Top Ten Writing Things Not to Discuss with Anyone Who’s Not a Writer

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Top Ten Writing Things Not to Discuss with Anyone Who’s Not a Writer

10 If you are a writer, do not discuss how hard it is to write. If you do, at best, you’ll get an eye roll. At worst, you’ll be talking to someone who disarms bombs for a living and will laugh out loud in your face. ( Your comments now seem so first-world, don’t they?)

9 If you are a writer, do not discuss your characters as if they are real. If you do, at best, you will find people avoiding you. At worst, you will be talking to someone who has an imaginary friend that they believe would be a perfect protagonist for your next book. (Sure, glad you mentioned them, right?)

8 If you are a writer, do not discuss your latest plot breakthrough. If you do, at best, you will be given laundry to do. At worst, the entire family will suddenly disappear, knowing you can’t wait to tell them how you solved the plot hole. (Maybe the weather is an excellent subject to discuss.)

7 If you are a writer, do not discuss your latest review. If you do, at best, you will be talking to someone who couldn’t care less. At worst, you could be talking to a person who just finished your book and had not thought of the negative points brought up by the reviewer and has to leave quickly to downgrade their review on Amazon. (I hear bourbon is an excellent treatment for foot in mouth disease.)

6 If you are a writer, do not discuss your book with friends. If you do., at best, they will all pledge to read and review your book, and you know they won’t. At worse, you will tell some spoilers, and the person you are regaling with the tale now has no reason to buy and read the book. (Might have been your only sale this month)

5 If you are a writer, do not discuss how hard it is to market your book. If you do, at best, the person you are talking to will not understand anything you are saying. At worst, they may ask, “Who forced you to write the damn thing anyway?” (The word touche has perfect application here.)

4 If you are a writer, do not discuss your book with your partner. If you do, at best, you will get a smile and a head nod. At worst, you might get some advice that you know you will not follow. (Your ignoring the guidance will only become critical if your partner reads it and sees you didn’t follow the advice.)

3 If you are a writer, do not discuss your royalty arrangements. If you do, at best, you will confirm that your writing is a hobby. At worst, you will demonstrate to others that you have entirely lost your mind in pursuing a writing career. (Maybe keeping that day job is a good idea.)

2 If you are a writer, do not discuss word counts. If you do, at best, the person who is listening to your minimum production will be polite enough not to walk away. At worst, you will be talking to someone who thinks one hundred of anything is a lot and will be so blown away with your thousands they will expect you to buy dinner. (The joy of being a word millionaire.)

1 If you are a writer, do not discuss formats, downloads, Amazon, cover art, fonts, or KDP. If you do, at best, the person will be so impressed that they won’t fall asleep immediately. (only temporary, however) At worst, your conversation will be interrupted by a phone call even if you didn’t hear the phone ring. (You were on a roll, and gotta wonder how long can a phone call last?)

98 comments

  1. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Great advice from John

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, Chris. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My pleasure, John 👍😂

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Lols! Great advice, John 💕🙂😂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Harmony. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes, keeping the day job is a good idea. 🙂 Great advice, John!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha ha ha. Thanks, Jill.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. When i was still trying to write, I made the mistake of doing # 4.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah. As much as our partners love us they don’t see us as writers. Thanks, GP 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I would add to that list, this: In the same way as we are advised to sing as though no-one is listening and dance as though no-one is watching, a writer should write as though no-one will read it. That probably won’t result in better writing, but it will save a lot of disappointment when I the writer realises that no-one is!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like this. Thanks, Keith.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I live by it, John.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. And we can’t help ourselves.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know right?

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve often reflected on the times my friend and I (who is a writer) got together. We understood one another. When our husbands were with us… Well, that was another matter.

    Non-writers just don’t understand us. Great post, John!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Joan.It is so true. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  8. You’re right on the money with this good advice too seldom heeded! (We should know better by now.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We should , Liz. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Great advice, John.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Dan

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    What a great list! I suspect most of us have learned the hard way that only writers understand writers. Thank you for the smiles and the nods, John. This post is a keeper! 😂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Gwen. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Yes on so many of these. Very few people around me speak the “language”, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha ha ha. I like the way you put that. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  12. LOL. Oh so true. These cracked me up, John. Thanks for the laugh.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for letting me know you liked it.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. This may be the best Top Ten List so far, John. I can relate to them all. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Of course, cause you are a writer. My mechanic thought the list sucked.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. This explains why we all seem to congregate together.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It does. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Wonderful list, John! Might be I’m lucky in being stuck at home alone all day with no car. That way, the only glassy-eyed look I get when trying to discuss any aspect of my writing comes from my husband, and is an expression of his I see fairly often, on many topics. (That probably says as much about me as it does about him, but hey … it’s been 40 years since we met. A few glassy-eyed stares are to be expected, I suppose.)

    I laughed at every point you made here, and think you hit the nail on the head for each one! 😂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Marcia.I get the same glassy-eyed look. I think it is universal. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

    2. It’s a Guy Thing, for sure. 🙄 Unless the subject is electric tools or the like. Then it’s a Gals thing. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Great advice John. If, and when I become a writer, I vow to follow all your wise advice.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maybe I can talk you out of becoming a writer. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Hmmmm. Smell that burning? That’s the charred synapses of my brain as I try to absorb and contemplate this. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha. Try to laugh at it instead. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  18. petespringerauthor · · Reply

    This post is one of my favorites from this series, John. It falls into the category of funny but true.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes it is based on truth. Thanks, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I would swoon over a conversation about any/all of those. Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I’m sure we all would with each other.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. *chuckling* YES, John, you’ve nailed this one. I can relate to nearly all of your points! People seem so excited to “meet” a writer, but when push comes to shove, they sure don’t want the details, ha!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So true, Debbie. “Oh look. A neighbor I haven’t seen in 30 minutes. Would you excuse me please?”

      Liked by 1 person

  21. 6 smacked me in the head good and hard. I have found people aren’t always happy about your love for the written word. Envious perhaps they haven’t anything aside from Oreos or Three Stooges reruns they love as much. No, keep your plots and word counts close to your vest I say. This is new. Not a command performance. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For sure on the plots and wordcount. You know I forgot to mention this was from April of 2015. Sorry about that. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It seemed so fresh, like you just wrote it. Sign of a great writer John.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you, Susannah. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  22. All excellent advice, John. I’ve probably done most of the things on your list, but it was a long time ago. I’ve learned from my mistakes. These days I won’t talk about my writing even when I’m encouraged to do so. Friends and family mean to be kind, but they can’t hide that glazed look that comes over their eyes when I start to talk about my novel 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know right? I never say anything. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing my post, Michael.

      Like

  23. Thanks for the great advice, John! Whenever i will start writing novels, i hope to remember all these points. Have a good week! Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Michael.Have a good week as well

      Like

  24. So funny, John. I’m not a writer (a yarn teller, maybe, but not a writer), but I bet a lot of these are true. #10 had me laughing, well, chuckling…. Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Steve. You could have fooled me. I think of you as a writer. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, John, you flatter me. I look at other contributors to WP and see their prolific postings and think, now that’s a writer. You’re among that group. I don’t know how you do it. Certainly, it takes discipline and creativity, an abundance of both. Maybe one day I’ll select a number of my stories and call it a book🤓. Thanks for your support, John.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Great idea, Steve. 😁

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Bette. 😁

      Like

  25. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    All good advice, John!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Denise.

      Like

  26. So funny, but true. Great advice, John! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Lauren.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. The characters being real is not a conversation you can have with just anyone. Unless you’re okay with people recommending a therapist every time you talk to them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes indeed. Mostly keep that one close to the vest

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, that is a very good idea.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Have I ever told you about the guy. . . . oh never mind.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Boss, we talked about this . . .

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Now pass me a Voodoo Ranger, will ya?

        Liked by 2 people

  28. Reblogged this on Kim's Musings.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing my post, Kim.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  29. Thanks for the chuckle, John.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. John, that was so funny!!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Wonderful advice. Glad I found this. As I begin my writing journey I find it difficult to know what to tell people and what not to tell them about what I am working on. It does not help that my friends and family ask me about it. I have made stuff up on the fly before then had to put it into the story so I was not lying. I also don’t want to spoil anything for anyone meaning I don’t tell them everything, even if I get excited over the new discovery or addition. Still this is a good start to help me on my way. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked it. Best wishes on your writing.

      Like

  32. This is so RIGHT ON (write on) that i must share with my writer friends and students. Okay to print it out with your permission and name?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course it is okay. Be sure to tell them that

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Sorry I hit send too soon. Tell them that it is humor with a sprinkling of truth.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I think it’s truth and humor, 50/50. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good deal. I would love to know how they react.

        Liked by 1 person

  33. Sagely advice. Proud to say that I am guilty of all 10 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha ha. Good for you, Ankur. 😁

      Like

  34. Anonymous · · Reply

    Wise considerations, dear John! What a bomb-post of 10 things not to. In fact, if you are a writer don’t discuss…write! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good advice, Maria. Don’t discuss: Write. 😁

      Like

  35. Number 9 rings a bell. When I was writing the Danny stories and I tried to explain the concept to someone at party or whatever, I’d usually get to the point of saying, “Danny doesn’t really write them.” Then the person would look at me as though I was nuts.

    But I have to say, sometimes I’d write a line when Danny really let me have it, and then I’d look down at him curled up at my feet, and say, “You’re something else, Danny.” I was buying into the lie that Danny really was writing the stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I can buy into a few lies myself. It is normal. Thanks, Andrew,

      Like

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