I notice them in books, typos or sloppy editing, but unless they continually occur, or make me laugh, then I don't even bother mentioning them.
This blog is pretty much my happy place. I try not to write about the things I don't like. I think there's enough negativity and anger on the internet. The last time I did, however, I received a message from a friend that they quite liked the curmudgeonly Steve.
So, in order to please a friend, here's a personal list of things writers do that bug me:
- Ask me to buy their book on their birthday as a present to them. Seriously. We're not close enough that we usually buy each other presents. And anyway, are you going to buy my stories on my birthday in return?
- Tell me how awful your writing is, and how bad this WIP is. Why would you keep suggesting publicly your work isn't worth reading? And if it's a false modesty, then I don't enjoy that either.
- Self publish and then announce it was rejected everywhere. Yeah, maybe that's a clue it's not worth reading.
- Pretend that there's something mystical or magical about being a writer, or the source of your inspiration. It's an idea you get. You put words in the right order. Some people are better at it than many others.
- Continually moan publically about how little money you earn from writing. As soon as you start selling work seriously, it's a business like any other. You're not a salaried employee. You're selling a product. Some sell lots, most sell little.
- Continually moan about the "business" side of writing when you're trying to sell stories. Yeah, see above.
- Acting like you're zany or crazy or out-there when you're just like everyone else. No, please don't tell me how you live in a swamp with pet alligators who have wings - unless you really do. I actually prefer normal, informative bios.
- Comparing your work to...
. No, it's generally not like Philip K Dick, Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams. Even if it's good. Let others make the comparisons.
- Non-stop name dropping of friends who are famous. Interesting when aspiring writers only share pictures of themselves with big names. We see what you're doing.
- Running workshops and giving writing classes when you've had one or two very minor sales. (or even worse, never published.) Truly, I've seen this. I want to learn from people with track records.
- Announcing your story is featured in a publication when you mean included. Unless your name is one of two or three on the cover you're not featured.
And as for my one grammar pet hate, please learn the difference between initialisms and acronyms. CD, BBC and CIA are not acronyms. WTF?