Joanne Harris—author of Chocolat, Five Quarters of the Orange and this excellent Twitter bio: Chocolatrix. Raconteuse. Loves the smell of facepalm in the morning.—recently created a hashtag that topped the trending charts. It all started with the tweet above.
This soon snowballed into an avalanche of hilarity, as you’ll see from the sampling below. From scrolling through the tweets for the #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter you’ll see that the most popular grievance seems to be that people think writing is not real work. Ironically, there’s also a contempt embedded in these tweets for bloggers, authors who self-publish and anyone else who presumes to identify as a writer. Harris reacts to this condescension on her Tumblr, where she argues why we should restore the word amateur with the respect it’s due.
Published or not, though, if you ever run into any of these writers, resist the urge to say any of this:
I know it’s a pirated copy of your book, but can you autograph it anyway? <Someone did actually tell me this…> #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter
— Amish Tripathi (@authoramish) July 29, 2015
“Hasn’t that already been done?” #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter
— Omar Waraich (@OmarWaraich) July 29, 2015
1) we 2) can’t 3) pay 4) you 5) but 6) the 7) exposure 8) might 9) be 10) good #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter
— Bill Corbett (@BillCorbett) July 28, 2015
“Anne, how many times does Mr. DiCaprio have to tell you to get off his property.” #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter
— Anne T. Donahue (@annetdonahue) July 28, 2015
I thought you were dead. #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter
— S. E. Hinton (@se4realhinton) July 28, 2015
‘Your character is a woman. You’re also a woman! Are you the same pers—’ ARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter
— Samantha Shannon (@say_shannon) July 28, 2015
#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter “Can I be in your next book?” Sure. In fact YOU are my next book. I’m going to use your skin for the pages.
— Mel Salisbury (@AHintofMystery) July 28, 2015
“Ah, so your book’s like that other, much more successful book. Good on you for trying.” #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter
— Damon Young (@damonayoung) July 30, 2015
I liked the movie version so much more. #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter
— Jodi Picoult (@jodipicoult) July 28, 2015
— Jon Snow (@LordSnow) July 28, 2015