Friday, May 22, 2015

So, you're a writer? Let me annoy you for a bit...

Back in April Dayton Ward wrote this post about the things people say to writers, which gave me the idea to do my own version. Every question/remark below has been said to me--by relatives, friends, or total strangers. As you can tell from the responses I wish I had made, this sort of thing brings out the very best in me. I deserve gifts of chocolate for not strangling anyone--yet.

Why don't you try to get your book on Oprah? 
Do you have any idea what I write? Do you have any idea what sort of book Oprah promotes? Do you have any idea how...  Sigh. Never mind.


I need some quick money to cover my bills while I wait for my severance payment to come through, so I'm going to write a book.
ROFL. ROFLMAO. Bwahahahaa! That's a good one... Oh--you're serious?


I'm not much of a reader but I'm writing a book. I'll send you the first draft and you can fix it up and get it out there for me as you know about this stuff.
Sure I will, you lazy SOB. That's what friends do. Because instead of writing my own books, I'd like to spend a couple years polishing your first draft, researching markets, submitting to agents and editors, following up, promoting, etc etc etc. Yeah, that's what I do because, you know, I took about 15 years to learn this stuff so I could do all your work for you.


So--you're writing the great West Indian novel?
No, I'm writing the great Nahuatl erotic sci-fi lesbian vampire novella. I'll let you know when it's out.


Can you get your agent or editor to read my manuscript? [Asked by total strangers]
Of course. Because that is what my agent and editor do--read manuscripts by people their clients do not know, recommended by said clients who have no idea what or how you write. This is the way we build trust in the author-editor-agent relationship.


So how much do you make? Give me a ballpark. [Said with a condescending smile.]
Frankly, it's bad manners to ask people probing questions about their earnings. Even if you know them. Even if you're family. What possible use can this information be to you? Until such time as I ask you for a handout [read: never] what I earn is none of your [expletive] business. Upside: You've given me a great opportunity to practise concealing my anger behind my mild-mannered facade while fantasizing about planting my foot up your smug rear end.
Are you getting a private jet?
I'll let that pass because you're technically still a child. A money-obsessed pest of a child, but a child nonetheless. I doubt I'll ever be into ostentatious status mega-symbols so if I ever strike it rich you'd never know it--unless you sneak into my shoe closet, maybe. Now get out of here before I whup your precocious butt.


27 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

yes to all of these questions. :)

Russell Rousseau said...

OK! So who mashed your Potato?
And, am, oh, by the way................I have Oprah Winfrey's cell number, and there's a guy I know, down my street that has I think it's a 1957 B52 for sale....... It not exactly a Lear Jet......but........
You know you can't just can't sit on that pile of money that you writers make.
So, Yes I agree, you can start a foundation in your name and I'll manage it for you while you're busy writing more books to put more money into the foundation Sweetheart.........don't worry about a thing. I've got your back.

Karen Clarke said...

Most comments made to me, by people who aren't writers, involve a comparison to JK Rowling. I still haven't come up with the perfect response!

Carol Mitchell said...

Liane, I'm really glad you didn't keep this all bottled up inside :-)

Liane Spicer said...

LOL, Charles. Now that's an approach I like.

Liane Spicer said...

Russell, uh, a B52? Thanks but no thanks. :D

Liane Spicer said...

Karen, strangely enough no one has ever mentioned JK Rowling to me, thank heavens!

Liane Spicer said...

Carol, I know, right? :D

Aimless Writer said...

My favorite, "I have an idea for a book. You write it and we'll split the profits."
I've started telling people to give me a full outline with character sketches and then we'll talk. Not one person has come forth.
What I really want to say? "How about I go to your job, do all your work and then let you collect the paycheck? You idiot."

Marissa Monteilh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marissa Monteilh said...

These are hilarious, Liane!! I've heard them all, and especially the Oprah comment. Also people who want to do me a favor by telling me about their life story so I can write it. Thanks for the literary laugh - much needed!!

Jewel Amethyst said...

Wow! I'm still rolling on the floor laughing until my cheeks hurt. I've heard them all and then some. I've quit responding except with a wry smile and an encouraging "you can do anything you set your mind to."

Liane Spicer said...

Aimless Writer, strangely enough I've never had anyone say that to me--yet. Maybe some people think 'writer' is synonymous with 'stupid'? Jeez.

Liane Spicer said...

You're welcome, Marissa! :D

Liane Spicer said...

Jewel, I'm SO going to steal that line... Thank you! :D

Sunny Frazier said...

BEST POST EVER! And, except for the last question, I've been asked every one of these! Spot on!

Liane Spicer said...

Sunny, thank heavens for laughter!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Yes, been asked each of these except for the jet. I'd cry if it didn't make me laugh so hard.

timdesmondblog.com said...

Great points and all. A guy once told me, "You got to get your book on Amazon. If you do, you got it made." I don't know if the Amazon standings in sales # was 1,435,000 then, like now, but ........ =:o yikes.

Mark Baker said...

No really. Get Oprah to plug your book, and then you can get that private jet and fly around the world while turning my idea and first draft into an amazing book with my name on the cover. You don't mind about that last part, do you?

Kathleen Kaska said...

You made me laugh out loud this morning, Sunny.
Here's the comment I really like:
So, since you don't really work, you have time to help me (fill in the blank.

Liane Spicer said...

@ Marilyn Meredith: Sometimes it's a toss-up whether I laugh or cry. I'm learning to take really deep breaths and not take these things personally. :D

Liane Spicer said...

@timdesmond: Yes! There are still people who think once the book is on Amazon you're making a lot of money. I wish!

Liane Spicer said...

@ Mark Baker: No, not at all. I don't mind. Really! *polite smile*

(Now where did I stash that liquor...):D

Liane Spicer said...

Kathleen, absolutely. To the rest of humanity, writing isn't working. It's lolling around in PJs and fooling with a keyboard.

Kathleen Kaska said...

Liane, I forgot to mention I love the videos.

Liane Spicer said...

Thank you, Kathleen. I had SO much fun finding them. :)