The Top 3 Questions to Never Ask a Writer

As a writer, I have been witness to a few different reactions when I respond to a question asking what I do for a living. Most usually come with a nod of the head and a slight, nearly-inaudible, hmm... sound. Others give a look of pity. And, then there are the very few who reply with a quick, "Oh, nice!" and move on. 

It doesn't matter who asks, I nearly cringe every time I hear, "So, Michelle, what do you do?" Because the initial response is almost always followed up with, "Have you been published?"

Now, yes, they could be sincerely asking the question. And, they are likely not intending to do the damage they do. But, it happens. Every time. 

The funny thing is that even when you are published, the feeling still holds true because you are still aiming to get your book published, increase your readers and platform, or find yourself published with a more reputable news source. It is always an upward climb (that often feels stagnant). In other words, its that ever-present writer doubt. 

So, as a PSA, I am sending out the top 3 questions you should never ask a writer

1. Have you been published? *see rant above. 'nuff said.

2. What do you write about? For most writers, trying to verbally put all the words in your head into a clear, concise, Cliff Notes explanation in order to properly answer this question is exhausting. If you ask it, and get a general answer -- don't press for details. Please. 

3. Must be nice not having to really work, right? Wrong. Writers work. A lot. Even when it doesn't appear so. 

From now on, when someone answers "I'm a writer," to the question, "What do you do?" Tell them awesome! Or, that's fantastic! Or even, I'd love to have your job. Something, anything positive. Writing is fulfilling a dream, but it is hard work - and it takes strength, determination, and courage to do it. It also takes time. Lots and lots of time to get to the finish line.  


  1. "Have I heard of any of your books?" Like I'd know.

  2. I have learned a lot from you, Michelle, about writing in an easy to consume and enjoy style, from the reader's point of view. I look forward to more of your easy and fun approach to writing.


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