Writing Pet Peeves

Naughty Words's picture

It may be true that many writers suffer from Imposter Syndrome. If that's the case, life is hard enough for a writer. Don't make it worse by making the following statements.

I wish I had time to write.

Such a comment makes it sound like you the writer are wasting time honing your craft.

I'd write, but I have a real job.

Same as above. This comment discounts the time and energy it takes to write a book. Many writers don't make much money from their craft, but it's a job nonetheless. The image of writer as dilettante must cease.

How much money do you make?

Since so many writers don't make much money, this question puts them on the spot. It's embarrassing. You wouldn't ask other professionals how much money they make. It's considered rude. Also, not everyone writes to make money. It's a passion. By insisting writers earn lots of dough, you are insinuating that without said dough, they aren't "real" writers. You are saying that those who don't earn oodles of cash are wasting their time and are probably not good at their craft anyway. If they were, they'd be making millions of dollars like Stephen King, right?

I have a great idea for a book. How about I tell you my ideas, you write them down, and we split the profits 50/50?

This comes from people who don't realize or care how much work goes into writing a book. They think a vague idea has as much clout as a finished product you've spent months (often years) and energy on.

I have a great idea for a book, and then go into great detail to describe a book that I've yet to actually write.

The notion here is that anyone can write a book. It apparently doesn't take much effort.

I want to write a book someday…

See above. The insinuation behind this statement is that any idiot can write a book. This statement discounts the author's efforts in writing and finishing a book. It's insulting.

Can you read my book and give me a free critique?

Would you ask your dentist to clean your teeth for free? Would you ask your doctor to do you annual physical for free? Of course not. So why do so many people think artists, including writers, shouldn't be paid for their hard work? A good editor can cost hundreds of dollars. Google Harlan Ellison and "pay the writer". Read what he had to say about it. Now, if you are offering to do a critique exchange, that's different. You'd be offering something of value in exchange for the critique. That is perfectly okay.

I've lived an interesting life. You should write about me.

That's what auto-biographies are for. Write it yourself.

I don't read.

This is the saddest admission of all.


Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and her three cats. Her new LGBTQ paranormal erotic shifter romance novel "Full Moon Fever" is now available for purchase at Amazon and other book distributors. Her collection of erotic fairy tales, "Happily Ever After", is available at Amazon..

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