writers / writing

How to Talk to a Writer

humor in writingI’m madly working on my book launch, scheduled for March 7th. So, instead of writing a new article, I’m reposting this from a few years ago for anyone who didn’t read it then:

My efriend, Kirk Allmond, had a hilarious rundown of what NOT to say to a writer. Well, they were all true, but I still couldn’t stop laughing. Truisms like, “Leave a writer alone when they’re writing. You have no idea how difficult it is to enter the zone.”

So I decided to put together my own list of how to talk to a writer. See if you agree:

  • You can’t scare me. I’m a writer.
  • Patience and writing is an oxymoron
  • Patience and writers aren’t friends
  • Must. Remember. To. Eat.
  • Some days, writing looks a lot like work.
  • I successfully spelled ‘Worcestershire’ today in my book.
  • There are days I wouldn’t know a good plot twist if I woke up next to one.
  • Trying to write good dialogue is like trying to ignore a rejection letter.
  • Writing after the 100th rejection is what Oprah might call a life-defining moment.
  • Understanding a writer who’s in the zone is like understanding the meaning of life.

  • Some days, I need a map to find my muse.
  • This is my writer’s face. It’s easily confused with my ‘go away’ face.
  • My head is like a bad neighborhood none of my characters want to live in.
  • Despite my past experience with agents, my mind is open to a miracle.
  • I keep a portrait of Mark Twain in my attic [think: The Picture of Dorian Gray].

I have more pithy ideas for you, but I have a book to write. Well, I’ll just look in on Instagram…

More humor-and-writing posts:

Inspirational and Humorous Quotes–Part I

Writerly Humor (Dark Humor)

How to Add Humor to Dull Characters


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for TeachHUB and NEA Today, and a freelance journalist. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Survival of the Fittest March 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

97 thoughts on “How to Talk to a Writer

  1. I love this post, Jacqui. I particularly liked Understanding a writer who’s in the zone is like understanding the meaning of life and Despite my past experience with agents, my mind is open to a miracle.
    Wishing you lots of success with all your books! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am taking the steps of becoming a new writer, so much to learn. I enjoyed your humorous article and congratulations on your new release. Cindy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome to our wonderful community! I look forward to chatting.

      Can I make one suggestion: Link your gravatar to wherever you are online–a blog, Facebook, wherever. That way, nosy people like me can explore everything about you! For instance, that picture behind you–the guy with the cowboy hat. I love Westerns.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s my Son, he found his true identity when he was 13 being a country boy, he loves the country life. He is now 43, he loves taking pictures of the country. My first post of Little Bit of Heaven is a picture that I took off my front porch. Very new with all this blog stuff, but will certainly take your wonderful advise. Thank you

        Liked by 1 person

  3. One of my favourite scenes in The Shining is when Wendy brings Jack tea and asks how his writing is going. Though she’s trying to be supportive she conspires to say something facile about the process. “Yea,” he says sarcastically, “that’s all it is!”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jacqui, laughing, I agree with the whole list! Humor saves the writing day for me. My writing face confused with the go away face? Not to my dogs! I just add, I’m busy writing! Happy book launch! Congratulations! 📚🎶Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you for a really funny read this morning.

    If I woke up next to a good plot twist, I might be seeing a lawyer. Take that any way you choose.

    I can’t even pronounce Wurschercher, forget spelling it, but that doesn’t prevent me from dribbling in a few drops where I think it might repair a bland dish.

    And as for being scared – every waking moment and most of my sleeping ones as well.

    Be well, friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Jacqui – talking to a writer is challenging … to put it mildly – especially as our minds can wander along and across many paths – life is interesting. Good luck with getting things organised – I thought you hadn’t sent me the details … but google lost it somehow – never know how things disappear … but they do. Found it and will look over it at the weekend – to make sure I tie in … good luck and cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

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