11 Things You Should Never Say to a Writer


by Annie Earnshaw

As you can tell, I was pretty irate while writing this post and I’m not even published yet.  (I have to say “I’m not even published yet” because I’m trying to be positive after writing this excessively salty post).  Putting my personal vendettas aside, here is a comprehensive list of eleven things you should never say to a writer:

Can you make me a character in your book? Um no. A few years ago, a girl at my school asked me if she could be a character in my book and I named my villain after her. Don’t ask a writer if you can be in her book unless you want to become the bad guy.

Am I a character in your book? If you’re asking me this, it probably means you annoy me. So, yes, you probably are.

Can I have a free copy? Writing is a job. You wouldn’t ask a doctor for a free exam, so don’t ask a writer for a free book.

How much money do writers make? You have to be joking.

I have this amazing idea for a book and I think you should write it. Trust me, I’ve got enough ideas bouncing around my head to last a lifetime.

Can I read your book?  You can buy my book like the rest of the population.  Until then, shoo.

I found a typo in your book. Great. Thanks for rubbing my errors in my face.  As if my fear of publishing a subpar book and the corresponding anxiety weren’t enough.

No, like what do you actually do?  Do you know how close I am to throwing an uncapped pen at your face right now?

I could be a writer too if I only had the time.  Believe me, honey: we have no more time than you in the day.  If you really want to write a book, stop talking to me and go write a book.

Your job is so easy.  HA.  Yeah, tell that to my sleep deprivation.

Why isn’t your book finished yet?  You know, I’ve been asking myself the same question since I started the damn thing.  Thanks for reminding me.

What else should you never say to a writer?  Has anyone ever said these things to you?




Guest post contributed by Annie Earnshaw. Annie is a student at Elon University, a writer, a blogger, and a self-proclaimed dog enthusiast. In addition to her chronic reading addiction, Annie is writing a young adult thriller novel about teenage spies (she’s certain that she was a spy in a former life).  You can also follow Annie on Twitter.

87 thoughts on “11 Things You Should Never Say to a Writer

  1. Oh, I know how you feel! Writers and artists have to deal with so much that people with other jobs don’t. As both, I’ve heard it all. The one that gets me is “why don’t you get a real job?” Honey, writing and art ARE real jobs, especially when you’re everything all by yourself. (self-published/running your own business) I’d love to make those people do what I do every day. They might sing a different tune then!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for posting, Annie, and don’t worry about said salty post affecting your publishing chances. (For what it’s worth, I’m a super-nice, pro-environment liberal dad and, wow, that’s helped me a ton. Not.)
    A lot of your comments sound like the kinds of things people in their 20s say/ask. I’m 42, and NONE of the parents I know want to be in my books. It’s like they know better!
    Put on some good music and keep grooving. It’s all we can do!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh my god I am going to use your responses from now on… I haven’t been published yet either, and I am so sick of people asking me when they will see my book in print… I don’t know! I haven’t finished the second draft yet! * sigh *

    And don’t even get me started on that “I will write a book too someday” crap…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this – so funny! I actually am laughing out loud. This is why I tell very few people I write. The few I have told know I’m so cagey they hardly say anything, except to recommend books I should read and podcasts I should listen to. As if I haven’t got a sky high stack already!


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