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What Never to Say to a Writer

Here is my list of things I wish no one would ever say to me again. What’s on your list?

* When are they going to make a movie out of your book? Is this a person’s way of saying that a book isn’t good enough, that it has to be a movie? Or do they mean, I can’t be bothered reading, but I’d watch a movie of your story, maybe. Or do they know that only wildly successful writers sell movie rights, and they are so hoping you’ll be one of those? (In which case, they are actually reminding you that you are not one of those!) * Where do you come up with those ideas? Um. Do people think that authors know the answer to this? Is it purposefully a way to stop conversation dead in its tracks? Or is it a way of saying, how can you write science fiction . . . I mean, it isn’t real, so how can you possibly write it? I, personally, have no clue where my ideas come from. I feel stupid about this, but I truly just don’t know. * I’d read more science fiction, but there are all those funny names. Funny names? It’s amazing to me that this seems like a big barrier to folks. Oh, and funny words. Words for things that don’t yet exist. Add ’em together and you’ve got a book that will tie your brain into a ndkiel. Can’t have that. * Is your publisher going to send you on tour? Yes, and they’re going to set me up on Oprah, and provide me a private jet. * Since you’re not doing anything today, maybe you could __________. (Help me move, drive me to the doctor, attend a Tupperware party, help me rake leaves. . . .) Just because I’m staring at the wall doesn’t mean I’m not doing anything. I’m thinking, I’m plotting, I’m preparing to type.

OK, I feel better now.

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