If you are friends with a writer, you may have moments when you think that it is the best thing ever. You get to read books before they come out! You get to hear stories about the publishing world! You get to live vicariously the life of an author! You get to hear hilarious stories about school visits, book signings gone wrong, and famous authors who are jerks! You may even get invited to a movie premier based on your author friend’s book! Or you may meet that famous author you’ve always admired who turns out to be a nice person!
However, there are a lot of downsides to having a writer friend:
1. Writers don’t leave the house all that much. Because, well, they often have to write. When other people are enjoying vacations, writers are on deadline. And they don’t answer their phones. They don’t go out for lunch. They whine and complain about being on deadline. They have no life.
2. Writers will use you in their books. They may use your name. Or your physical description. They may steal the relationship you have with your mother. Or your ex-wife. They may write about that horribly embarrassing moment you had in eighth grade. And they may not even realize what they are doing until you call them on it and the book is in print and there is nothing they can do about it.
3. Writers don’t enjoy books, movies and TV shows the way that other people do. I mean, they don’t just sit down and let it flow. They don’t watch it for fun. Because any storytelling is their business. So when you are enjoying yourself with popcorn, they’re busy analyzing, and making it better. Or just making snarky comments because there’s nothing that can be done to improve some things. Really. And they can’t turn this off. They really can’t.
4. Writers are often lousy cooks, and lousy at just about everything except whatever they happen to be researching for their new book. And then they’re not even really good at that, even if they sound like experts. They think they’re smart, but they’re pretty useless when it comes to fixing a car, doing a science fair project, or just about anything but writing.
5. Writers will tell you what they really think about your first attempt at a short story or novel. They won’t hold back. You think you’ve done a pretty good job, and they roll their eyes and tell you every tiny thing you’ve done wrong and why this will never sell. Even though you didn’t want it to sell. You were just writing something for the church Christmas party. And if you’ve pretended a story that your child wrote was yours, the writer may be so brutal your child bursts into tears and refuses to ever speak to you again.
So the moral of this story is, be careful when making friends with writers! You may regret it!