Friday, March 23, 2012

A Question to my fellow writers...

...well, not really a question, but an "amen" will do if you agree or have heard the following. (Thanks Eleanora, I'm going to preach one more time for you!)

When people find out you're a writer/author, do you get:

"I've got a story for you! You should write me story."

"You know what? I should write a book, too."

"You should talk to my cousin/friend/aunt/uncle/son/daughter/etc, they've been saying forever how they want to write a book."

SOMEONE: "How do you get published?"
YOU: "Do you write?"
SOMEONE: "Not yet, but I'm going to start writing my book soon."
YOU: "You know you can actually google that question and get some good info, right?"

"When are you going to publish (another) book?"

"You're still not published yet? I have a friend who published her book already."

"Still not published? Maybe you should think about getting a real job."

"You should email J.K. Rowling, she published a whole lot of books."

"You should make your book into a movie."

"When you get published you'll probably make a whole lot of money. (silence) We should get married."

I know our friends/neighbors/family members mean well. Sometimes you have to chuckle with the remarks you get.

Have any outrageous comments to share?


  1. Oh! What do you write? (Genre of choice) Oh! I read Famous Book!

    While reading a script at the dentist's office: Oh, what's that? (a screenplay) Oh! Are you in it or teaching it? (um, editing it) Blank stare.

  2. After my novel came out, I got several calls/emails along these lines: "I just started writing a book and that's why so-and-so gave me your email address/phone number. You can help me by reading the book and correcting any mistakes in it and then calling your agent/editor to recommend me to them. Also give me their contact information. Why won't you do that for me?"

    Most frequent comment upon discovering my novel was published: "I've got a book in me."

    2nd most frequent comment: "You should send your book to Oprah."

  3. I had one of these moments at the Doctor the other day. The doctor was making small talk with me (which I think is awkward to begin with) and he asked me what i'm going to school for. After I told him he replied with "When I retire i'm going to write a book." I have recieved this comment before, so I replied with my new favorite response, "Yeah, when I retire I am going to be a Doctor."

  4. Great topic, Alicia! A comment that I used to hear, especially from relatives, was, "When are you gonna get a REAL job?"

  5. Nicely written topic,

  6. Well-meaning coworker: What are you working on?

    Me: Oh, my middle-grade novel.

    Coworker: Still?

  7. I've had:
    "I've got an idea for a children's book - can you tell me how to get it published?"
    "So how many books have you published?" (in a scornful, condescending way)
    "I've got this great idea. Can you tell me how to write it?"
    and "Why don't you write about your life? That kind of book makes lots of money."

  8. Great post, Alicia! Let's see, I've heard a few... Let's see; here's one of the latest (This convo. happens quite often with this lady): Colleague with PhD: "When did you graduate, again?"
    Me: "January."
    Her: "What is it you write again."
    Me *Oh for god's sakes...* "I don't know."
    Her: "You don't know?"
    Me: "Books for children."
    Her: "Oh, well good luck with that..."
    Me: "Good luck?"
    Her: "Rowling's difficult to compete with."
    Me: "I'm not competing with her or anyone..."
    Her: *Smiles--a PhD-tenured-I'll-write-another-boring-useless-article-on-Tim-Gatreaux-kind of smile. "Good luck."
    Me: *mumbles every explicative possible*

  9. Rebecca@ I've got that, too. An automatic assumption of me being a teacher.
    Georgia@ I forgot that one!!! Send it to Oprah! Classic. That one wins an award. I'm sure they want to to edit, too. Someone offered me a whopping $200 to edit their book. LOL!
    Hayley@I'm stealing that. Of course, I'll change it from Doctor to Pilot to whatever else I feel on the whim.
    Eleanora@the "real" job is the most frustrating. Yeah, writing isn't a real job unless Oprah assigns her book to her book club.
    Peter@I agree with Hayley...still? That one stings.
    Sherryl@I wonder if folks understood if we knew all about the publishing, we'd already have tons of books--it's not that easy, right? I've got the other two, too. People want to give me the subject on what I should write about.
    Mellisa@ poor you! The lead off question is too annoying just by adding the snarky "again?"
    We are not competing with Rowling, Meyers or Collins. Geese-louise!
    Thank you all for the comments, keep 'em coming. They're classic!!!

  10. How about this one: "You write picture books? My husband drew in college. You should get him to illustrate your book."

  11. "I'm thinking about taking six months off to write a book too."

    Actually, I gave up telling people I'm a writer and just say I'm a children's librarian. The reaction to this might be even worse. "Oh, you mean you sings songs all day? Do you check in books? Do you tell people SHHHHHH?"

  12. I have heard all of those Alicia, and the only thing that bothers me is the assumption that people make that writing is easy and anyone can do it, but I'm long past correcting anyone. My favorite comment came from a nun sharing a sauna with me. When we told each other our careers (we were wearing towels, so no outward evidence), and she heard I was a writer, she accurately commented, "Oh, writers don't make much, do they?"
    I told her she was correct, then added, "Nuns don't make much either." She smiled. "I knew that going into it, though." A very savvy nun.

  13. My helpful mom told me "You should write one of those Harry Potter books! I hear they really sell!"

  14. When I told my hair stylist I'm writing children's books, she said, "I wrote one, too!"

  15. Folks are well meaning, but they don't think before they speak. I guess other artists suffer this as well. "You sing? You should go to NY and sing on the street to get famous. You should make a youtube video like Justin Beiber."