(or at least, this writer)

A non-comprehensive list.

  • “What should I do? Take up a hobby, go to Africa, write a book..” While it’s perfectly fine for people to “write books”, I wish there was the same level of professionalism to being an author as there is for other professions. For example, I don’t say, In retirement, I think I’ll do brain surgery. I feel like people believe that writing is easy and anyone can do it.
  • Reading a blog, essay, whatever with obvious errors. It’s not “Wah La.” It’s not “Per Say.” It’s not “All in the Same”. There’s more! I don’t need to go on. When I start reading a piece with these mistakes, I tend to stop reading.
  • Telling me how great a fellow author’s book is selling, or that their publishing company is sending them on a book tour. Yes, that’s great for them! But there’s only so much genuine happiness you can feel for someone when yours is not doing as well.
  • Constantly pushing their book to friends. If we’re a friend, we have bought the book. Stop.
  • Bookstores wanting incredible amounts of commitment to do a book reading. I get it–these are not real moneymakers for the stores. But some of them want a many-paged application with information on how you have contacted media outlets, how  many people are going to show, is it going to be in the community calendar, and so on. Please give us a break! Say no and move on.
  • People or organizations that get excited about having you speak and then ghost you. 
  • Award events that make you show up, non-negotiable, without you knowing if you have won or not.
  • Finding a really great writer’s retreat that stops operating.
  • Finding a really great writer’s retreat and people come who can’t stand that there’s no internet or shopping.
  • Never knowing what is happening with your ms for months and months and months.

Since this sounds so negative, here are some good things that electrify writers:

  • Strangers contacting you to say how much they liked your books.
  • A friend telling you she can’t forget about your book
  • Book clubs
  • Bookstores that welcome you without a resume
  • Friends that take pictures of your book in exotic locales
  • People who recommend your book to others
  • Amazon reviews! (Good ones)
  • Friends who listen to your book ideas and don’t say they are dumb
  • Finding a really well-written book, even if you didn’t write it
  • The continued hope that a spark will ignite and turn into the next book