Saturday, 24 July 2010

FIVE THINGS NO WRITER WANTS TO HEAR...

Writing is a weird thing to do. It's not like having a proper job where you have to go to work every day, get paid at the end of the month, can go on holiday without feeling guilty and toting a laptop about with you everywhere, even though you only use it to check your e mails in the wifi cafe.

Normal people pretend to be interested in what you do, but really they think it is weird and can't quite comprehend it. This leads them to asking questions which you can see coming but you dread being asked.

Here are five of my favourites. Feel free to add your own.

1. Have you got a new book coming out?

If you have, then,

2. I can't find your new book in Waterstone's.

If they can find it in Waterstone's, then,

3. When is the next one coming out?

4(a)If you write for children, or teenagers - Have you ever thought of writing for adults?

4 (b)If you write for adults - How's the kids' book doing?

And finally...

5. Should I have heard of you?

21 comments:

catdownunder said...

I just got (in the local library of all places), "Isn't that (writing) a waste of time?"

Gillian Philip said...

A few Christmases ago, from an in-law: 'Why are you still writing? You didn't sell the last one.'

Keren David said...

'How many books have you sold?' and, of course..'Are you going to be the next J K Rowling?'

Celia Rees said...

I recognise them all! Keep them coming folks!

Kathleen Jones said...

After being forced into an admission that I was actually a writer, I was asked 'But have you published anything?'

Kathleen Jones said...

Oh, and the most dreaded one of all: 'How do you think them up?'

Charmaine Clancy said...

"I was going to write a book" (and???)
or
"I have heaps of good ideas for books, you could write them for me"

Joan Lennon said...

And on the same line, "I'm sure I could write a book - I've read quite a few."
or
"My daughter/son/old auntie/partner/imaginary friend has written a wonderful 100,000 word story. What's your address and I'll send it to you ..."

Stroppy Author said...

'Do you write under your own name?' (='I've never heard of you')

'Can I find your books on Amazon?' - I'm not very sure what that one means, as surely it's a question about their Amazon-using skills?

Stroppy Author said...

PS sorry I didn't get my post up yesterday - Internet fail. I'll post it tomorrow

Marie-Louise said...

'I'm off for two weeks holiday in Portugal where I intend to relax and write a children's book.'

'When are you going to write a bestseller?'

'And you do the pictures too? Aren't you clever.' (I know this one is meant well but it reduces me to ten years of age and a pat on the head...)

Andrew Strong said...

Brilliantly accurate. Although these days I'm glad to hear anything at all.

hilary said...

Once a little boy asked me how I glued the pages together.

Linda Strachan said...

'Sounds like a lot of work (writing a novel), why don't you get someone to write it for you?'

and the opposite, but so patronising..

'Still writing those little books?' (meaning children's books)

I bet they don't say that to JKR!

Celia Rees said...

All so familiar! There are also those people who won't tell you their idea - in case you steal it. As if...

Not to mention the ones who have a briliant idea (or even worse an interesting life), but no time to write it, so maybe you'd like to write it for them...

Gillian Philip said...

Oh, and "I'd write a book, if I had any spare time."

Gillian Philip said...

"You're so lucky! Being able to work when you feel like it!"

frances thomas said...

The answer to 'ought I to have heard of you?' (always said rudely) is 'It depends on how well-read you are.'

Anna Bowles said...

This is what makes me grateful that my literary output generally has 'Thomas the Tank Engine' or similar in the title. It may not be glamorous, but nobody says they haven't heard of it!!

Mary Hoffman's Newsletter said...

I told you about the male nurse drawing blood at the donor session who read my occupation and said "Have we had anything published?' didn't I?

A great variation, to which the answer should have been "Well I don't know about you but I've had over ninety!"

However I make it a rule not to antagonise anyone who has a needle stuck in my vein so I wimped out.

kathryn evans said...

And for those of us yet to be published, after trying to hide the fact you commit half your week to writing and haven't yet got a book deal, the simple and deadly, 'Oh.'