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Han Solo quote aside, just… don’t. They can be helpful, but statistics are also a nuisance. (Did I mention that the title is also the best Han Solo quote EVAR?!)

And then there are other things that you should never tell an author. Here are a few pet peeves (my own top ten):

10.”Oh my **** that’s so cool! What do you think about… {insert name of random celebrity who I have, honest to goodness, never heard of before}?” Or, “Sure, that’s nice. Do you mind getting more napkins?” Excuse me while I’m sick.

9. “So, you write novels all the time?” Sorry, no. I would love to, but there’s real life. Oh, and the fact that there is such a lovely thing as a short story. (Partial to Ray Bradbury, myself.)

8. “I can draw the illustrations for you if you like.” Er… ever heard of an author who does their own?

7. “Have you ever considered writing Amish fiction?” *facepalm*

6. “Have you ever considered writing about vampires?” Ewwww.

5. “Have you ever considered writing children’s books?” Gah. Should be the first consideration, to my mind. To quote Madeleine L’Engle, “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” Children believe better than adults, and aren’t going to laugh at you if you believe too.

4. “Are you getting this published?” Well, first and foremost, I write for myself. If other people like my stories, then that’s great, and yes, I will consider publishing. If not, I have lost nothing at all.

3. “I tried writing once, but I didn’t like it.” Do or do not. There is no try. If you are a writer, you will write, fair or foul, like it or not. Even if you just spend hours typing and erasing, that’s still progress. People who just give up are wimps.

2. “I might try writing some when I retire.” Seriously?! Everyone can write, if they try. This does not necessarily mean they will be good at it. That takes hard work, and a casual little moue like this indicates to me not wanting to really try. Even then, though, some people just (ultimately) can NOT write. This is why there are ghostwriters. Believe it or not, Miley Cyrus and all those bands don’t actually write all their own songs!

1. Don’t just make assumptions and randomly compare their work to the work of a published author, especially an uber-popular one. Some of us lesser-known authors have very strong likes and dislikes, and don’t care at all for Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games. Not that I have any dislike for any one of those in particular (never having read them), but, just for example. 😉

And, worst one of all time…

0. When someone tries to talk to you about a book you have never read that is really ultra-popular, completely ignoring that you just said that you liked The Silmarilion just two seconds ago!!!

Okay, rant over. You can go about your own lives again now. ;-P

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