11 thoughts on “10 Things People Say to Creative Writers (but shouldn’t) #amwriting

  1. So true! I’ve heard #8 way too often. But the variation that really grinds my teeth is, when they demand that I write a book about their idea. IMHO, if they want it written so badly, they should sit down and work with it.

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  2. In my experience, the people who are the most insistent that you should use them as characters are the ones you (or at least I) would least want to write about.

    I was at an Easter party with a friend once, and he told me he’d already had sex with over thirty people that year. He thought this made him somebody I’d want to write about, but I didn’t really find his exploits all that fascinating. I tried to be polite about it, though.

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  3. So good and so true. Number 4 and number 8 are the ones I hear the most. And, of course, the ones who have no interest in reading or buying a book are always the ones who ask how sales are going. Ack!

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    1. I agree with you, Mae Clair. People mean well when they ask how sales are going, but it’s hard to answer. I know it takes a tremendous effort to get my book out there, and I’m not expecting to be on the NY Times best sellers list. But I sometimes think that’s what my questioners are hoping to hear.

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  4. Most of these would definitely stick in my craw if I heard them! I get why people ask #6 – it’s a logical progression of thought/conversation – but it can be emotionally tough to answer when you’re struggling. I imagine most people ask it innocently, but it’s hard not to feel judged.

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  5. The ones I’ve heard the most are #4 and #6. Lately I’ve run into quite a few retired people who want to write either their own life story or the history of their family. In many cases, they intend to print a few copies to share with family members. It’s a worthwhile goal. But to those of us who have spent years taking writing classes or getting an MFA, it sounds like a different project. Since I published my novel, I’m frequently asked, “How are sales going?” and “When can I read your next one?” I tell them, “It will be a while.” I’m a slow writer.

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    1. Yes, I am bracing for that too. Not published yet, but I fear unless you expose yourself to the reality of the writers life and how little reward there is for the effort involved, you don’t really understand. I too am a very slow at progress, but like most writers I work a day job.
      I encouraged my father to write his own life story down, he was a rear gunner on lancasters during the war, and I he really enjoyed writing it down. Since, many family members have asked to read it. I think it’s a wonderful thing to leave to your family, but agree, not quiet the same thing as writing a story.

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