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5 Things You Shouldn’t Say To A Fellow Author

In the world of social media, it has become very easy to post opinions and in most cases are done in an, “I’m better than thou” tone. I won’t lie, I find myself doing it sometimes and that’s why I wanted to share this post, so we can all sit back and think about how our words make others feel.  As writer’s, words are our main tool and can be used for good, or cut like glass. How do YOU want to be remembered?

Here are 5 Things You Shouldn’t Say To A Fellow Author:

  1. “Don’t Stress Yourself Over A Deadline and Don’t Rush Your Writing”- I’ve heard this a number of times, and while I KNOW it’s being said in the kindest way, don’t say it. As a writer, we shouldn’t need this reminder to begin with. Especially don’t say this if you don’t know the writer and haven’t taken the time to see where they began their journey and how long they’ve been on it. For me, it’s the equivalent of someone saying, “Drive Safe” when told, “Hey, I’m coming home for the holidays, pulling out the driveway tomorrow morning.” Really? Drive Safe? Um, no, because what I had in mind was of course dangerous. Same thing with telling an author not to rush to get to a deadline. It’s common sense, and insulting if you fail to realize a writer has been working on said project for years or decades even.
  2. “You Wrote That Incorrectly, It Should Be Whom, Not Who” – Give me a break! Stop being grammar Nazi’s. If you buy the writer’s book and you see these things, by all means, say something in the reviews. However, if you see something on social media, LET. IT. GO. In most cases, the writer notices or will notice their own issues and do what they can to fix them. I use Twitter to post lines. I may post the same line 30 different ways before I walk away from it, and even then it’s edited again in the final document. If it’s really bugging you, DM’s are a nice way of being POLITE and pointing out another option for how to write the sentence. Too lazy to do that? Then bleep off.
  3. “Self-Publishing Is For Those Who Can’t Hack Traditional Publishing/Trad Publishing Is Crap Because of ___” – Get OVER yourselves! Who the hell cares what type of publishing someone does? If you have valid opinions, share it…it’s your social media, but don’t be a douche and go into someone else’s thread trying to act like you know everything. What works for one, doesn’t always work for the other. This doesn’t mean either is right or wrong. Let people do what they want to do. If you FEEL the need to say something because you can’t help yourself, DM! Be Polite! I can’t stand when people try and publish first drafts, but do I go into someone’s thread and say that? Not that I can recall. I believe there was one time I corrected someone and then felt like shit for it afterward.
  4. “You Must Outline Or Be Damned To Hell”- Again, get over yourself. It’s okay to offer tips on how to outline, and post about how it’s assisted you. But, never tell another writer that if they don’t outline that their story will suck. You don’t know that. So sit down and shut your trap when you try to judge someone because they choose differently than you.
  5. Last but not least, “Be Original, If You Just Change Some Words Then You’re Stealing”- Not true. Writer’s from the beginning of time have taken stories already told and reworked them into other beautiful masterpieces. Is it nice to have an ORIGINAL idea? Sure, but what’s wrong with a different interpretation? I’ve seen so many fanfiction works, retellings of classics that have blown the originals out of the park. The best thing about being a writer is that we are ALL different, therefore our stories will always be different, some more than others.

The point of this quick post isn’t to slap your hand or ream you a new one. Just asking for a little respect in our writing community. Think before you speak and for Godsakes! We’re in this together! My fellow authors are NOT my competition…haven’t you seen that meme floating around? It’s so true!

Happy Writing Everyone!


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