Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What Non-Writer Friends Should Know

I have friends that don't write. I know, it blows my mind as well. I mean, how do they fill the evenings and weekends? But I figure there are some things a non-writer friend needs to know.

1. IF I GO QUIET THERE IS NOTHING WRONG. I'm listening to the character in my head. It doesn't mean I'm in a mood.
2. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS HAVING TOO MANY BOOKS. Seriously, why do people ask this? Do I ask why you need to breathe?
3. PLEASE TEXT/CALL BEFORE YOU 'DROP BY.' I want to see you, but I need the warning to brush my hair. I also need to wash the six cups I've collected while writing this chapter. And change out of my PJs. Maybe I should take a shower first...
4. EDITING IS A SLOW PROCESS. I know you think the book is fabulous after the first read, but it needs work. Trust me. It. Needs. It.
5. EDITS ARE ABOUT SACRIFICE. The red pen of doom is going to blot over the hard copy like blood. Some of your favourite bits may not survive the cull. We hate it, but sometimes need to kill our darlings to make it better.

And now some things the writer me should occasionally tell non-writer friends:

6. I MAY NOT TELL YOU I APPRECIATE YOU ENOUGH. I can be a pain in the butt. A huge one. I've complained about this plot twist three times. I'm sure you're about to hit me over the head for it, but you still smile/nod/aww/offer suggestions in all the right places. And you still ask me how the writing is going.
7. YOU'VE SUPPORTED MY DREAM FROM THE BEGINNING. You didn't laugh. You never tried to talk me out of it. You encouraged me. You believe in me.
8. YOU ARE AMAZING. You don't write, but you raise a family/study/work/manage a household etc. There are things you do everyday that make me stand in awe of you.
9. I'M HERE FOR YOU. Yes I write books, but you are important to me as well.
10. THANK YOU. Just because. :)

What about you. Is there anything you wish your non-writer friends knew about being a writer? Or spread some love for your non-writer friends in the comments.


  1. LOVE this post. So so so true. Non writers don't fully understand us, but we still need them. Great reminders. Thanks!

  2. Excellent post. Lots of my non writer friends are runners. I know, runners, what the hell? Why would you want to run if your not being chased by something? My friends are super into it and I just nod along. But when I talk about writing they give me the same "what the hell?" look. Then I realized, running is their writing. Running a marathon is like getting published for them.

  3. Good post. And Erinn, good comment. My husband is a marathoner, and he goes for running for three or four hours at a time in training. It's like when I write.

    One difference is that he doesn't expect to win. But I would really, really like a book contract!

  4. Oh man, these are so true! I just love it. It's the people in my family that suffer from the second list. But it really irks me when those I know do things from the first.

    Superbly funny.


  5. this. is. great!

    Thanks for putting all of this into words. It's a great list I've already shared.

    -- Tom

  6. "Editing is a slow process."

    OMB, you have no idea how often this happens to me! The conversation goes something like:
    "You finished writing it? So I can read it now?"

    And then they give me the confused face.

    I love this post. It's soo true.^^

  7. You nailed this! Especially the bit about randomly going quiet, but nothing being wrong. The muse strikes at the strangest times, really. My husband gets it the worst. Like JD on Scrubs, I come out of my daydream with bizarre questions about robots and bugs that talk to people (I write MG and YA).

    Hee hee. But I appreciate his patience with me, and the support of all my friends who firmly believe a publishing deal is on the end of next week for me. :)

  8. So true!

  9. These are so true. And funny, I have been thinking about doing a post like this, too. But the main one on mine will be that just because years have gone by and we don't "technically" have anything to show for it, that doesn't mean we haven't been working our rears off that entire time.


    P.S. My captcha is "typing". Ha!

  10. I love this post! It's all tooooooo true. LOL!

  11. Glad everyone like the pose.
    Shannon - So true. We do need the non writers. :)
    Erinn - Great point about a marathon being a runners publishing.
    Kelly - I do as well. At least we are running along together my friend. :)
    Clarissa - I'm the same as you. I've started to smile and nod. hee hee.
    Tom -Glad you linked the post Tom.
    Claudie - Yep, I had that conversation today. I think the confused face must get handed out on demand to our friends who don't write. lol.
    Katrina - Ha, JD from Scrubs. I can so see you doing that. And yes, that publishing deal will coe for you. I know it!
    Demetria - Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the post.
    Jessica - Great idea. You so should do that post. I think we all dread that question after we've been writing a while. Sometimes people don't get that all the work, even without a book in print, is a learning experience for when we do get there.
    Deb - Glad you loved it. :)

  12. So very very true. Great post. I think we should add that this is an excellent list for spouse/significant others as well!
    In fact, I'm going to force the hubby to read it now. :)


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