Ten Things You Should Never Say To A Writer

I compiled this list based on things I have actually heard, listed here in order of frequency. Usually I just smile and say okay or thank you, but here are the responses I wish I could give. Alas, non-writers don’t get us writers on a good day, so these would be completely misunderstood.

You should write my life story.
First of all, I’m not a biographer. Second, your life isn’t as interesting to others as it is to you. No, it isn’t.

I was going to write a book once.
When I was six I wanted to be a trapeze artist. But I didn’t need to be a trapeze artist. See what I’m sayin’ know what I mean?

I have a great idea for a book. You write it, and we’ll split the money.
Yes!! I’ve been looking for someone to tell me what to write, and take half my income. I’m certain your idea is better than anything I could come up with.

[Genre fiction] is for idiots. I only read [true literature.]
You could substitute almost anything here, and it would still be just as rude. I get it, some people need to put others down to feel better about themselves. But honestly, insulting another person’s profession only makes you sound like a pretentious jerk.

A lady once told me she didn’t read romance because it was all “silly, formulaic tripe.” When I asked her for the title of the book that had made her feel that way, her response was “Oh I’ve never read one.”

When are you going to write a real book?
When these fake ones I’ve been writing stop earning money.

How much money do you make?
Would you walk up to your doctor and ask him how much money he makes?

I had a really bizarre dream once that would make a great book.
Please, tell me all about it. And while you’re at it, regale me with amusing stories about your cat.

Have you ever thought about advertising your books on the sides of busses?
There is always someone who finds out I’m a writer and immediately thinks I need their advice on how to be better at it. I have industry peers for advice and support. So I’m good, thanks.

You should have your book made into a movie.
Sure! Because we can just do that. And I’ll be in charge of casting the lead actors, too.

While I would like nothing more than to see my own books and many others made into movies because books are the last original ideas and as a moviegoer I have no interest whatsoever in seeing yet another remake, something minuscule like 1% of all books published ever get optioned for film. Yes, it equals big $$ and even bigger fame, but am I going to chase movie producers down Hollywood Boulevard waving my book in the air? No. I’m a novelist, not a screenwriter. I write books, not screenplays.

I won’t buy your books in the store because I can find them for free on the internet.
I sometimes offer a free promotion for a short time on Amazon. But don’t tell me you intend to comb pirate sites searching for bootleg copies of my books because I will probably grab the nearest heavy object and brain you with it. I won’t go into a rant about piracy because no one wants to hear that. I’ll just say this; Piracy is BAD. Don’t do it.

Ava Bradley is hard at work on her next book, a silly, formulaic tripe that isn’t a real book and was originally someone else’s idea, and that is sure to be made into a movie. And it’s also her local UPS driver’s life story, which he was once going to write himself but never got around to. They’re going to split the profit, of which there won't really be any because it will be uploaded to a pirate site within a week.