Unless you’re a writer by profession, it can come as quite a surprise to friends and family that you’re writing a book. Their reactions run the gamut from uncontrollable laughter to genuine inspiration. Somewhere in the middle is an awkward zone that can result in uncomfortable silence, which the other person naturally feels compelled to break. This is when the weird questions and comments happen. The below list is certainly not exhaustive, but rather a sampling of reactions that have become quite common in my experience. Some have an infinite number of variations, but the gist remains the same. Aaaand we’re off!
1. “Who’s your publisher?”
Well, right now I’m just trying to decide between all the ones fighting over my work, so… Why do people ask this? Do they have one waiting in the wings?
2. “Is it going to be made into a movie?”
Oh, absolutely. I got Tarantino and Scorcese out back arm-wrestling over it.
3. “Cool, when can I read it?”
Me: “I’m not sure you’d like it. What are you reading right now?”
“Oh, I haven’t read a book since high school.”
4. “I have an idea for a book that would be an instant bestseller.”
Of course you do. You just don’t feel like writing it right now.
5. “That’s cool, man. You know my cousin Jim? His friend Bob’s uncle wrote a book once.”
Good to know.
6. “Do people still read books? I prefer movies.”
I guessed that about you.
7. “You don’t seem like a writer.”
Thank you for that. An agent who read my query letter said the same thing.
8. “You know what you should write a book about? (*Insert horrible idea here*)”
Yeah, I’ll… I’ll look into that. Thanks for the suggestion.
9. “Is this like a midlife crisis? You gonna buy a sports car, too?”
I was eyeing one, now that you mention it.
10. “Oh, that’s nice.”
Writers, what kinds of things have been said to you?