Dear C.M. Chang,
Whenever I mention I’m a writer, I can’t tell you how many times the person replied with: “Oh, you’re a writer? You know, I’ve always wanted to write a book too.” The way they say it makes it sound so trivial, as if it’s like deciding on a whim to buy a new pair of pants.
Am I the only writer who finds this annoying?
Maybe I’m over reacting,
I get you. Buying a pair of pants takes like, what, an hour? Even less time if you order it online.
Serious writers know that writing a book is a huge commitment. It’s for marathon runners, not idiots who buy expensive sporting gear and decide to lose weight by jogging in place for 30 minutes on one occasion. It’s for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to be able to run 60 km in one go, taking it day by day, doing the research, outlining, writing shitty first drafts, editing, getting feedback, endless editing, and then one day — hopefully — getting an agent who will — again, hopefully — sell it to a publisher. It’s no wonder many writers never finish even a short story!
This person has no clue what they are talking about. Just smile benignly and say, “You should do it. It’s so much fun.” And then laugh behind their back because they have no idea.