How to talk to Writers: Vol.1

So there’s things I’ve learnt as a writer, and things I’ve learnt as someone who knows a lot of writers. Here’s a few of them, collected as a guide for friends and family on the right way to approach these difficult, awkward and sometimes fussy souls..

Here we go…

IF YOU HAVE TO ASK a writer what they’ve had published, do your very best not to sound despondent if the answer is “nothing”, or a surprisingly short list of things.

DO ask them what they’re writing.DON’T tell them what they should write.

DON’T assume they have a schedule or a consistent plan of action.

DON’T assume they have a special writing book, writing pen, writing hat, or any other cute affectation.

DON’T force them to tell you about a project, CONVINCE them that you genuinely want to hear about it.

NEVER agree with them if they say one of their ideas is bad or stupid.

NEVER disagree with them if they say one of their ideas is their best yet.

ALWAYS ask them where they get their ideas from. NEVER tell them where you think their ideas come from.

DON’T compare their work to other authors without being asked. It isn’t “straight out of Guy Ritchie” or “a touch of the David Gemmells”

DO ask them follow up questions on a project they previously told you about.  DON’T be surprised if that project hasn’t advanced at all.

DON’T suggest improvements without being asked to. It’s their baby, not yours.

NEVER ask “Why?”.

This list is by no means exhaustive, which is why I decided to dub it Vol. 1! Your own submissions and ideas would be more than welcome, either in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Nick
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