If anyone tells you that writing is easy they’re either lying to you, they have a ghostwriter, or they’re doing in it wrong. Most folks assume that writing is easy, what they don’t realize is that writing a ‘real’ poem, short story, play or a novel is way more difficult than writing a cleverly facetious one liner on Facebook, Twitter or a fortune cookie (incidentally; does anyone know if they’re hiring?) No? Okey Dokey.
Writing requires a lot of work which often comes waltzing in with a great deal of self-doubt, insecurity, writer’s block, sleepless nights and a bunch of other maladies. Chief among them are the little to no recognition, and or remuneration, i. e you will fucking starve. One of the worse parts of writing though (aside from the editing stage) is when you have to defend your craft, when you have to defend the thing that you love to do the most which is writing. Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat, who seems to be a Twitter trendsetter, because she once shook the literary Twitterverse when she twitted about sexism in the publishing industry (Bravo!) She sent another little ripple, the other day, when she created the hashtag #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter.
As expected writers from all corners of the literary landscape came out of the wood works posting some cringe worthy encounters. Here are a few of those gems. Enjoy.
“#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter When I retire I’m going to write a book too.” John Fox.
“#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter Can I be in your next book?” Sure. In fact YOU are my next book. I’m going to use your skin for the pages.” Mel Salisbury.
“#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter You’re pretty good; you should try writing something serious.” Gail Simone.
“#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter I could be a writer too; I have all these ideas but no free time.” Kate Leth.
“#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter I’m going to piss all over your car. For being a writer.” Wint.
“#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter So… is the main character you?” Eric Smith.
“#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter What’s your backup career plan? I hear your industry is dying.” Lily Bailey.
“#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter I better be careful or you’ll put me in your book. No you’re not that interesting.” Ally Carter.
“#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter That sounds like so much fun; I wish I could just sit around and write all day.” Kat Kinsman.
“#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter Oh you’re a writer? My aunt’s friend’s gardener’s plumber is a writer. You should ask them for some advice.” Daniel Dalton.
“#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter This is OK for a first draft. This is a first draft, right?” Fake Dispatch.
“#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter It’s pretty impressive that you spend so much time on something that has so little chance of success.” Callie Valentine.
I’ve gotten a few jabs myself. These are the stand outs.
“You must have money!”
“Self-published, so you’re not really published then?”
“You wrote this all by yourself?”
“How thick is your… book?”
“I don’t read ‘self- published’ stuff.”
“You should write romance, that’s what sells.”
“You should write YA, that’s where the money’s at.”
Brutal I know. Writers are the literary Rodney Dangerfield—no respect I tell ya, no respect at all. Aah, why dwell on it when you have a book to write? Onward.