Teens Can Write, Too!

Changing the world's opinion… as soon as we finish this math homework

Ten Things Never To Say To A Writer

In the spirit of… something… I’ve decided to compile a list of ten things you should never, ever say to a writer. I’m sure all of us can relate, largely because they’ve probably happened to most of us in real life, but also because there is a level of insanity that comes with being a writer that non-writers just don’t “get.” They don’t get the characters in your head. The constant need to write. The 2 a.m. mornings spent typing away at your computer. And they most certainly don’t get how to talk to a writer about his or her writing, which is where this list comes in.

WARNING: excessive GIF use.

1. “Anyone can write a book.”

Enough said.

2. “You said you want to write for a living? No, really, what do you want to do when you grow up?”

3. “Since you like writing so much, will you write this essay for me?”


4. “You must have a lot of free time to write all those books.”

This one gets to me every time, hence. Yeah, of course I do my writing from midnight to 2 a.m. every night (morning?) because I just have buckets of free time.


5. “Will you write me into your book?”


6. “Have you ever considered publishing your book?” 

What a brilliant idea! That never crossed my mind until now.


7. “I hate reading.”


8. “So are you, like, a psycho soon-to-be serial killer to spend all that time at your computer?”


9. “Are there vampires in your book?”


And the kicker:

10. “Aww you’re writing a book? That’s cute.”


About Michael Waters

I'm Michael, I'm eighteen, and I blog about YA books for Barnes & Noble.

52 comments on “Ten Things Never To Say To A Writer

  1. rookswriter
    July 14, 2013

    Oh, I know exactly what you mean. Ugh. Too many people don’t even consider writing a profession, it’s just some joke to them. And people who don’t read urk me too. They miss out on so much!

  2. Natalie Noel
    July 14, 2013

    Love this! This is one I’ve gotten before:

    “Oh, well it’s great that your trying…but with school…I mean…maybe you’ll get something done!”


    “Do you really LIKE going to your writer’s group? Aren’t there only old people there?”

    First of all, I like elderly people. -_- second of all, I am the youngest, but only by one grade. And age doesn’t matter while writing.


    • Natalie Noel
      July 14, 2013

      Oh! And the “She’s a teen. She’ll never write a book, and if she does, it’ll suck. If for some reason she gets it published no one with ever read it.”

    • John Hansen
      July 19, 2013

      Oooh those first and second are good ones (but understandably annoying). I’ve gotten the first one before too.

  3. thepalescottishgirl
    July 14, 2013

    Hey 😀
    Love your blog!! It’s amazing!
    I have just started a blog and it would mean a lot if anyone could take a look 🙂 maybe drop me a comment??
    Thanks 🙂

    • John Hansen
      July 19, 2013

      Congrats on your blog!

      • thepalescottishgirl
        July 19, 2013

        Thanks 🙂

  4. Julia Byers
    July 14, 2013

    This is my life, I swear. My favorite thing ever (please note sarcasm) is when non-writers try to give me writing advice. Like: I appreciate your interest and the fact that you want to help me, but believe it or not, I do happen to know a bit about the business I’m in.

    • John Hansen
      July 19, 2013

      Omg agreed! That is just *so* wonderful. /more sarcasm

  5. A.R. Files
    July 14, 2013

    Okay, this is hilarious! I have never been asked any questions, actually. I wait for the day when someone tells me to ‘get a real job’. No, wait…my mother.

    She said, “You’ll need a job to support yourself until your writing takes off.”

    Really? No ship, Sherlock!

    • John Hansen
      July 19, 2013

      Ha! 🙂

    • Heather Justesen
      August 30, 2013

      When i first told my MIL I was going to be a writer her comment was “that’s a nice hobby, but what are you really going to do with your life.” She’s still amazed that I could actually make enough money writing to live on, and doesn’t respect my writing time at all. But that’s par for the course for most of us, right?

  6. themagicviolinist
    July 14, 2013

    Love the Voldemort GIF! 😀 (No matter how many Google searches I make, I can never find how to use them. How did you use yours)?

    Thankfully, my friends and family are supportive and know me well enough to never make comments such as these. Though I know some of my fellow bloggers have no such luck.

    Did you know that J.K. Rowling’s novel sales went up by 507,000% after that was revealed? Incredible! 😀

    • John Hansen
      July 19, 2013

      So crazy! And for the Voldemort GIF, just go to Google images and search “Voldemort GIF” and it’ll come up. That simple. 😉

  7. cait
    July 14, 2013

    Oh, I died at the last one. And the #urge to kill. I have had ALL of these. My favourite (not) is the, “You should publish your book!” Um, yeah. Trying, TRYING.

  8. kaiawillis
    July 14, 2013

    Here’s one that gets on my nerves, “Why would you want to go to a writer’s conferance?” Hmmm, let’s think… Howabout, I LIKE TO WRITE

  9. Mime
    July 14, 2013

    BAAAAHHHH! This is hilarious. And true. Another one that gets me is, “Are you writing your story?” “It’s not a story, it’s a book, and one day it will be a great book, and published! And for the record, what does it look like I’m doing? Eating cheese?”

  10. magicandwriting583
    July 14, 2013

    I think I’ve had all of those happen to me except for eight and three. No wait! I’ve had someone ask me three, too! So, make that just eight.

    I especially like that fifth one right now….

  11. sindi
    July 15, 2013

    lol, actually this is very funny and offensive at the same time. my friends think that i’m bored and have nothing else to do when i decide to write. i have my own blog nonoza87.wordpress.com and as much as i’ll love to have more people viewing it, sometimes its hard.

    The worst i’ve heard was “sindi does this mean you soon planning to be a shrink? ” like really!!! if i wanted to be one, i would have been one by now.

  12. Amanda Foody
    July 15, 2013

    Oh yeah. I did a whole post of Sh*t Non-Writers Say to Writers to also illustrate my frustration at this a few months ago. And just about all of these were on the list. Especially vampires. At this point, I think the only time I’d write a book about vampires is so that everyone that asked to get written into my book can be killed off ridiculously and horrifically.

    I laughed out loud at the obviously gif. 😀

  13. Charley R
    July 15, 2013

    Ahaha, oh, people have said all these things to me, but to be honest they never bother me that much – because I get a chance to correct them in a comic (if slightly sarcastic) manner! Makes a change from being made to discuss the overall failure that is the rest of my existence 😛

  14. fountainpenhandwriting
    July 15, 2013

    I get the comment about the “essay” more than anything. I’ve gotten to where I just blurt out no and rant about why that doesn’t even make since. At least they know not to ask me to write their essays. Ha!

  15. Shareen
    July 15, 2013

    Bloody brilliant and right on the nose.

  16. adithyaentertainment
    July 16, 2013

    Reblogged this on Adithya Entertainment.

  17. dantewilde
    July 16, 2013

    That was fantastic, none truer (at least for me) as the “have you thought about getting published?”. I get “when are you getting it published?” frequently. People seem to think anyone with a stack of paper can walk into a printing house…

  18. supposedgenius162
    July 16, 2013

    Oh, I get 3, 5 and 7 all the time! My friends are all mad scientists and they don’t see the point in reading or writing fiction. They. Haven’t. Even. Read. The. Harry. Potters. :O

    • unstoppable286
      September 15, 2013

      That is the most ridiculous thing ever! How can they live!

      • supposedgenius162
        November 17, 2013

        I know! They’re insane! But it’s good that they’re so different from me, so I can debate with them about anything. 😉

  19. Pingback: Ten Things Never To Say To A Writer | safeandsoundplace

  20. borediska
    July 16, 2013

    Reblogged this on Diary ng Bored and commented:
    Now finally, there’s this post…

  21. Safah Ahmed
    July 18, 2013

    “If you were in my novel I’d have killed you of by now” I don’t know where you found that but I love it.
    And I did hear about the pen name thing, intrigued to read the book now..

  22. Yuri
    July 18, 2013

    Number 6, though… I get that so frequently that it’s not even funny. Often followed by: “so, when are you sending it to an agent?” Which is hard to not respond to with screaming. Most of the time I end up gritting my teeth, swearing under my breath (not even proper swears, either, just ‘dammit Jim’ and other fandom-related gibberish), and explaining that I’d like to edit to the best of my abilities before sending something off.

  23. bandersontps
    July 25, 2013

    Reblogged this on worldpen and commented:
    This. Is. So. True.

  24. Paul Davis
    July 25, 2013

    I had one person who went, “Well that’s good for you. Definitely not what I’d do with my time, but you know, I guess we all have hobbies.” Very funny post.

  25. Amy Isaman
    July 25, 2013

    This is funny!! I especially like the gif on #10 – sometimes that’s how I feel about my WIP!

  26. taluimwriter
    July 31, 2013

    Every one of them except #8 happened to me….
    My best friend was the one who told me “I hate reading” T_T
    She is and was no friend of mine.

  27. Dr. Sus
    August 8, 2013

    Spot on my friend. Spot on.

  28. Anastasia Cross
    August 11, 2013

    Oh my word, that was the funniest thing I’ve ever read in my life…I mean, me and my sister are crying about the “You must have a lot of free time” one. Seriously true, every single one. Especially the last one.

    Good job! I will be recommending this post on my blogs!




  29. Yasmeen Baloch
    August 15, 2013

    That is true and i really agree
    a great platform..
    Teens can write too,i am glad i am united with your blog !

  30. madgirlwiththebox
    August 23, 2013

    I just hate when they do that. And mentioning vampires or saying that anyone can write a book is kinda cruel.

  31. Elsa
    August 30, 2013

    Ha! I love it! I hardly ever tell anyone I’m a writer because of these exact reactions. Here’s a tumblr I did for being a book nerd Hopefully it’ll make you chuckle a little bit =)

  32. Jade Hugh
    August 31, 2013

    The one I get all the time? “Oh, I have an idea for a book you could write!”
    …erm, yeah. So do I. And no, I will not be splitting the proceeds with you.
    Also, a variation on #6: “So when is your book coming out?” Seriously: if I was trying to become an actor, no one would be asking me, “so what major films have you starred in?” If I wanted to play basketball, they wouldn’t ask, “what NBA teams are recruiting you?”
    This is a difficult industry I’ve chosen! Gimme a bit to hack my way to the top.

  33. nevillegirl
    September 3, 2013

    Will there be a blog chain in September?

  34. erinkenobi2893
    December 5, 2013

    EPICNESS. These totally get me every time. And then there’s the innocuous yet sickening “are you going to publish that?” when you’re writing a fanfic, for fun…

    • coruscantbookshelf
      April 7, 2014

      And the worse: “Well, if you think vampire stories are all that get published, why not write those?” when that would totally contradict your entire ethical foundation. While publication is cool, it is totally not the be-all and end-all of Why Do I Write Anyway.

      • erinkenobi2893
        April 8, 2014

        I know! I probably couldn’t write Amish fiction to save my life (my fantasy is probably almost steampunk anyway), so I don’t write it. 🙂
        Besides, I like writing for young people, and EXCUUUUUUUSE ME MISS STEPHANIE MAYER, but I don’t think vampires belong in the children/juvenile/young adult fiction pantheon. (Just my opinion, but I think that a creature that sucks blood is disgusting by nature. Not to mention all the other objectionables involved.)

  35. abigailwyvon
    December 19, 2013

    All of these… So true.

    “I’m not going to read your book if it gets published.” And, “I thought about writing a book, I just don’t have the time.”

  36. I love what you guys are up too. This type of clever work and
    coverage! Keep up the fantastic works guys I’ve included you guys to my
    personal blogroll.

  37. Pavithra
    July 4, 2015

    That is so damn true. #WriterProblems

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