When a Non-Writer Wants You to Talk About What You Are Working On #amwriting #writing

When a Non-Writer Asks You What You Are Working on...-2

That heart stopping moment when a non-writer wants you to tell them about your creative project…

Here are 10 thoughts that might go through your mind:

1. Are they really sure about this? Asking me what I am writing is like opening up Pandora’s box. Which project do I start with?

2. Have they got time ? I am struggling to summarise my current book verbally in less than an hour. Plus once I start talking about my writing I can’t stop!

3. Why would they be interested? If I wasn’t a writer I wouldn’t be that fussed on knowing what a writer was writing about.

4. Do they think I have based one of my characters on them?  This could be awkward when I start talking about my main character.

5. Are they feeling unwell? Temperature? Low mood? Feeling desperate?

6. Has word got round that I am about to hit the literary world? Are they after a sneak preview? Always carry a copy of my draft on me so I am prepared.

7.  Do I have to?  Can I just change the subject and talk about the weather? Much more interesting.

8. Are they going to give me their views on my plot / premise? – which I don’t really want and will probably make me feel deflated / depressed / consider quitting writing forever.

9. Are they ready for me to become uber paranoid about their reaction to my novel? This will include me questioning them on things like why their left eyebrow is quivering slightly and what that means with regards my book? Is that a facial sign which means they don’t like my plot? Why are they flaring their nostrils at me? Does that mean they hate my idea? (I love people who flare their nostrils at me BTW)

10. Are they on social media? Could this conversation lead to a tweet?  A writer is always looking for tweet opportunites – sigh!


photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/48220147@N07/8677083934″>Worn</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

78 thoughts on “When a Non-Writer Wants You to Talk About What You Are Working On #amwriting #writing

  1. 2 and 7 i soooo relate with. I can never figure out HOW to describe my books in a reasonable and timely manner, and I often have a flush of embarrassment wash over me as if my book is my ugly baby and I don’t want anyone to stare at it oddly. LOL

      1. Lol I am glad that gave you a laugh. Keep me posted on your adventure today. I am so happy for you. I hope the sun is warm and the sky is blue and your day is great whichever way things go.

  2. These are all very true! Weirdly enough, I find it easier answering non-writers though because they seem more hopeful for publishing and such. Other writers seem to make a decision on whether I’ll be published in the first sentence of my speaking, I can see it in their eyes! Haha

  3. LOL. My problem is number 2. I write fantasy so I get stuck on explaining the world and the magic, blah, blah, blah before I even get to the characters and plot. Need to work on my elevator pitch, I think. Funny post.

  4. Oh my! Thank you for summarizing my thoughts here. When someone asks me what I am writing about, I struggle hard to resist the temptation to retort, wait till its published so that you can buy the book.
    I enjoyed reading this. It made me smile

  5. Love this! My favorite, I am confessing was the best lighting. 😀 You must start thinking of these things early. Pics will surface again when you are famous. And lighting, stance, best side…ugh…alll killers at #thenew25 🙂 xxx -CC

    1. Hey CC!! Seeing you on my blog has made me smile! Always special when CC drops by 🙂 Lighting is so important to me nowadays, I have a ‘Roman’ nose (do you like how I am describing a large hooter?) and those pesky shadows from it cause me photo grief!

      1. I do like that. I don’t think you do. I feel like I have no chin, so I am always doing side shots. Angles are my friend. 🙂

  6. In my experience, people who ask this question only want to hear “It’s kind of like such and such a book.” or “It’s (insert genre).” They don’t have the context for a writerly explanation.

  7. Hey, Lucy, you won!!!!! I’m so proud of you. Tears are welling in my eyes. Congratulations. No one deserved Funniest Blogger more than you. I’m doing a happy dance for you right now.

  8. Ha! Ha! Your’e funny!
    I worked on a doctoral dissertation for two years, completing about half of it. I’ll never forget the horrible spell that came over me when anyone asked the fateful question “What’s your topic?” Either I suddenly had no idea (“what’s a topic? What’s a dissertation”?) and nothing at all to say, OR I had it so well figured out that I figured everyone else would be keenly interested.
    Re the latter, yes, there were certain people who turned and ran when they saw me coming. I just figured they were extremely shy and scholarly.

  9. So funny. I always come up with a one sentence description of my current project – not always a novel, I hasten to say – for this question. What are you writing now? I’m writing about a girl who must decide whether to become a monster or marry one. Happy writing!!

  10. Your mind works in mysterious ways, my dear.

    I do NOT discuss my writing with the non-initiated, and I NEVER share my ideas or concepts because people will not hesitate to steal. I recommend using caution with all people, no matter how close they seem to be. Protecting your work has to be priority #1. There are no friends if a person sees dollar signs. Sad, but true. Also, it’s not anyone’s business until the work is complete.

      1. I don’t want you to learn the hard way that people in the community, though small, aren’t always listening with good intentions. I come from a place of experience and I’d be enraged if someone hurt you.

      2. It can put things back together almost flawlessly, so yes, it sticks. I’ve gotten it on my hands and glued fingers together. Not my best moments, but some of it runs off at times and as you go to “clean it up”, you end up stuck.

      3. I suspect you’ll still be able to talk with glued lips. It’s like wiring your jaw shut, you can still speak if you have to. It doesn’t stop your vocal chords from working.

      4. Worst case scenario, it will rip the skin off your lips. Probably not the healthiest idea, let’s scratch that off the board.

        How does one cease “talking nonsense”? Stifle yourself. Perhaps we could have a zipper installed…

  11. The last time someone asked me this my mind went blank and I couldn’t remember even one thing about my book. Not even the title. I think I came out with something non-committal, turned red, and left the room very swiftly. 🙂

    Happy Sunday. :

  12. Yes! I relate to this so much. I don’t mind talking about my writing but I love to talk to other writers about it because we just get it. You know? Great post x

  13. This is the question I fear! And the question I must face! I must prevail over this…! *sigh* I don’t know how not to sound like a crazy person. I stutter and forget everything. 🙂

  14. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

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