Three comments that kill a writer’s ego.

 

mustache pix

What’s the worst thing you can say to a writer? I’m sure there’s an impressive list that can wound our fragile egos. Here are a few that stand out in my mind.

#1) I didn’t finish your book. Oh, the agony. Was it a sagging middle? The characters weren’t fully fleshed out? You hated the font? It’s like telling a chef the food wasn’t good enough to bother eating. Excuse me, while I go throw myself into a lake!

#2) There’s not enough sex in your book. Sigh. If you want lots of graphic content, you’re just not going to get that from me. Is it possible to enjoy a book that isn’t sexually explicit? If the answer is no, I’m not your author.  We will shake hands and agree to disagree.

#3) I don’t read. Acck! Really? Like, at all? This one is perhaps the most discouraging of all. I hear it a lot from folks who get their entertainment in other ways, T.V., computer games, etc. Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but when I hear folks say they haven’t read a book since high school, I am saddened.

Are there phrases that really cut you to the quick? Would love to hear your thoughts. Giving away a Starbuck’s card, signed book and a cute fall surprise this month. 

28 responses to this post.

  1. I heard this one last week from my sister: I can’t read it. Worried, I asked why. She said, “I get to emotional.” So…is that good or bad?

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  2. Posted by Julie on September 7, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    As a church librarian, I hear the comment “I don’t read fiction.” What those people are missing!

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  3. Ouch for #1. I think even when someone starts to read your book but don’t hear anything back makes the heart sting a big. Great topic!

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  4. Posted by Sandra Schoger Foster on September 4, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Someone said regarding my book, “It was okay.” Argh!!! What does THAT mean, I am wondering!! I didn’t take the bait and ask.

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  5. Posted by Jane Squires on September 4, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Instead of saying, “There is not enough sex in book”. I would say the opposite – There is too much sex in book.
    cute picture

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  6. I’m a reader not a writer, but I admit I have discontinued reading books due to excessive use of foul and/or crass language, explicit sexual content, or the like. I don’t see how it adds to the storyline. One of my favorite books this year was a wholesome read with a great plot and characters. I couldn’t put it down. For me, profanity and blush-worthy sex scenes take away from a good book. Additionally, I love reading and sharing good books with others, so I am distressed when someone tells me they don’t like to read. I can’t imagine my life without books.

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  7. YOUR BOOKS ARE AWESOME DANA , AND READING THESE KIND OF BOOKS WE CAN FEEL GOOD ABOUT , MAKES ME THANK GOD !!!

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  8. Posted by Pat Moore on September 4, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    I can’t stand to be reading a truly good book and suddenly they use God’s name as a curse word. One author used it so much in the first three chapters that I threw her book in the trash. I’m so glad there are so many wonderful Christian authors out there now. For the authors that write explicit sex and use foul language – if you were one of my favorite authors you aren’t anymore. Authors like Dana Mentink, Kathy Herman, Lynette Eason, Lisa Harris to name just a few write wonderful books. They are every bit as exciting as the main stream authors – only I don’t have to worry about God’s name being used as profanity nor explicit sex scenes. Thank you isn’t enough to be able to find good books by wonderful Christian authors. I’ve ad Dana’s books and they are good.

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  9. I confess. There are some books I never completed . . . because the language and immorality were just too shocking to my senses. “I didn’t read it” is like water in the veins.

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  10. My relatives do not get this “writing thing” I do. SO I hear things like “you’re writing ANOTHER book?” or “Really, you’re still doing that?” Sigh. And #3 makes me sad too but that’s not about my writing as much as about our survival as a society. 🙂

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  11. Posted by Valri Western on September 4, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Two of my children are teachers (elementary and high school) and #3 they see all the time. It’s very sad. My daughter who teaches elementary school teaches 3rd grade and can do something about it but still, she can only do so much! Sometimes she gets so parental support either. I laughed at #2 – do they NOT know what genre you write? ha ha!!!! If they are looking for sex, they have a lot of other books to choose from! It’s sad that they are not looking for a good story. Too much sex in the general media anyway! Keep on doing what you’re doing, Dana!

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  12. Posted by Travis W Inman on September 4, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Thank you for that wonderful post. Sometimes I hear, “I can’t wait to read your book. My cousin is going to give me her copy if she ever finishes it.”

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  13. I hear #3 all the time. It saddens me, too. I also wonder why they feel the need to tell me?

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  14. Posted by Molly R. Moody on September 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    I’m curious to know if anyone has ever told you that they could write a better book? What reply would you give to such a statement?

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    • Well, not to my face, but I’ve sure had editors tear my manuscripts to pieces and reject the book because it didn’t feel good enough to them. Also, I know that I can write a better book now than the first one I wrote some 14 years ago. I would answer the criticism you mentioned by saying, “It was the best book I could write at that time in my life.” All a writer can do is produce the best product they can at the time it was written. Thanks for the comment, Molly. 🙂

      Dana Mentink award winning fiction author http://www.danamentink.com

      >

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