouraging than this random person thinks it is.
Well, you did ask. I am a writer of books, a creator of worlds and a lover of words. And I am very proud of that fact. Good day to you
These are some of the comments that most annoy me. Your list is probably different. What comment do you hear the most often that annoys you? What is the worst comment you’ve ever received from a non-writer?
Cait@Paper Fury has an amazing post on things you should never say to bookworms if you want more of these random comments outsiders say. You should definitely check it out if you haven't already.