Okay, look, people. There are a few things you need to know about non-writers. Yeah, yeah. I've seen those posts where writers try to tell non-writers what They need to know about Us. This isn't that post.
Because let's face it. If you're a writer, you're not normal. I repeat, if you're a writer, you're not normal. Besides, there're way more non-writers than writers, so you need to conform to the whole, okay? Okay.
Know your pitch. Not only will this take you far in conferences and with writing a killer query letter, but you'll be able to keep the interest of your non-writer friends.
See, they don't really care about your book. They care about you, but you have about ten (maybe twenty) seconds to tell them about your book before their eyes glaze over. You need to be able to answer the question "What's your book about?" in under twenty seconds. That way, when your accountant, old boyfriend, or grocery store checker asks you, you can tell them. And they'll still think you're human afterward, which is a huge bonus.
Refrain from talking about your characters as if they were alive. Trust me on this, it doesn't work. And non-writers get this scary edge in their eyes, and their fingers twitch like they need to dial for medical help, stat! when you discuss people that aren't alive.
Keep these kinds of convos between you and your CP's or other writerly friends. We get it. They do not.
Don't rationalize. Number one, it's a tad pathetic that we writers can't keep up with the laundry or remember to take dinner out of the oven before the whole kitchen is filled with smoke. The last thing we need to do is blame our writing for our lack of Martha Stewartness. I mean, that just makes the whole industry suffer, don't you think?
Own your shortcomings, because non-writers don't see writing as a reason why your kids ate cold cereal for the third night in a row.
Take a minute to pretty yourself up. Have you seen that Seinfeld where Elaine stays up all night writing a cartoon for The New Yorker? And Jerry makes fun of her because she doesn't even run a comb through her hair before leaving the apartment.
Yeah, I know that most writers are part vampire, and we can't stand the sun and we don't sleep. But seriously, people. You belong to a non-writer population as a whole. Take some time to change your clothes and brush your hair and teeth before leaving the sanctuary of your writing cave. And certainly don't cite writing as the reason you look like death warmed over. Non-writers only forgive the homeless and those who run for pleasure for looking like that. Srsly.
Accept the fact that They don't get it. You may be a very talented Sith Lord, but you are not going to convert the non-writer to the writing side. Loved ones may support you because they know how important this writing thing is to you. But the vast majority of non-writers don't get it. If they did, we wouldn't hear things like, "I wish I could write a book."
Love them for who they are: a non-writer. I mean, it takes both to make the world spin, right? Right.
What else do we writers need to know about non-writers? What did I miss? Have you showered yet today? (lol!)
I'm off to my husband's graduation (Masters, baby!) so I'll be offline for most of the weekend. Writers unite!