Monday, June 13, 2016

They Just Don't Get It!

by Janice L. Dick

Some of my non-writer friends seem to think that writing a book is as simple as going to the store, picking out a volume, paying for it and bringing it home.

I’m sure you’ve all heard these questions: “Are you still writing? When will your next book be ready?”

So many responses come to mind:

“I’ve been thinking about writing another one. Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow and you can come pick it up next week.”

“Yes, the four-book series should be done by the end of the month.”

“I have one in mind just for you.”

Sarcasm can make us feel better in the short run, but the fact is that many if not most of our non-writing friends and even family have no idea what we do, how we do it, or why we continue to spend hour upon hour at this “hobby” of ours.

I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that they just don’t get it. We writers are often misunderstood, and so writing can be a lonely journey.

For me, the alternative to employing sarcasm is to surround myself with other writers. My local writing group is great with constructive critique, but we also support each other in our obsession with finding just the right words. We discuss how to fit writing time into the busy seasons of our lives. We encourage each other to enter that contest or write that blog.

And then there’s the virtual world of writers and groups in any flavour you can conceive of. One of my favourites is Christian Indie Writers on Facebook. Someone will always chime in to answer a question or give an opinion.

Another, of course, is this group of International Christian Fiction Writers. My friends, we belong to a worldwide web of supporters who “get it.” I’m so thankful for all of you who write for this site and read the blogs of our members. The responses are always positive and encouraging.

A local acquaintance told me she didn’t “need” writing groups anymore. She has apparently passed that phase. I feel sorry for her. Did I mention she isn’t writing at this time?

It’s nice to have a few special people who understand. It makes the silly questions easier to field and keeps us on task.


  1. Ah, yes, the writer who doesn't "need" writers' groups. I don't think I'll ever outgrow them in one form or another. I'm a member of two, each a couple hours from my rural area. I don't make every monthly meeting, but I get there often enough to build relationships that allow me to participate on-line. And then there is this community of ICFW. I need these relaitonships! As you say, non-writers don't get it.

  2. It's that need for a community of writers that makes me stick with my local chapter of romance writers. We meet once a month but there seem to be lots of "coffee cliques" that happen between meetings. Guess we all want company.

  3. Hi Janice, yes, the power of community. Interesting how many non-fiction books get written very quickly. I know of some non-fiction writers who go underground for 4 weeks and bam, off their MS goes to the publisher.

    In some ways I think there's a back-handed compliment in what our non-writer friends say - how can you stick at something for so long - well, I hope so.

  4. Agree with all that. This is particularly embarrassing for short-story writers who don't have 'books'. And writing groups, even online ones, are a great support.

  5. Interesting blog, and only too true. The comments we get give us the opportunity to smile in the face of adversity.