8 comments not to make to a writer

‘You know artists—they’re all so sensitive!’ is not a helpful comment for the scribe in your life. Here are seven other remarks you should keep to yourself.

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It doesn’t matter if it’s your sister or your co-worker’s cousin: When you interact with a writer, don’t be dumb. Don’t put the person down. Don’t say writing doesn’t matter.

You would think these etiquette tips would be obvious, but for many people, they’re not. To help you avoid some common blunders people make when talking with writers, here are eight comments to shun:

“It must be nice to get to hang out in coffee shops all the time.” This one is a close cousin to “When will you get a real job?” It implies that writing isn’t work. Listen, nobody wants to have his or her vocation belittled, whether that vocation is writing or office managing or treating patients in an E.R.

Before you put your foot in your mouth, consider this: writers often have journalism or writing degrees. They hone their craft through regular practice and refinement. What’s more, whether they write in coffee shops or at home in their pajamas, writers work for companies and publishers that pay them for their skills.

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