How to Annoy a Rookie Writer

Editor’s note: this is a guest post by Lua Fowles.

Maybe it’s because we went from spring to summer in 2 days and my brain is boiling inside my skull (seriously, it’s like 1000 degrees over here in Istanbul!) or maybe because I’ve been spending more time outside my room now that I’m done writing the first draft of my novel and letting it cool down before I begin revising… Whatever the reason may be, lately I’ve been paying more attention to the comments I’ve been getting from the people around me…

So I thought, since I got all this free time in my hands, why not make a list (you know- because I hate making lists!) and give my tribute to all the creative criticizers out there, always ready to get me when they have the opportunity!


1. Oh, I write too. Mostly my thoughts about love…”

And that’s fantastic… I mean it, it’s great! But that is NOT what I do. I don’t ‘just write my thoughts & feelings about love & life’,  I create a story. Meaning, I create characters, a plot, subplots, a story which has a beginning, a middle and an end and I work, I write, I rewrite and when that’s done, I rewrite some more… So that “too” at the end of the first sentence, doesn’t quiet put us in the same category now, does it?

2. “Oh, you should write about my friend Mark, he’s like super cool!”

Now why on earth would I want to write about your friend Mark? I am not a biographer, I don’t write real life stories, I enjoy the whole process of creating people, events and even places from scratch…

And before I forget, “you should write about me” goes under #2 as well…

3. “What are you writing about?”

Really, there is no answer to this question… At least not an answer I can give while we’re making small talk. I’m explaining it in 90.000 words, please be kind enough to go, buy (when it’s actually published that is) and read it if you are sincere about wanting to know what I’m writing about. There are no short cuts in the life of a writer…

4. “Writer? Yeah, sure, cool hobby… So what’s your real job?”

Oh boy, I have so many potential answers for this one, I don’t even know where to begin… I could ask what is “real” and what is not, I could ask why he thinks being a writer is not considered a job, but a hobby, I could ask what makes what he does more real than what I do and the list goes on and on… But the truth is if you are an artist (of any sort) chances are you’re going to deal with this kind of wise, sophisticated questions…  (occupational hazard!)

5. “You can never get rich by being a writer.”

Why thank you smarty, I had no idea… Anyone who’s serious about writing knows that you can not write a book if you don’t truly love writing… It’s hard work, it kills your social life, it’s not a 9 to 5 kind of job, your mind & soul is constantly occupied, it’s consuming… Which means you have to take some sort of pleasure from the action to be able to write. And that’s why most people write; because they can, because they cannot not write, because it’s fun and they take pleasure; because it’s not only a job but a way of life… People don’t write for money, money comes much, much later and it only helps us continue writing and living.

So thanks for the heads up, but I kind of already knew that…

But there are always two sides to everything…

Every once in a while, I come across someone who does not act like they are the master of writing, they ask because they really find it interesting, you can see the intimacy in their eyes. They are genuinely pleased to meet you, they ask questions because they want to know and at the end of the conversation they wish you the one thing a writer needs more than caffeine; best of luck.

And hearing that is worth all the other lines you mastered hearing…

Lua Fowles is an aspiring writer from Istanbul Turkey, currently working on her first novel, ‘Closed Eyes, Change of Heart’ On her blog, Bowl of Oranges, she’s talking about the difficult but joyous journey of becoming a writer. She’ll be on her way to the University of Kent to get an MA degree on Creative Writing this September.

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20 comments on “How to Annoy a Rookie Writer

  1. Shafali says:

    Hi Lua,

    I wish you the best for your first novel.

    Regards,
    Shafali

  2. Barb says:

    I should have commented on Lua’s blog…😉
    I’ll add mine.
    “How is your novel going?” at which I’d stare at you blankly and answer “Which one?” – I know, I’m a compulsive writer who works so fast that if I don’t see somebody very often, I might easily forget what I told him/her in the first place… :-d

  3. tuucu says:

    Dear Lua,

    Great post about the obstacles of writing…and how wonderful to see that you overcome all🙂

  4. People who don’t write often look at me starry-eyed when they learn I’m a writer. “Oh, that’s wonderful!” I want to grab them by the collar and shout, “Wonderful! It’s hell! Don’t just stand there! Save me!!” but instead I only smile back and say, “Yes, it’s pretty fun.”

    My goodness. They have no idea.

    (Great post Lua. I love that you two cross-posted.)🙂

    – Corra

    the victorian heroine

    • Lua says:

      Corra, you made me laugh!🙂 I can’t imagine the terror in your heard after that comment and then your face, saying, “yeah… no feeling like it…”🙂
      If only they knew…😉

  5. Kate says:

    Merhaba, Lua! I’ve found that the questions don’t go away, but, once you’re in the chute and on the way to getting published, they’re easier to answer. I now have cards that have the cover art on the front and the jacket copy and ISBN on the back. When people ask me about my writing, I just hand them a card. I’m on my way now to check out Bowl of Oranges. Feel free to stop by Disgruntled Bear and say hi–we’re finishing up the Virtual Launch Party today.

    BTW, I finished my first novel when we lived in Çengelköy.

    • Lua says:

      Merhaba Kate! Ne kadar severim Çengelköyü…🙂 Ben de ilk romanımı Yeniköy’de yazdım!

      I suppose it will get easier once I’m on my way to actually getting published… Until then, I’ll just have to focus my energy on trying not to hit someone haha!
      I’m on my way to your Virtual Launch Party and I just read that you met your husband at the Izmir Airport… I’ve been to that airport like a thousand times, how come I’m still single??🙂

      • Kate says:

        Hi Lua!

        Once your manuscript’s ready, I want to offer you a 5-page critique. I’m very blunt and direct, but my comments usually help. You can download the first chapters of Minder here, if you want to get a sense of my writing style.

        http://www.site.ganzfield.com/uploads/MINDER_partial.pdf

        As for meeting my husband in the Izmir airport, now I have a problem. How do I tell my children not to talk to strangers? It really worked out for me. 🙂

  6. Linda says:

    This makes me laugh every time I read it!🙂 # 2 is my favourite, I wonder what makes ‘Mark’ so cool!

    • Lua says:

      Linda, I wonder that myself!🙂 When I find out, I’m actually going to sit down and write his story…

  7. Lua says:

    @Kate
    That is so kind of you Kate, it would be amazing! Thank you so much- I’ll email you🙂

  8. milkfever says:

    I love Lua!! But I didn’t know she lived in Turkey, what a lucky lady. It’s on my list of favourite places to visit.
    And the post above is one of my favourites.
    thanks for posting Ollin.

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