Things You Shouldn’t Say To A Writer

How much do you get paid for, you know, writing?

I don’t ask you how much you make sitting behind a desk punching in numbers all day, Ryan. Just because my profession is considered a side hobby for some doesn’t give you the right to blatantly ask about my income. It’s alright to be curious but, if we say we’re a writer, you can bet we’re not in it for the money.

It’s always the “you know” that really gets me. Like it’s not really a job. What is it like, “you know,” spending all your time writing stuff no one even reads?

Can I read something of yours?

Like, right now? Or sometime in the indefinite future? Either way, it’ll probably end up being a no unless you decided to pick it up yourself, especially if we just met five minutes ago. I don’t carry around copies of my work. Some writers do (that’s a whole different rant), but most don’t.

Any work that I would know?

Unless you’re literally a walking database, you have no business asking this question. Have you read every book/article/blog/short story in the world? Like, are you trying to make me feel shitty? What do you mean to get across by asking this? Just because I haven’t written a bestseller YA turned box-office movie doesn’t mean that I’m not a good writer.

I can read your stuff and give an outside opinion.

Thanks for the offer, but if we wanted you to read our drafts, we’d let you know. However, if we don’t chose you to be a Beta, don’t be upset. Maybe you don’t fit the intended audience, thus asking you for feedback wouldn’t be in either of our best interests. However, most of the time it’s unsolicited opinion offering from someone who hasn’t written since their 7th grade creative writing class. I mean, some of the time it’s from fellow writers but, unless I already want to share my work with you (or if you’re Stephen King) I’ll probably answer with something socially awkward and walk off.

Or maybe we do actually think your opinions sucks. You know what they say about opinions.

Read me something.

Um . . . no. While I equally hate can I read something of yours?, at least that’s in the polite form of an actual question. Telling me to read you something is demanding and plain rude. Writers don’t necessarily make good public speakers. I’m also crap at memorizing things, so I just can’t pull a full manuscript out of my ass. And just no.

I mean, I guess I’ll recite Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for you. Is that what you mean?

Are you going to write about me?

Ask another one of the questions on this list and yes, I probably will.

Man, this question really makes me cringe. Every. Single. Time. I absolutely hate it.

First, to put it blatantly, it’s egotistical and awkward because your indirectly telling me that you have all the interesting qualities of a character. They’re called fictional for a reason; your favorite hero is probably a mix of certain qualities from multiple people.

Also, if you’re asking this question, you probably have no clue what I write about. I could write erotica for all you know. And then you’ve got to go and put that picture in my mind.



6 thoughts on “Things You Shouldn’t Say To A Writer

  1. Would love to know where you work though, time for travel is key for this wonderlust. Kind of lost when it comes to my future at the moment, however I love to write!


  2. I’m currently an English teacher – with the main perk being summers off! I try to keep writing on the weekends as much as I can!! All I think about is traveling and writing, haha, so the wanderlust is never truly satisfied.


  3. Right now I teach English lit, but I’ve taught ESL in France. They’ve both been great, however now I focus more on analyzation rather than grammar. I’ve been thinking about teaching online – I’ve heard good things about it! I’m really intrigued by the nomadic lifestyle and it would be a great way to do it. Plus, I think teaching English in Spain online would be perfect!! Definitely look into it!

    Liked by 1 person

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