5 things never to say to a writer

There are probably more than five. There are probably hundreds. Especially when you’ve spent a day with a laptop, David Gray’s greatest hits and only produced one worthy sentence. Still, here are five of the top ones:

  1. ” I see you wrote a book. Congrats! My friend’s husband’s niece’s dog wrote a book on the offchance on his day off and became an instant bestseller, garnered glowing reviews and is now up for the Booker. But please, tell me about your book?”
  2. “What is your book about?” Tricky one this, people might be divided. But, essentially, anyone asking you this question is wanting you to summarise the book – effectively reducing your hard and painstaking labour – so they don’t have to read it. This question is best answered with a riposte I once heard Will Self give: “What is my book about? It’s about 400 pages.”
  3. “But like, people don’t really read books anymore, do they?” “Only the illiterate ignorant fools like yourself.”
  4. “Of course anybody can be writer these days. All you need is like, the internet and social media blah blah blah it’s easy.” N.B. Not everyone can be a writer; many people simply don’t have the crippling self-doubt needed to qualify.
  5. “So you’re a writer? Can I have a free copy of your book seeing as I’m such a good mate?” “Seeing as you’re such a good mate, why don’t you buy one?”

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