Thursday, March 31, 2016

Things people say to writers

Since I write for a living, I'm sure you all could guess that I'm friends with a lot of other writers. Naturally, we talk sometimes. LOL When I first started to earn a living at this, I wondered if I was alone in some of the strange or straight-up rude messages I got from time to time. I'm not. Apparently, it's a thing. People will say anything to a writer. 

Here are only a few examples. And no, I'm not posting this to be a bitch. LOL Before I got in this business, I never would have dreamed that people would act like this. This post is just to share some of what myself and others have to deal with, some of us on a daily basis. Think of it as an FYI to aspiring writers and what they might encounter. For everyone else, just think of it as entertainment. 

Please, do not interpret any of this to mean that I do not want to hear from readers. Of course I do! I love my readers. You guys are hella cool. LOL I'm talking about very odd, and rude individuals who probably shouldn't communicate with anybody. 

1. We get emails/PMs from people telling us all the corrections we need to make in our book. 

Wow. Just wow. This is SO rude. Unless you are an editor who works for that person, this is never cool. It's one thing to point out a misspelling on such-and-such page, like if you're a reader and you just want to give them a heads up. But to offer a detailed critique that no one asked for is extremely off-putting and presumptuous. All the writers I know hire professional editors, many times more than one, to go over each book. Plus, we edit them ourselves. 

Occasionally mistakes do happen. That does not mean the book was not edited or that we turn out quickly slapped together garbage. It means we are human beings. Also, some words are spelled differently here in the US than they are in say, the UK. That doesn't mean they are wrong. I'm American. I spell words the American way. 

I know many people who have received this type of message. I don't know of any who were not either hurt, insulted, or both.

2. People send us tons of story ideas that they want us to write.

First off, this is a big legal no-no for us. Legally, I cannot look at someone else's story. I never want anyone to be able to say they think I stole from them or that I was influenced by their work in any way. Genre writers are bound to run into many similarities, simply due to the nature of what they write. That's different.

I've had people send me emails with lots of attachments of how they want a story to be written. First, I don't open attachments. Ever. Second, I delete these messages almost as soon as I realize what they are. I'm not trying to be a jerk, it's a legal issue. 

Besides, why would anyone want someone else to tell their story?

3. Someone always thinks they know what SHOULD have happened in the story.

This one is also very insulting. I've read lots of stories where I wish things had happened differently. But, it wasn't my story to tell. The writer told the story that was in their heart and I read it. I don't have to agree with every decision to enjoy it. And I would never presume to tell them how they should have written their story.

4. People want to send us graphic details of their sex lives for story fodder.

Yes, this really happens. We are human beings, we do have our own experiences to draw from. And even if we didn't, the majority of us would be weirded out to get this type of message from a stranger. LOL Hell, I don't want to get it from people I KNOW.

There are many more examples of this kind of stuff, but these are the top 4 that I've encountered. Oh, and I also get lots of pics of male genitalia. Really. Just because my stories have sex in them does not mean I write filth. There's a WHOLE STORY in there. The sex scenes do not take up the whole book.

If you are thinking of being a writer for a living, just know that at some point you will get these kinds of messages. Sometimes, it's funny. But as your career grows and you have less and less time to answer messages, getting an email full of snark and self-righteousness can ruin your day.

Oh, and if you ever write about sex, even for a brief second, be prepared for the dick pics. They are out there, and they will find you. LOL

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