Eight really weird things people say to writers

Abidemi Sanusi
Jul 17, 2018 · 2 min read

When I was asked to edit a book and I said they needed an editor not a writer.

‘And you call yourself a writer.’

When I was asked to read some ‘arty’, impromptu poetry at a wedding, and I said I was an author not a poet.

‘I thought you were a writer.’

10 ThingsNotToSayToaWriter
10 ThingsNotToSayToaWriter

When I explained to someone that for sales copy, they needed a copywriter, not a content writer.

‘If you didn’t want to write it, all you had to do was say no.’

When I was asked to review a play that someone’s friend’s sister’s cousin grandfather niece 50 years removed had written, and I said I was an author, not a playwright, so probably wouldn’t do a good job.

‘It’s all the same thing though, isn’t it?’

After watching a mesmerising spoken word performance, someone turned to me and said: ‘Why can’t you write and do something like that?’

My response: ‘Because I’m an author not a spoken word artist, mofo.’

From a blast from the past.

‘Did you base that male character on me?’

Thinking to myself: Not even if your last name was Obama.

When I tell people I’m a writer.

‘I’ve got an idea for a book; all you have to do is write it. We’ll split it 60–40. Should be easy enough. Writing’s not that hard.’

Me: ‘Never going to happen.’

The person: Nervous laughter, that dies an unnatural death by my withering gaze, when they realise that:

  1. I have no interest in their idea (it’s usually rubbish anyway)
  2. That they’re not the first to make such a suggestion to me
  3. I really have no interest or patience for this stupid conversation. I want to stomp my feet and have a well-earned fit, just like a child.

‘I’ll read your stuff when I’ve got the time’.

Me: I wasn’t asking you to. I don’t even expect you to.

PS: You can stop avoiding me now because you haven’t read my books — you know who you are.


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