(1) Writing is hard
Yes, but to misquote Cheryl Strayed, it’s not coal mining, it’s not sewer repair, it’s not wrangling live tigers (though sometimes you want to claw your own face off).
(2) Buy my book
Ugh. Just ugh.
(3) I don’t have enough time to finish my ___ (insert work in progress)
Yes. Yes you do. Single mothers with three jobs have written books. Medical students who haven’t slept in 137 days have written novels. Stop lying and finish already.
(4) I self-publish and do all my own editing
Why would you do that? Why? WHY? Unless your best friend from childhood is an editor willing to review your work for free, do not self-publish a thing if you do not secure the services of a professional editor. You will embarrass your mother, you will waste your time, you will ruin your credibility.
(5) I don’t read – or any variation of this statement
Imagine an actor who doesn’t have time to watch movies, plays, or TV. Imagine an oceanographer who refuses to leave Kansas, or a trail guide with agoraphobia. Ridiculous, right? You have time to read. You make time to read. You read. Go to the library right now, for God’s sake.
(6) Review me on Amazon, even if you haven’t read my book
No, no I will not.
(7) Buy my book
(8) I dream of being published (while not submitting)
Good luck with that.
(9) “Chick-lit” or “Women’s fiction”
Or any other gender-damning, soul-skewering, pigeon-holing phrase when used in the context of literary snobbery, including but not limited to: I only read literary fiction; Memoir is just journaling; Uttering the word romance with your nostrils flared as if sniffing dog poop. It’s not nice.
(10) Rejection is so hard
Yep. And? Stop being a baby.
(11) I don’t drink coffee
While this may be true, it’s enough to get you kicked out of the tribe or at least ostracized. Lie. Carry around a Starbucks cup filled with water if you have to. You’re ruining the mystique! Tea is acceptable, if you’re British, but just barely.
(12) Buy my book
*Bonus reminder, no charge, you’re welcome.