If You’re A Writer, You Will Definitely Recognize Some of These…

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Let’s face it. Careers in the humanities aren’t always the best understood or most generally accepted. The recent Wells Fargo ad debacle outraged many creative professionals, but it wasn’t exactly surprising. The brochure gaff was only part of the steady stream of negativity and ignorance that people with non-STEM careers face everyday.

Writers are no exception.

Here is a collection of common questions and comments from around the web that writers often encounter from clueless non-writers. (Please see the hat tips at the end for the source articles along with their entertaining gifs and in-depth descriptions.)

 

Judgmental

 

“Oh so you are good at writing then?”

“Are you a drug addict or alcoholic?”

“You must own a cat?”

“How do you like living in isolation?”

“You’re crazy, huh?”

“Are you a coffee addict?”

“When are you going to get a real job?”

“But it’s not like you have a REAL job.”

“Soooo, are you still writing?”

 

Exploitative

 

“You should work for free! It’ll be great for exposure!”

“Our contributors write in exchange for the byline.”

“But you’ll gain so much exposure!”

“It’s great exposure/It’s for your portfolio”

“I could just send this to another country and get the same quality for $1.”

“Can’t you just whip something up in like ten minutes?”

“Will you read this thing I wrote?”

“Will you read this thing my son/grandmother/neighbor wrote?”

“Will you read my screenplay?”

“Will you read my boyfriend’s sister’s ex-girlfriend’s screenplay?”

“Will you write my screenplay?”

“So you like to write? Will you take a look at this (Insert something involving writing here) for me?”

“Can you review my product/book/show?”

“Can you proofread & edit my next novel?”

“Where do you get your ideas?”

 

Narcissistic

 

“Ooh, I have a great idea for a novel!”

“Oh, I have a great story for you…”

“You should write about me!”

“I have some fantastic true stories you should write about.”

“I can probably write a book if it weren’t for my busy career.
You should write a story about my life; it’ll be a bestseller.”

“Can you make a character just like me?”

“Can you write about me?”

“You should write about that!”

“Do you think I could do that? My grammar is pretty good.”

“I’m a writer too – I wrote a short story once…”

“You should write about [random person or topic]!”

 

Dismissive

 

“You’re a writer? What a fun hobby!”

“It’s just a hobby, right?”

“But writing is really only a hobby.”

“That must be so fun!”

“Writing must be so easy.”

“Do you write in a cafe?”

“So you just write poetry?”

“If you get paid by the word, you can just write it really long, right?”

“You can get up like really late in the morning! That must feel really good, doesn’t it?”

“So you just work in pajamas all day, huh?”

“It’s so nice of your husband to support you while you enjoy your hobby.”

“It must be great not to have a boss.”

“It must be so nice to make your own schedule.”

“It must be so great to work out whenever you want!”

“You do that so you can be home with your kids, right?”

“So you’re alone the entire day?”

“Don’t you get lonely?”

“What do you do with all your free time?”

“You know we can always catch up for a movie or go out for lunch!”

“Why can’t you go out to lunch? You’re just hanging out at home, right?”

“Want to run this errand for me?”

“Can’t you just hand in the article later?”

“Can you watch my kid since you’re home all day anyway?”

“Why don’t you call more often! You can always talk while working, right?”

“Really? Nobody reads books anymore.”

 

Patronizing

 

“So… what do you do for money?”

“But what’s your job?”

“Do you make any money doing that?”

“You can’t really make money as a writer.”

“And what if you don’t succeed?”

“Oh well what will be your main job to pay the bills?”

“How much do you earn exactly?”

“How can you afford to live in this city?”

“Have you tried [marketing, PR, or any other profession]?”

“You have your MFA? What’s that do?”

“Can you actually do anything with your English degree?”

“So are you going to be an English teacher? Or work in marketing?”

“Have you ever considered being a journalist?”

“Why don’t you write a film script?”

“Have you ever thought about doing this instead and writing on the side?”

“Do you want to be a teacher some day?”

“Oh, so basically you’re not getting a job of your choice!”

“I wish I could afford to do that.”

“Cool. You know, J.K. Rowling is a millionaire.”

“Maybe this gig will finally turn into a full-time job for you!”

“You know what would make you sell more books? Write something like this novel. *Insert Fifty Shades of Grey.*”

“So what’s your goal with this whole writing thing?”

“How do you stay motivated?”

“Do they actually read/check/evaluate your content?”

“Why writing?”

“But don’t you find writing to be so boring? I know I do.”

“What have you written that I’ve read?”

“When does your book come out?”

“What are you writing?”

“What’s your novel about?”

“Here’s what you should write about…”

 

H/T Charlotte AhlinNour Zikra, Lillian Redding, Grace Dobush, Eva Langston, Leilah Hovey, Ashley Trevino, Nancy Khandelwal, Suzannah Weiss, Keryn Thomson, Alywoah

 


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