What Writers Say Versus What We Actually Mean

What Writers Say Versus What We Actually Mean

Writers may not always mean what we say? Maybe?

We mean well, we really do, but writing is STRESSFUl. And soul-sucking. Don’t get into it, kids, it takes over your life. But in a good way. A really good way. (Does that contradict what I just said?)

Writing leads to the worst kind of conversations. Questions about your writing. AGHHG!

What are you writing? How many words are in your book? What are your characters like? 

We have to come up with something to say. (instead of just running away)

But our answers are kind of standard. It really helps if you’ve memorized what you’re going to say. AWKWARD avoidance. But Those answers can mean alot of different things.

But I’m here to reveal ALL our secrets. (Well, maybe not all the secrets)

Also thanks to May @ ForeverandEverly for inspiring this post. Talking about what bookworms actually mean made me think about all of my own writing double meaning. 

What we say – I have a few projects. Only one or two books I’d like to write. Maybe 50 thousand words? Maybe more, but you know, I’m fairly realistic about my writing goals

What we actually mean – I’m going to write 50,000 books! All my books will be a million words long!!!

Dictionaries can’t contain all these words! I will even create new words! Millions of pages!

And being realistic? We’re writers. Living in our own little realities.

What we say – I hope a few people read my book. Yes, I know it probably won’t be a bestseller. But maybe my family will read it? We’ll gather around the fireplace and cheerfully read the book, no criticizing, just falling in love with our darling daughter’s/sister’s/cousin’s story.

What we actually mean – The whole world must read my book! It will be translated in 172 languages! And even Klingon! #startreck

But my family will not read this book. Under no circumstances. No family allowed.

What we say – My writing goals are totally reasonable.

I will write 500 words a day. This means, I will even set aside time to write. Before evening, I will write in the daytime when I’m not completely zombified.

What we actually mean – My writing sessions are all at midnight! And I can’t go to bed before 3am!

And write 500 words a day??? #PROCRASTINATE

Noooo, I’m going to wait till Tuesday night and write 4,000 words all at once. and then write nothing for 11 days.

But the book will get written. Just you wait.*

*Hamilton reference = very successful blog post. 

What we say – Of course, I do something besides writing.

We have hobbies. We go to movies, and read books, and crochet. I even run. And drink tea. And live outside my books.

What we actually mean – Everything I do relates to my book.

I think about writing when I’m running. All my music playlists relate to my characters. Movies inspire me to write more. And I stopped crocheting when I started writing.

Also, I pretty much only read and write. My hobbies life.

What we say – I enjoy creating characters. They have lovely lives, and I’m going to make everything work out for them.
And they in no way resemble anyone I actually know. At least not any of the bad people

I do not create characters based on people I hate. No evil roommate show up in my book.

Am I intentionally killing any character? No way, I love them all too much!!! Except for the villains. Of course, I hate the villains.

What we actually mean – I LOVE my villains. They are the best. I will only let my villains live.*

Oh, I will finally do something nice for my main guy, the cinnamon roll, Gryffindor, sweetheart. 

Just after, I kill all his friends, crush his soul, and gouge out his eyes. Hehehehe.

It’s called CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. Destroy all the happiness then piece it back together, right???

And evil roommate, Hahahhaha, all my enemies are destroyed in this book!!!! #donttellmyroommate

*I’m a Gryffindor but all my favorite characters are Slytherin??? How does this work???

What we say – The story is just fantastic. So complex and deep and beautiful. People will cry and learn and grow.

I’ve avoided tropes, and used poetic language, and avoided unnecessary plot. Practically perfect in every way.

What we actually mean – I’m crying over this book and it’s just not going ANYWHERE! I keep seeing tropes, and I don’t know what to do?

*PULLING OUT ALL MY HAIR*

There’s too much poetry and I sound as abstract as Picasso. And I’m not Picasso? THIS ISN”T WORKING.

And I don’t even remember where this plot bunny was going??? I’m so confused???? <HIDE FROM MY STORY>

What we say – Of course, I’ll get a job. I’ll work for an editing company. Or the news. While I’m working, I’ll start writing query letters and looking for publishing agents.

But I have to work to pay for all this, right?

What we actually mean – I just want to wear a cloak. And knee-high boots. And carry a sword.

And travel around selling my book. Cause writing is a job. And who cares about paying the bills???
Ok, eating and wifi is important. I’ll just live at Starbucks.

What we say – I’m really, really fine. my grades are great. My job is going well, I make plenty of money. I only have one credit card and I make my monthly payments.

Life is all in order. My book HAS NOT taken over my life. Writing and life is going well. All’s amazing. 🙂 🙂 🙂

What we actually mean – NERVOUS BREAKDOWN. I’m crying over my book. I have no money, no job, no home.
Just a half finished book.

Ok, maybe, it’s not that bad.* But writing has taken over everything. School is terrible. Apparently, I’m not Hermione Granger. (I’m more like Ron with my grades, but I stress like Hermione)

*plot twist – it is actually that BAD!

Now that’s you’re somewhat complete guide to writing lingo. We’re just complicated, ok? So many plots, ideas, characters, it’s hard to figure out how to talk about ALL that.

Especially in random conversation. Oh, here’s my advice, don’t ask writers too many questions. Cause they might run away in tears.

^ How to professionally run away  from questions about your writing ^

In case you’re wondering, writing books is HARD. Answering questions is even harder. Also, if this post makes no coherent sense, blame the first week of college. THIS SEMESTER IS ALREADY SO ROUGH.

lets chat

How do you answer questions about your writing?

Do you have too  many writing projects happening at once?

Ever run away from a conversation? 
Why are villains so fun to write??? Do you type your characters into their Harry Potter houses? 

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A Redheaded Texas Gal. I love the woods and thrive where there’s green grass and room to grow. I dream of living in a used book store and wearing period costumes to work everyday. In the meantime, I’m studying Journalism and Political Science, and trying to follow Jesus wherever He leads.

  • Love, Marrill

    This is so relatable! Especially the READER one. At this point I just don’t answer any questions about my writing. It’ll be done when it’s done, stop asking about my story XD

    • Elizabeth Hunter

      Haha, yep, just wait till the book is published. Then you can ask questions. (But maybe not, because I’ll be writing another book. 😂)

  • AH, I love this post!!
    Do people NOT want to wear a cape and knee high boots and carry around a sword as part of their job?? Actually, I prefer regular boots. And I don’t even like walking around with scissors so me with a sword is probably not a good idea. But DEFINITELY A CAPE.
    Me and writing: currently very little novel writing is being accomplished (UNFORTUNATELY) because still trying to get the hang of blogging over here, but I understand what you mean about how everything relates to the book. I sit in history class and get SO MANY ideas for a fantasy world.

    • Elizabeth Hunter

      I’m short enough that regular boots almost always end up being knee high. Unless they’re ankle boots. 😂
      History class gives me so many ideas for my fantasy world. Just so much incredible things from history that are perfect for a story. 😍

      And so glad you loved this post! Makes my day 😀

  • “I’m going to write 50,000 books!” Lol. Yup!

    This post is hilarious. And so true at the same time. Thanks for sharing. Made my day!

    • Elizabeth Hunter

      Glad it made your day!
      And what author doesn’t want to write 50,000 books??? 😂😂😂

      • Me. I’m aiming for something more achievable. Like, say… 47,000 books. That seems like a realistic number. lol

        • Elizabeth Hunter

          Oh, you’re so much more realistic than me 😂

  • Malanie Loves Fiction

    this post means so much to me!!!!!!!! everything is 1000000% true. 🙂 And I truly love my villains to the point that pretty much all of my characters are almost pure evil

    • Elizabeth Hunter

      YES! Villains are so complicated and great to write!

  • Ooh, I love this. So true, every one of them. I admit, when people ask me about my writing, I tend to give a vague answer then try to change the subject as fast as possible. Thankfully, outside of my family, that doesn’t happen a lot.

    • Elizabeth Hunter

      The most vague answer ☺️ Except for my poor roommates who have to hear my rants about my story and characters. But that’s what you get for being my roommate, right? 😂

  • Kellyn Roth

    This is scarily accurate! It’s so true! And yes, I do avoid writing questions … xD

    • Elizabeth Hunter

      Haha, isn’t it great how we writers just know each other’s feelings?
      Writing is like this secret club where you automatically just understand each other! 😉

  • Chauncey Rogers

    Haha, great post!
    I do kind of run from face-to-face writing conversations. I always just come across as super bored about my own writing, which I’m definitely not. I just don’t want to freak people out with my intensity, but I swing too far in the other direction.
    And why are villains so fun to write? I’m not sure. Probably because they do surprising things, and can say and do as they please. We all just wish we were villains in our own way.

    • Elizabeth Hunter

      Haha, I hope I don’t want to be a villain. But maybe I do? 🤔
      And yes, it’s hard to have an in person conversation without sounding either absolutely crazy about your story or moderately bored.

      • Chauncey Rogers

        I know I at least /sometimes/ want to be a villain….. 😉
        And yes, I try to sound professional about my writing, but I guess my impression of ‘professional’ is just dry and dull. Oh well. 😛

  • Jennifer Garey

    This post is SO accurate! Especially no family! I don’t want them to know what I’ve written! That’s not okay! Haha 🙂

    • Elizabeth Hunter

      So true! I suddenly am not a writer when i’m around family, hehehe.

  • Ah hahah this is perfect.😂 I do a lot of tweets like this! But the hobby one…OMG YES. Literally everything I do of ever will somehow relate to writing?! My brain doesn’t turn off. And the whole “oh my book is just a little thing it won’t be famous haha that’s cool” is totally code for “I want to be an NYT bestseller.” 😂😂