Writers are considered to be a sensitive bunch sometimes. Writing can come to a person naturally but it is definitely not a piece of cake. It can take hours and hours of ideas and hundreds of crumpled papers just to describe a small scenario. That talent needs to be nurtured.
Pouring your soul out into an article or a book takes guts. It is not always the people who grill your work on the Internet but can also be your friends and family. They might mean well, but often end up boiling your blood.
And while some of us may want to grow into writers, we’ll also be unstrangering writers along the way. So here are some things you can perhaps keep in mind to not upset any writer.
A few things that you should never say to a writer:
1) “Oh, so you write? That is wonderful. I would love to visit south of France (okay the hills of north India) to write a book by taking a few months off but I am just so busy at the office these days.”
This tends to suggest how good you are at the writer’s job and how you are making their work sound like a mere holiday.
2) “I enjoyed your new article more than the previous ones.”
Well, that feedback is good, but it can also be terrible when left midway. When you’ve begun with that statement, go further and tell them why you thought so as well. Imagine an a person swinging by your office and pointing out that your presentation was better than the ones from the previous weeks. Well, while that’s okay, wouldn’t you want to know what made it better so you can keep on improving? Writers have off days too. No one should be rude to point that out without sharing more.
3) “You’ve been writing about so many things. Write about me now.”
This can be a constant irritant. Maybe they have already written about you and you have not figured it out yet.
And then somethings hurt even more:
4) “Did you not spot the typo you made before getting it published?”
Why would any writer want that? If she would have, then she would have corrected it. Writers are more worried about their grammar than anyone else. And such issues should also be taken up with the sub editor.
5) “So you’ve been writing for the few months. What do you do for a living though? Are you getting paid for what you write.”
While writers because it is their calling, they also do know they’ve got to make a living and it can be a struggle sometimes. They work hard. And moreover, no writer roams around with a journal clenched in their hands or with a “#AmAWriter” sticker on their laptops.
6) “Writing isn’t as hard you know. It’s something we’ve all done at some point. Tell me, what do you do in your free time?”
Well, genuine writers do not have really have free time per se. It takes passion and creativity to write. And for a lot of people, it can erupt anytime. It spikes their blood pressure when they hear someone asking them such questions about free time. Writing is not something that happens at the drop of a hat. It’s a talent that has to be cultivated.
Writing is a pretty interesting choice of work. You always get to learn something new. People who choose it as a profession are usually the ones who are following their heart. They are someone who is actually accomplishing something. And doing what you always wanted to do is an accomplishment in itself.