Monday, March 17, 2014

Top 20 Things to NEVER Say to a Writer!

by Edie Melson

Below is a list of comments I’ve received over the past years since I’ve come out as a writer. Following each is what I wanted to say. I’m happy to report that I’ve never (at least until now) given in to the temptation.

Top 20 Things to NEVER Say to a Writer!

1. Are you published? (I really don’t have the space here to get into this. I usually just do a mental eye-roll.)

2. I have an idea for something you should write about. We could split the profits. (yeah, I do all the work and you get half of almost nothing. Sounds like a deal to me…)

3. I wrote a book, can you contact your publisher/agent for me? (You really wouldn’t like what I had to say about you.)

4. Why don’t you take the day off, it’s not like you work for a living. (unprintable reply)

5. Can I read your manuscript? (Like I don’t have enough stress in my life already)

6. Writing must be the easiest job in the world. (If you like 20-hour days, pennies per hour, horrific critiques, and serving up your heart for others to chew on daily.)

7. Anyone can write a book, what else do you do? (see number 6)

8. You should get that published. (Really? Like I hadn’t thought of that.)

9. I’ve heard that if you….you’ll be a much better writer. (Nothing I like better than advice from someone who has no clue.)

10. Aren’t you finished with that yet? (I am, I just decided not to submit it.)

11. I hate reading, it’s such a waste of time. (unprintable reply)

12. Have you ever written anything I might have read? (Yes, if morons could read.)

13. Will you read my manuscript? (*running and screaming in the other direction*)

14. Are you still doing that writing thing? (Believe me, if I could quit, I would.)

15. When can I get your book for free? (What part of “I do this for a living” do you not understand?)

16. Can you edit/write my essay for me? (I write commercially, not academically. There is a difference.)

17. Will you make me a character? (Only if I can kill you.)

18. What do you do with all your spare time? (in the vein of number 17, why don’t you come over and find out…)

19. Writing, can you make a living at that?

20. Writing, it must be nice to make so much money for not doing anything.

I’d love for you all to share your experiences with funny responses as the people around you commented on your writing life.

Edie Melson is the Vice President or SC Writers ACFW and the author of numerous books, as well as a freelance writer and editor. Her blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains ChristianWriters Conference and the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy. She’s also the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine, the Senior Editor for and Military Family blogger on Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. This is awesome! I'm laughing hysterically, especially at number seventeen. :)

  2. Hilarious, loved it! God bless you, Edie, for giving us such good, healthy laughter.
    Elva Cobb Martin