This post by Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds is funny. A bit rude, yes, but funny: very typical of the special Chuck Wendig subgenre of blog posts.
The tenth thing not to say — “We’re out of coffee” — doesn’t resonate with me, because I drink, get this . . . water. I don’t like coffee. Or tea. I loathe soda. I hate beer. (I KNOW, right? But it’s true.)
Granted, reading Laura Florand’s THE CHOCOLATE KISS did force me to make hot chocolate — with milk and A LOT of dark chocolate and just enough sugar and, oh look, it’s fifty degrees today, just right for hot chocolate!
Ahem. Back to the topic.
The number one thing not to say to a writer, imo — and btw I am absolutely certain not one of you has ever said this to anybody — is:
I DON’T READ.
You know what? Sometimes when I say I’m a writer, someone does say this. It always takes me thoroughly aback. That is a whole different kind of person there. I’ve also had students who told me they never ever read a book that wasn’t assigned in school. I remember the exact moment I first heard a student say this! I was like, HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE????
Chuck’s response: Never, ever, ever tell a writer this. Just don’t do it. Don’t tell an architect you don’t enter buildings. Don’t tell an arborist, “I totally hate trees. And nature in general. When I see trees, I cut them down just so I don’t have to look at their dumb tree faces and their stupid asshole branches anymore.” I mean, really, you don’t read? It’s just — whhh — what is wrong with you?
My own response: I admit I would be more likely to produce only a stunned look, and maybe a weak, “Oh?” Because I am not at my scintillating best when stunned, and although I have heard this at least a dozen times, it always stuns me afresh.
Okay, actually, I like the whole post, it’s funny and there’s an element of truth to all the entries. I think I’ve heard all of those comments, in fact, minus the coffee one. So if you have a minute, you should click through and read the whole thing. As is his custom, Chuck is rather brutal where that is appropriate, but quite kind when kindness is actually called for.