Top 5 Things You Should Never Say To A Novelist.

5. You wrote a book?  Cool.  I think I’ll write one too.  I mean, you did it, so obviously I can too. (Also included “So, writing’s pretty easy, huh?” and the ever so humble “I wish I had your job, it must be nice getting to sit around all day.”) 
If writing were easy, everyone would be doing it.  Sure anyone can type up 50,000 words.  That’s not the entirety of the writing process though.  That’s the easy part.  It’s the other months and years of rewriting, revising, trashing it all and starting over that are hard.

4. I don’t read.  Reading is boring.
I once had a boss who had graduated from a major university that won’t be named here (it rhymes with Hennessy) who told me he managed to achieve his Bachelor’s degree without ever having read a book cover to cover.  Ever.  In his life.  He’s never read a whole book.  I… I just… I can’t. 

3. Can I borrow some money?
Unless you’re talking to Anne Rice or Stephen King, chances are your author friend is just as broke as you are, probably even moreso.  Remember, we don’t get health insurance with our royalties.
“Royalty”.  It’s such a nice word.  It sounds so regal, so wealthy, so… royal.  In reality, it’s a gas bill (or this month it paid for Christmas).  On a slow month, it’s a trip to Sonic Happy Hour.  

2. I can’t believe all that happened to you!
Some people really don’t understand the difference between fiction and nonfiction.  Here’s a clue: Novel = fiction.  Biography/Autobiography = fact.  I’m a novelist.  I make lies.

1. Ooh, you should write a book about vampires.
No.  No, I shouldn’t. 

If you’re a new writer just starting out on your writing adventure, welcome to the club.  Be prepared.  Learn to just smile and nod.  I promise you’ll hear these things on your journey.  Don’t let it get you down, just pull up a chair and have a glass of wine with the rest of us.  It’s cheap wine.  We’re writers after all.

Typebars in a 1920s typewriter


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