How to Talk to a Writer

writerMy efriend, Kirk Allmond, had a hilarious run down 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.
  • Life 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. This is 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.

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


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. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a weekly columnist for and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blog, IMS tech expert, and a monthly contributor to Today’s Author. In her free time, she is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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21 thoughts on “How to Talk to a Writer

  1. “My head is like a bad neighborhood none of my characters want to live in.”

    Ha. I so identify with this.

  2. I’d say most days, if not all days writing, look like work. Work, of course, can be enjoyable, but, when writing, we surely are working hard, heavily invested, perfecting something that we don’t have an example for to lead us in the right direction. What we do is daunting and and necessitates constant hard work. Even the most naturally talented authors would agree, I’d guess. But, hell, it sure is all worth it.

  3. Reblogged this on The Living Dead and commented:
    Patience and writers aren’t friends.
    There is no truer truth.

  4. All so true, except for me it’s: Must.Remember.To.Diet.
    I’m chuckling on my way to the frig.

  5. Jacqui enjoyed this very much, i think my writers face and my go away face are two faces my husband gets but he wishes I would listen to him sometimes …..he should know thats not going to happen when I am in the zone.

  6. “Patience and writers aren’t friends” and “Must. Remember. To. Eat.” are totally me. I ever blamed someone because simply he stole my notebook for fun.

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