View Full Version : The NICEST things non-writers say

04-17-2011, 08:50 PM
This is a take-off from the "stupidest" thread, just to keep things upbeat.

I'll go first.

My son goes to a weekly homeschool co-op, and in his history class they were learning about Shakespeare. I guess one of the teachers said "Shakespeare is still considered one of the greatest writers in the world." And my son, completely serious, said "And my mom is #2." (And then, on a not-so-nice note, he ended up defending my honor to some of the other kids who were pretty skeptical that I was a writer. Apparently, it almost came to blows.)

Anyone else got a story to share?

Wayne K
04-17-2011, 08:52 PM
#1 on my list is "I've read your book" I've been getting that a lot lately :)

#2 is "Is that your picture?" :e2brows:

Chris P
04-17-2011, 08:54 PM
"Dear Chris P, we are happy to inform you that your submission to [magazine] has been accepted."

Chicago Expat
04-17-2011, 09:04 PM
Mine is more of a memory and it lacks specifics. But I remember the first time I quit my job and used all my savings to take time off to write my first book. First draft in under six months, took about two months to do the final edit while starting a new job. I bound it up and passed out copies to friends.
Two things I remember:

-A good friend, one whose painting and installation art I very much respected, telling me how impressed he was with me, both with the quality of the writing, but also in the dedication to actually writing it; that I was the first one of his friends to ever follow through like that and to do it so well.

-Sitting at a neighborhood bar on a Saturday afternoon with friends who I'd passed the book out to and trying not to blush as they raved how much they loved the book.

I know both of those anecdotes seem to address both my pride and my fear of authorial inadequacy, but really it was about being able to share with friends many of the thoughts that seemed permanently stuck in my head, to connect with people dear to me in a way unlike any other time previous. It was like I'd discovered a new texture of closeness.

That was like, good god, I think that had to be Spring of '97, and I can still remember how the sunlight played geometry with the darkness of the bar and how the warm breeze got me to forget all about winter and the taste of the beer and how beautiful life was sitting there with my friends spending the day together.

[/nostalgic rant]

04-17-2011, 09:21 PM
I loved your book. When's the next one coming out?

04-17-2011, 09:31 PM
I actually met someone in the pub last night who was halfway through my last book. She was liking it and I was a bit shocked to meet anyone who actually knew of it's existance, nevermind was reading it

04-17-2011, 09:50 PM
Me: I just sold a story!

Them: Awesome! When can I buy it?


04-17-2011, 09:53 PM
#1 on my list is "I've read your book"

Agreed. Followed closely by, "I loved your book."

Specifically, my favorite email came from a lady who read my book aloud to her infant son during his feedings. She replaced the naughtier bits as necessary. "And then . . .they cooked dinner." Apparently, he enjoyed the (slightly edited) story.

I love that email.

04-17-2011, 09:55 PM
1. Thank you for writing about a girl that looks like me.

This was from one of my cousin's friends who read the first eight chapters of one of my YA books.

2. You freaked me out. GOLDEN words for a horror writer.

04-17-2011, 10:00 PM
When friends and co-workers find out (accidentally) that I'm a writer, their usual response is: omg , I've never met a real life writer before, that's fantastic!

04-17-2011, 10:03 PM
"Do you have any more?"

Spoken by my mother after I gave her some chapters of my horror WIP to read. A close second is "I had a nightmare because of you!"

04-17-2011, 10:29 PM
"But you paint pictures with words." Said by an artist friend when I mentioned that I couldn't draw to save my life. One of the sweetest things ever, along with, someone I'd just met responding to my comment that I had no logical bone in my body, "you can structure an entire novel. That takes logic. I think you have logic, you're just looking at it from a different perspective."

It's so nice when people validate your writing like that. Oh, and several people who work at my favorite hang out, "well, you work here too, in a manner of speaking. You come here to write."

04-18-2011, 10:50 AM
After my sister watched Finding Neverland she said to me that she "Had alot of respect for me as a writer and understood how I viewed the world alot better now." It was a real touching comment to come flying out of no where. I also had someone on the internet say to me once "People love to read stories like these."

Nick Blaze
04-18-2011, 11:14 AM
Aside from mothers being proud and all that, I can't name anything off the top of my head that was ultra-nice. I know my mother was very proud when I finished my first novel and bragged about it to everybody, but hadn't actually read it herself.

(I just tried to CTRL + S this quick-post, so something tells me I may be writing too much.)

04-18-2011, 11:17 AM
"Leave your mum alone - she's writing."


04-18-2011, 12:03 PM
'I want more.'

An AW member who has seen a bit more of my work than others. My first fan, yaaaaa!

whimsical rabbit
04-18-2011, 05:55 PM
Finish the darn book already! We want to read it!

I want you to read it too. Published, preferably. :D

04-18-2011, 06:38 PM
"I always try to stay out your way when I know you're writing." I like this one, considering so many writers complain about regular interruptions. Other than that, I have supportive friends who listen, incessantly, to me going on about my manuscripts. And they always try to read them and offer constructive feedback.

04-18-2011, 08:14 PM
"I always try to stay out your way when I know you're writing." I like this one, considering so many writers complain about regular interruptions. Other than that, I have supportive friends who listen, incessantly, to me going on about my manuscripts. And they always try to read them and offer constructive feedback.

I would sell my soul for friends like that. If I so much as bring up my writing, eyes start to glaze over and they start nodding a lot and going "uh huh" while waiting for an opportunity to change the subject. It reminds of of one of my favorite passages from Party of One: A Loner's Manifesto by Anneli Rufus.

Granted, I do not know so many people, but nearly none of them ever ask me about writing. Not a word. How would they feel if I never mentioned their pregnancies, their children? Writing is practically all I do all day, every day, yet they talk about daycare and holidays and the assholes in the accounting department. Like the person whose dresser it is, they ask how I am but the question is general. As if how I am how I am could be any other way than how I write. They ask how is my husband.At this point, if I had a friend who was interested in my work I'd risk turning into Annie Wilkes and pulling off a reverse Misery.

But I'm getting way off topic. Something nice ... oh, I got one! A while back, I mentioned to my mother that I was working on my novel and that she caught me taking a small break. She said "oh, I'm so sorry." I almost hugged her.

04-18-2011, 10:45 PM
Talking to a stranger at a fast food joint once, when I was still in college. After asking me what I did, and hearing that I'm a writer, but no, I hadn't published anything yet, he asked me for my full name and then, "can I ask you for your autograph, for when you get famous."

When I was thirteen, my English teacher let me write, cast and direct a play in English. It was some kind of school assembly, where only our year got to do something. It was a long time ago, so my memory's hazy. We weren't living in an English-speaking country then, and she knew how much I missed having native speakers around me. We couldn't cast it properly, since only a handful of people liked English enough to actually perform anything in that language on stage. So my English teacher let me read a poem I'd written out loud. Only condition, it had to be about something that tied in with the subject (I think it was a charity event or something).

04-18-2011, 11:26 PM
I don't get it directly, but the subject of the memoir I co-ghostwrote hears with some regularity from young girls and women who've left abusive relationships having been inspired by her story.

Really, there isn't much that can top that in my (ahem) book.

04-18-2011, 11:30 PM
When my mother calls, the first things she asks is "You're not writing are you? Because I'll get you get back to that." :Hug2:

Darren Frey
04-18-2011, 11:56 PM
"You have quite the imagination." - my grandfather after reading the first few chapters of my book.

04-19-2011, 09:57 PM
"Hey, I know you! You're that gun guy. My husband says you know your stuff . . . most of the time."

04-20-2011, 01:24 AM
"Wow, you're one of the best writers I've ever read. Why aren't your books published yet?"

Wish I had an answer for them other than "Thanks, I really appreciate that."

Renee Collins
04-20-2011, 01:37 AM
A friend in the book club I go to said, "I can tell by the way you talk and think that you're a good writer." She then asked if she could read my book.

I was beaming all night. :)

04-21-2011, 03:17 AM
When I was 15, I showed a story to an acquaintance and she thought it was by a published writer. For some reason, that has stuck with me.

Whenever I get a rejection, my lovely girlfriend says: "They don't know what they're talking about." I know it's typical of supportive significant others but, still, a part of me believes her.

04-21-2011, 03:24 AM
"When I read your email, I thought, she's gotta be a writer." <---This from a guy I'd written a very angry, ranty, but funny email to, to complain about my ISP.

He also said, "You know who you remind me of? Douglas Adams."

Then he gave me free broadband for a month to make up for the problems I'd been having. :)

04-21-2011, 03:43 AM
When I was 17 I left my manuscript lying around and my father found it. Mind you, the work was completely untagged. There were no edits and my name appeared nowhere on the pages.

Imagine my surprise when I my mother informed me that he read part of it and wanted to know what book it was from. "HE wrote this?" my dad said when my mother told him it was my manuscript.

My friends and siblings may be horrible, but my parents were always supportive. As much as I complain, I'm very glad for that.

04-21-2011, 04:44 AM
A stranger told me the other day: "I loved your book, especially the ending. Just loved it."

That was really special.

Another nice thing: "I thought your characters were real people you knew!"

"I really hope this is not your autobiography. The main character is such a jerk."

"I read your book twice. The same day."

04-21-2011, 05:08 AM
"What does your sister do for a living? She'd be a great writer."

Said by a colleague of my sister's when she shared with him an email I'd sent about the adventures of my then 18-month old Ms. Girl.

04-21-2011, 03:48 PM
Last night at my kiddo's karate class, I was talking to one of the moms I've become friends with. She was telling me about her hubby, currently in the military and stationed in Djbouti. One of his buddies there was telling him, "Dude, I just got this book on my Kindle, it's awesome, you have to read it!" And of course, it was mine. My friend's hubby was proud to tell him "Dude, I have a SIGNED copy at home, I know the author." The buddy is now very excited to meet me when they come home.

Made me feel good, if not a bit self-conscious.

04-21-2011, 07:48 PM
"There's something wrong with you. And I thought you were a *nice* person..."

A true compliment in my book. :D

04-22-2011, 09:25 AM
WHEN your book comes out, I'm going to buy it and.... (this is in response to announcing that I have an idea)

It's nice because its not my friends being naive about publishing industry expecting anything that is written instantly becomes a published book, but they genuinely believe that my writing is good enough to make it, and its nice to have people believe that for when you don't yourself sometimes.

04-22-2011, 09:50 AM
My little sister, who doesn't write or read much fiction, understood that receiving full requests from partials meant something. So when everyone at the family reunion asked, "Aren't you published yet?" and I had no answer, she stood there and excitedly explained the process to publication, the difficulties, and made me feel like she was truly thrilled for my small successes. I've never felt so validated in all my life. Sisters rock.

04-22-2011, 04:45 PM
My little sister, who doesn't write or read much fiction, understood that receiving full requests from partials meant something. So when everyone at the family reunion asked, "Aren't you published yet?" and I had no answer, she stood there and excitedly explained the process to publication, the difficulties, and made me feel like she was truly thrilled for my small successes. I've never felt so validated in all my life. Sisters rock.

:) My sister, also not a writer and not much of a reader anymore, is the only one in my family who gets that this takes a really, really long time, too. While the rest of the family asks me when I'm going to give up this dead-end writing crap that's obviously going nowhere and "find some focus," she tells them all that I'm at least halfway there, and that I've already found more focus than anybody else in the family has. My sister is the best! :)

04-22-2011, 05:24 PM
Compliment of the year, circa 2010:

"You just made me spit Coke all over my keyboard."

04-22-2011, 05:26 PM
Awww, these stories are great!

04-24-2011, 04:27 PM
"NG, why are you so awesome?"
"Why are writerz so good at sex?"
"Where do I go to find a hero, true love, best friend and natural born comedian? Writers!"

*I may possibly have made these up, but you know they're true!

04-24-2011, 06:26 PM
My beta reader for my novel that's now being queried: "If this doesn't get published, then I don't know what would."

05-24-2011, 04:50 PM
Here's an exchange that blew my mind, from my mother. We were talking about my niece's impending graduation, which had me a little melancholy for personal reasons.

Mother: She has your brain; you should be proud.
Me: Yeah, a hell of a lot of good my brain did me ...
(a few seconds passed)
Mother: You don't give yourself enough credit. You have accomplished something. You're an author.
Me: Not yet.
Mother: You ARE an author. I don't care if you never get published. Do you think anyone else could have written the books you have?

I didn't know what to say to that. It did wonders for my morale, I can tell you that.

05-24-2011, 08:29 PM
From a student: "Your book got me interested in reading again."

Anna L.
05-24-2011, 08:43 PM
For my birthday a few years ago, my father and stepmom got me one of those fancy pens and told me it was to autograph my future book(s).

One day, I'm going to use that pen...

Carrie in PA
05-24-2011, 10:11 PM
Upon my griping about work the other day, my 13 YO son shrugs and says, "So what. You'll be a famous author as soon as they publish your book, and you can quit."

LOL Oh, that he were correct! :evil

One of my super best girlfriends (who is an amazing singer) is incredibly encouraging. She hasn't read a word of my stuff, but she is convinced it's fabulous. :)

05-24-2011, 10:24 PM
The nicest thing a non-writer can say to me?

"Here's a cup of coffee and a cookie."


James Ebersole
05-24-2011, 10:45 PM
This thread...so uplifting.

"I don't like poetry, it never makes sense, and it's all so pretentious. Well, that one poem of yours I saw, I kinda liked that."

Also, not exactly something people say, but getting positive reactions like smiles and laughs when you give a reading of a work is always just the nicest thing.

James Ebersole
05-24-2011, 10:49 PM
The nicest thing a non-writer can say to me?

"Here's a cup of coffee and a cookie."


Heheh :D

Unless of course it's a lie, then that saying belongs here:

Calla Lily
05-24-2011, 10:54 PM
"I loved your book! I want your autograph!"

And she pulled out a 3-ring binder filled with paper. On each sheet was a book cover and author pic of the writers she wanted an autograph from. At that moment I decided I could get hit by a semi, because my life was complete.

Upon my griping about work the other day, my 13 YO son shrugs and says, "So what. You'll be a famous author as soon as they publish your book, and you can quit."

Both my sons have said that to me. :) They know how to get on mom's good side.

05-24-2011, 10:55 PM
After reading a 1st person POV short story: "Are you sure this didn't really happen to you?"

I love it when I write something so convincing that the reader thinks it's autobiographical.

05-25-2011, 08:18 PM
This thread is beautiful.

I love it when my boyfriend's work mates ask, "how's your book going?"

I also told another of his friends about it and he said, "I'd like to read it."

The biggest compliment ever was the first person to beta read it. Firstly, he finished it and secondly he wrote on Twitter, "I finished Sanctuary, I enjoyed it."

Also, someone asked me on Twitter the other day "where would I be able to get my hands on any books you've written?" I had to tell him he couldn't as I wasn't published.

It was nice to receive cries of 'MORE!' in response to some flash fiction I posted on my blog. As well as speculation as to where the story was headed.

05-25-2011, 10:14 PM
My husband-in-training, reading the rough draft of Fire Heart...
"I have ADD and hate reading, but I love this stuff! Hurry up and write more!"
He now pesters me before coming home on the weekends "Do you have more written for me yet? I want to know what happens! You haven't finished the whole second book yet? ARGH!!!"

compliments are great, even when they're from a biased audience ;)

05-25-2011, 10:56 PM
My best one was a agent begging me to let her try and get my book published!

05-25-2011, 11:51 PM
"I bought your book."

"I read your book and loved it."

"My friend wanted to borrow my copy of your book but I told her to go buy her own."

I *heart* readers.

05-26-2011, 05:51 AM
I haven't been published yet, and you must consider my age when I consider the nicest things.

I was on a bus one time, doing a collaborative story (that did fail, I must inform you), and I thought nothing of it at the time.
Later, during a Facebook conversation, we had to confess things about each other, and one of the girls I was collaborating with said I was a good writer.
She had never seen any of my drafts of any of my books, and I asked her why, and she said that she saw my writing on the bus (in which I had a headache) when we were doing that collaborative story.

Another time was a couple of days ago, which was the moment when I realized that everyone (and I mean everyone) now considers me a writer when I was sitting in a corner, writing some prose on the back of my geometry homework.
"Why does Radhika look so lonely in the corner?" This was from one of my close friends.
"She's just writing." This was a boy who I am absolutely sure I have never shown any of my writing to, and it just shocked me.

Lastly, it was a first draft of mine. The Event, a poorly written beginning in a notebook. A girl took it home to read it and her mom took it from her. She came back half an hour later saying something along the lines of how brilliant my writing was (which was EXTREMELY bad, but I think she meant my idea -- I hope she did) and how she thought her daughter was reading a diary or something. She said she would go to the store and buy out all of the first editions of the book so she could say, I have the first edition of this book long after I became "famous."

These are all childish dreams in middle school, but I take them as flattering, I must admit.
I also hate that they don't know anything about writing, which is probably why they comment on me like that.

05-26-2011, 07:32 PM
Spika, having someone say how brilliant your writing is (or even story) is great. Reminds me of the hand written novel I penned in highschool. One girl read everything I wrote and would always pester me for the notebooks when I wasn't writing so she could catch up!

Kate Thornton
05-26-2011, 07:51 PM
At the LA Times Festival of Books where I was signing:

"Aren't you Kate Thornton? I'm --- (famous magazine editor) it's good to meet you in person!" He picked up my collection & flipped right to the back to see what I had said about the magazine editors who had first published my stories. He grinned, although his prestigious magazine wasn't among them.

He handed me his card and said to write some more. I smiled and nearly wet my pants.



Nya RAyne
05-28-2011, 02:50 AM
I loved your book!! I read in like a day and a half.

05-28-2011, 03:41 AM
I just got off the phone with an old high school friend, and he was so excited to hear that I'm published. It was a nice change to talk to someone who was so excited for me.

05-28-2011, 04:04 AM
I just got a really helpful critique back from a non-writer friend who has a very analytical and very "fix-it" mind. She's an invaluable reader! She seldom comments on things she likes, but she did have this to say about one little bit that apparently she enjoyed very much:

"I want to roll around on this passage until it is ground into my skin and hair."

Might be one of my favorite comments ever from a critique! :D

Susan Littlefield
06-04-2011, 09:48 AM
When others have read my published short stories, and when I read a story that won first place in a contest to a large group, they seem to ask:

"Did that happen to you?"

I think I'm doing fine with the convincing and believability factor.

06-07-2011, 07:40 AM
One day I asked my 13 year old daughter what she wanted to do when she grew up. "I want to be a writer," she said, beaming. I may not be published yet, but I've managed to inspire her.

06-07-2011, 08:06 AM
My daughters response when she read one of my Fantasy fiction drafts...

"Why can't guys in real life be more like your story."

06-17-2011, 07:45 AM
I got one from my dad today. After I mentioned I'd finally finished on my third draft (Die, consistency errors, die!), he said he could tell I had the soul of a writer because I kept revising and revising when some people might just let it be. :LilLove: Unfortunately, I was too embarrassed to tell him how sweet I thought it was.

06-17-2011, 10:35 AM
I posted on facebook the other day 'I think I've finally put a finger on the genre I write. I write romantic fantasy' and someone responded 'Ah, fantamance! My favourite genre!" made me giggle ;)

06-17-2011, 05:31 PM
I love when my somebody finds out I've finished a book and am trying to get it published and their first response is:

"I'll buy it!!!"

Umm, that's very sweet, but I haven't even told you what it's about, or what genre it is.

Still, it's a nice little pick-me-up on the bad days.

06-21-2011, 06:06 PM
My little sister, who reads rarely and slowly, was my first beta-reader and kept bugging me to write more so she could read it, got annoyed if she saw me doing nothing...

friend at school with aspergers, gets bored easily, she read my book in a day and rang me up to tell me how great it was ;)

My grandma wanting a print-out of my e-book's amazon page so she could show her friends, and when we met up with her sister it was the first thing she told her...

and at a writing day, i was the youngest one by about 20 years (I'm 17) and after a writing exercise which we had to read out, the woman in charge looked really shocked and said that for someone so young, who'd never experienced WWII (our subject), I had told it beautifully, and got the emotions just right.

Now to write something that agents will like too ;)

06-21-2011, 06:20 PM
Just now, over gmail chat:

"I'm sure it's not crap."

You can see why we're friends, yes?

Jonathan Dalar
06-21-2011, 06:26 PM
A voice mail message: "You A*&%$^*!!! You made me stay up until three in the morning to finish the damn book, and I have to go to work at six! I couldn't put it down!"

Also: "I really can't believe you pulled that off. I was rooting for the guy and I knew I really shouldn't."

Lyra Jean
06-21-2011, 07:53 PM
My friends love reading my stuff. I have to actually finish a novel but I'm going to finish the one I have listed in my sig come hell or high water.

04-12-2013, 06:43 PM
I had to dig this thread up after an experience I had last night. I taught a writing class at our youth group and my pastor was so incredibly supportive of me and went on and on about my writing in front of the kids. It was really amazing. :Sun:

We can find support in the funniest places.

04-12-2013, 09:45 PM
My brother and sister like hearing my stories. I don't have anything planned, I just make it up as I go along. I told them a really long one, which was the plot of what I'm working on now, and they loved it (I took out the gory bits, they're still little.)

Siri Kirpal
04-12-2013, 10:39 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

After my first book came out, my youngest niece told me that her favorite writers were J.K. Rowling, Laura Engels Wilder...and her aunt.

After my Sikhism book came out, my husband's nephew emailed and said he wished all religions had a book writen like it.

The guy who told me he was late to work because he got caught up in my writing.

Not to mention all the comments, "I loved your book."


Siri Kirpal

04-13-2013, 02:54 AM
I saved this text from the bf, when I was on sub and nervous/sad that I hadn't heard back from editors yet: "They're reading it right now. They love it so much they're going crazy."

Blatant lie, but still made me feel better. :D

04-14-2013, 01:20 AM
"MOAR!" (lol)

"...it's going to be a long wait until the end of the year" (re: when the next part of Disciple is coming out)

04-14-2013, 01:24 AM
"PLEASE keep writing. I've never seen anyone like me in a book. I'll give you my allowance to help you publish."

This made my hard self cry! My cousin's best friend said this to me.

"Well,I'll be damned. You're making sense now,Kitty."

My middle brother. He isn't impressed with my more fanciful writing,lol.

My coworker telling me that he was praying for my success.

04-14-2013, 02:08 AM
I'm quite keen on the "Hurry up, I wanna read it!" comments. But my favourite comments come from my wife.

"Sit down and write some more you lazy bastard."

04-14-2013, 05:52 AM
Today when the husband got home, he delivered a message from his aunt.

She wanted to tell me to keep writing my books. :)

This couldn't have come at a better time. I'm doing Camp Nano, and I'm at the halfway point where I think everything sucks.

04-14-2013, 08:12 AM
Probably already been said, but:

"I loved your book!"

04-14-2013, 10:14 AM
A female reader told me she had fallen in love with my male main character. ^_^

04-14-2013, 04:19 PM
"I couldn't put it down."

I grin like an idiot every time. :D

04-23-2013, 04:52 AM
I sent one chapter to my 40-something daughter, and she called me and said "Dad, I had no idea you can really write."