Lately as more people have found out that I’m getting published, I’ve come across a lot of interesting situations both out in the world and on the internet. So I’ve decided to compile a list of things you probably shouldn’t say to an author. Or to me, specifically.
1. “Tell me a story!”
Whoa, okay. Slow down there. For one thing, I wrote a book, a thing that took a week to outline. I didn’t just pull it out of my butt and start writing by the seat of my pants. I am not a panster. I don’t like writer’s block.
Second, I don’t exist for YOUR entertainment. Oh, sure, I wrote a book and books are entertainment, but my book exists for your entertainment, not me.
Also, storytelling and writing are two very different skill sets. I can applaud people who can come up with a story on the fly to tell someone, but I am not one of those people who can.
And don’t be mad when I tell you that I don’t like being put on the spot. This is a common complaint among writers for a reason.
2. “I want to write a book that is about…”
First off, not to be rude, but I frankly don’t care what your book is about. I want to see you writing that book because your story means absolutely nothing to me unless it’s on paper. When I come up with ideas, I don’t even mention this idea until I actually have the first draft written because an idea means nothing until it has come to fruition.
Plus, most people who constantly talk about their ideas do very little in the way of actually getting anything done.
3. “Where do you have the time?”
Oh my gosh. I really don’t. Seriously. But I have to make time because it’s my career, just as you have to make time for your job. It’s going to be even worse when school starts because I might only have time for revisions instead of actually being able to write the sequel to When Stars Die. I might only be able to plan the sequel and actually get writing it come December, when I have an entire month off.
4. “Well, when you get rich and famous…”
Hold it right there. What makes you think suddenly writing a book is going to garner me fame and fortune? Because JK did it, Stephenie Meyer, Stephen King, whoever else? Those authors are one in a million. They don’t make up the world of authors.
I mean, it’s great that you want me to get big and make lots of money. So do I! It’s my goal to be a bestseller and to be an inspiration to my fans. I think I can make that goal come true with constant hard work. But also realize fame and fortune doesn’t happen overnight. Also realize fame and fortune doesn’t happen for most authors. And, last, also realize that an author’s first book usually isn’t the book that gains them success.
However, this doesn’t mean I’m not working toward success. I certainly hope When Stars Die is a success. I want it to be, but I’m also writing this other book too, and I’m going to keep writing.
5. “Will you read my manuscript?”
This question isn’t so bad, but they ask it with the assumption that I’ll do it for free. I’m only willing to do this with other AEC authors with the assumption that they’ll read my manuscript back–mostly because they are expected to critique it.
Otherwise, if you’re not an AEC Stellar author, I’m charging you. Sorry.
I just don’t have the time to read for free. I can’t even make time to participate in my writer group’s critique sessions–as in returning the favor by critiquing other writers. I can only attend the write-ins because, well, we write.
6. “I don’t really like to read.”
We are done with this conversation.