5 FAQS that Writers/Bloggers Get and How to Answer them Without Panicking

If you're a writer, people might find that... semi-unusual. THERE'S REALLY NOT MANY OF US? I only know one writer in person outside of my family. (because three of my younger siblings also write)

So basically this means that people will probably ask you questions. But the problem is younger writers (hi that's me) are normally shy ninjas and aren't very proficient at talking about their writing. 

I can think of numerous times when I've stumbled out lame answers to the question "What's your novel about?" I MEAN I SHOULD KNOW WHAT IT'S ABOUT? And I do, but it can be incredibly hard to explain to someone. 

The good news is, I'm here, I'm experienced (HAHAHAhaha don't question), and I'M READY TO HELP. I'm taking 5 writing FAQs and going through some helpful (*COUGH*) answers to them. This is probably just a giant mental note to myself that I'm posting on the internet so I can remember how to reply to writing questions, but maybe someone will find it amusing. 



(disclaimer: this photo relates to the post in no way, shape, or form. but it's CONVERSE so I regret nothing)

Your initial reaction: Oh, the blog! It's... not coming... at all really. 

My suggestion: OH MY GOODNESS I'M SO GLAD YOU ASKED. Lately I've really been working on my brand and trying to present myself as more professional than I actually am (ME ALL THE TIME). I've found out that graphic design is one of the best ways to give my blog a professional look and feel and I really think that's helping me gain more followers. Also, I'm currently trying to get over my #1 fear which is probably either internet stalkers or people who ask me about my blog.


Your initial reaction: *INTERNALLY SCREAMING* Um so there's this guy and things happen and it's pretty cool and chill and I think everyone will love it.

My suggestion: *INTERNALLY SCREAMING* (because let's be real, that part won't change.) Well, I've written more than one novel but the one I'm working on currently is a historical fantasy novel (I'd probably have to explain that genre to a normal human but let's pretend I don't) and it takes place in 17th century England. It's about a dragon tamer’s apprentice and a lord’s son who stumble across a plot to cripple a fledgling revolution, then join forces in order to try and stop the impending destruction.


So basically have a one line pitch (I think it's called an elevator pitch formally? idk I have more research planned on this subject haha) and insert it into the conversation. It works perfectly. 


Your initial reaction: A living? Who needs a living? Food and clothing are totally unnecessary because ALL I NEED IS MY TRUSTY LAPTOP (and maybe books) AND I'M HAPPY.

My suggestion: There's really no easy answer to this question, unfortunately. I think that if your writing really takes off then you can definitely make a living from it. But I'd also like to point out that writing isn't necessarily a job choice for many writers- a lot of us would love to write full time, but know it isn't super realistic. (<< TRUTH) Now that self-publishing is a feasible option (so professional sounding whoa), it's incredibly easy for writers to publish their work any time, without making time commitments to publishing companies. Writers can work on their own schedules, making it even easier for writing to be an on-the-side type of hobby. 


DARN LOOK AT HOW EDUCATED YOU SOUND. Say goodbye to stuttering and stumbling through awkward explanations. xD 


Your initial reaction: Did you really just say that because I think we should probably leave the answer to that question in the past. FAAAAR in the past. 

My suggestion: LOL THIS IS A GREAT QUESTION. Honestly, looking back I can see how much I've grown as a writer. *insert sage nod here* The first thing I wrote and finished was probably when I was 13? 14? And it was Western short story with every single cliche you can think of. I was a young and nieve writer but over the years (since you're obviously so old and mature now *cough*), I've learned a lot more about writing! Now I've completed multiple first drafts and I'm currently working on editing them. 


Your initial reaction: ...you don't want to. Trust me. 

My suggestion: DEFINITELY. I plan on getting it published at some point (intentionally vague, very smooth) in the future and once I'm at that point anyone will be able to buy it whenever they want. So you can look forward to that. In the meanwhile, editing will happen. At least it should happen. *cough* 



I'm really not sure what the point of this post was? But I hope somebody gets something from this because I had fun unleashing my inner snarkdragon and writing it. xD 

~ Jonathan 

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55 comments:

  1. LOL! So true, especially the "can I read your book?" one! My least favorite is when they ask if they can read your first draft.

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    1. SAME. Lately (now that I've finished 2 novels) a lot of my friends have been asking if they can read one of them and I both love and hate it because THANK YOU FOR TAKING INTEREST IN MY WRITING but also no you cannot read my novel, it needs a lot of editing first. xD

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  2. Oh my goodness yes. Thank you. I will be sure to use this next time someone asks me about it lolololol. My family doesn't understand. At all. So I spend most of my time trying to answer the "What's your book about" question and it makes me sound stupid and like I'm writing some kind of early reader. Because it sounds so good in my mind and less good on paper and then I try to talk about it and... yeah.

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    1. No problem, haha! Super glad you liked this. :D Hmmm really?? Normally people who ask me about my book are outside of my family- most of my family already knows about it haha. xD And I actually am letting my family read the first draft of my 2nd novel because they're helping me edit a little/giving me general feedback and stuff. :D

      I CAN TOTALLY RELATE TO THE SOUNDING GOOD IN YOUR MIND THING THOUGH. That happens to me all the time. It sounds good but then you actually try to write it and it's a lot less exciting. xP

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    2. IKR? And then you're like "man is this even worth it"? I get sort-of attacked by my non-friends at co'op too who are like, "So, you write? What's your story about?" And then I want to impress them, and they roll their eyes at it, and... yeah. Not so great. :P But I'm learning to get over it!

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    3. Eek D: Well I'm sorry- my friends are super nice about it and truly interested in my writing. I've never had anyone ask me about my writing and then respond like that. (even if my reply was ridiculous lol) xD That's a good attitude though, definitely don't let it get you down!

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    4. Of course! I don't consider those people my friends either XD

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  3. HA HA! I literally laughed out loud *awkward glares from family near by* while reading these because I have been in SO MANY situations like this, and I GET WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. I usually end up replying with my first reaction, which doesn't always sound...um...professional?? lol

    I get the "Can I read you book?" question all the time, and I'm usually like, *internally screaming* "NOOOOOOOO! Um...its not ready yet..." Sooo, I totally get this, and relate to it soooo much, and I really enjoyed it! You have me a good laugh to start my day! XD
    -Clara

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    1. LOL well glad it made you laugh! SAME SO HAVE I. I do the same thing, and yes it rarely sounds professional for me either. Normally it's really vague- I'm getting better though. xD

      SAAAME. Editing must happen, then the world can read it. xP

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  4. SO helpful!!! Wow! Thank you for posting this!

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  5. This was so much fun to read. XD And those questions come up all. The. time. "What's your book about" is /terrifying/.

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    1. Thanks. xD IKR IT'S TRUE. I really need to work on pitches haha

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  6. Haha, this is great! :D This is actually helpful because I NEVER know how to answer these questions. I mean, I want to talk about my writing with people sometimes, but at the same time I don't (you know what I mean?). Probably the question I hate the most is "What's your book about?" Every time I answer that, I manage to make it sound like the dumbest idea EVER. Afterwards, I'm like "I need to fake my death and lie low for a few years". It's horrible!

    Thanks for sharing this, Jonathan! :)

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    1. Thanks! YES I KNOW I USED TO BE THE SAME WAY. XD I looove talking about my writing with people but it can be super hard to explain it. I'm not normally shy but writing-wise I am hehe. LOL we've all done that before. I've done it... more than once. *coughs* XP

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  7. Oh my gosh, this is so on point it’s not even funny. My blog is relatively new, and I’m still working on getting my book(s) published, but already these questions have been brutally thrown my way. Especially the question pertaining to book topics.
    As most writers know, they writer better than they speak, which is why they text instead of using the phone.
    My reaction is immensely more awkward than I wish, thanks for the helpful post!

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    1. WHOA that's super cool that you're working on getting stuff published though! Even if you do have to answer some of these hard questions haha. :D

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  8. "Can I read your book?"
    "No."

    The end.

    (Except once it's published [HAHAHAA] I'll want readers??)

    Thank you for some very helpful alternative answers, Jonathan! (Your inner snarkdragon needs freedom, by the way. Unleash it permanently! Snarkdragons die without freedom of expression on the internet!) ;)

    Jem Jones

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    1. #accurate

      (truuue then you have to market though which is also scary xP)

      Glad you enjoyed! (hahaha well I'll tell him that and see what he thinks lol)

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  9. Ahem. I'd just like to mention that I spotted a typo. :) By the way, great post! The "can I read it" question . . . so true!

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    1. Hehe typos are my trademark, honestly. xD I MAKE THEM A LOT BC I CAN NEVER FIND THEM.

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    2. It's in the fourth question . . . good luck!

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  10. BEST. LIST. EVER. XD *laughs* I'm going to remember all this.
    But let's be honest, if I do actually remember it, the next time someone asks me 'How's your blog going?' I'll probably just crack up laughing and choke out something about creepy stalkers. BUT YA KNOW. NEAR ENOUGH. XD

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    1. THANK YOU. XD
      Well okay if you do that though then you need to tell me how it goes. *fingerguns* XP

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  11. *bookmarks post* Yep, I'm gonna need this. In fact, I needed it a long time ago! WHY DIDN'T YOU POST THIS SOONER??!!!?
    I love your inner snarkdragon. Unleash him more often. Also, come up with a name for him. ;)
    Anyways, thanks for this post. I always end up with the best comebacks eons AFTER the question is asked. At which point it's too late to sound professional.
    I just have to not forget when to insert the sage nod...

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    1. BECAUSE I DIDN'T THINK OF IT SOONER?? XD Maybe?? I'm blaming it on inspiration because that seems like a safe excuse.
      Ooh okay got it I'll have to add that to my to-do list- start brainstorming more dragon names.
      SAME. Weeks after it happens you're like "ooohhh I totally should have said THIS." XD

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  12. Hahaha this is helpful! I've definitely gotten most of these before...

    Hailey
    www.haileyhudson.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks! YES I KNOW SAME. Hopefully this list helps us both answer them haha

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  13. Love this! XD I have a ridiculously hard time with the "what's your book about" question. I can never answer that well. I try to explain and the blank - or more often, slightly disturbed - stares kind of lead me to trail off into nothingness.
    I need to just carry my synopsis around everywhere and shove it in people's faces when they ask. :P

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    1. SO DO I. It's a problem, really. Obviously we need more blog posts on how to answer this question because everyone seems to have trouble with it. xD

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  14. Ughh Jonathan...how are you even SO ENCOURAGING. *exasperated noises* Seriously though, thanks for all these articles and help. You are REALLY HELPFUL to me as a writer and Christian.
    And this article is really hilarious though a funny thing is when I tell people I'm a writer they don't really inquire further, they just give me that respectful "This is out of my zone" look. XD

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    1. AW well thanks! It means a lot when people say my blog is encouraging and helpful. :D
      Oh my goodness that's so funny? xD I don't know if I would like that or hate it... I would probably have some fun with it though. :P

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  15. This is perfect!!! xD
    BUT BRO IM READING TO MY AUNT TOMORROW LIKE TWO OF MY OYAN SNIPPETS WHAT IF SHE THINKS THEYRE TOO DARK WHAT IF SHE DISOWNS ME ITS ABOUT ALEXEI ROMANOV WHICH IS IMPROBABLE BUT FUN AHHH.
    Answer how to respond to THAT. :P

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    1. Hehe thanks!
      OKAY DON'T PANIC SHE CAN PROBABLY SMELL FEAR. I WOULD OFFER YOU HELPFUL ADVICE (actually I really don't have any but shhh this is a really good excuse) BUT I'M TOO LATE. XD

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  16. HI!!
    Hahahhah this has been SO USEFUL!!!! LOVEEE IIIITTT

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  17. HAHAHA YES TO THIS POST. It's 100 percent relatable.

    Like...when people ask me what my book's about, I usually stutter for 5 minutes before saying it's complicated and then changing the topic to better things...like food. IT IS COMPLICATED THOUGH. And I was explaining to my friend (the only one I know that writes) that I'm writing a novel and the first response is CAN I READ IT?!?!?!!?

    Me: ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!

    Which was then responded by a very dejected look. I'm not trying to be mean?! lol
    Great post, anyways :)

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    1. WELL I'M GLAD IT'S NOT JUST ME THEN. XD

      Okay but tbh food is a very good (and much safer) topic so that's a fairly good response. I FEEL YOUR PAIN THOUGH. Explaining these things can be super hard.

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  18. No one has ever asked me about my book but I'm going to do a creative writing course after the summer holidays and I'm scared, man :'(

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    1. BUT THAT WILL BE SUPER FUN. :D You'll do great!

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  19. Dude you are funny. This post has officially caused me to follow your blog.

    Man, I haven't had very many people ask me to read my novel, but when they do it's like "ugh.. *try to figure out who this person is* um.... *try to figure out how they know you write* like... *try to figure out how to answer.*"

    Lol, anyway, you got a WHOLE bunch of comments before me so you probably didn't need this one, but anyway, that post was pretty funny.

    ~Libby

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    1. Hehehe well thanks!

      Haha no I appreciate and love aaaallll the comments! Even if sometimes my replies are typically sorta so-so. :P Obviously I need to work on my skills as a comment replier.

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    2. You so should write a post on replying to comments! I can just imagine it would be a lot of fun to read, and of course helpful as well. :)

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  20. tagged you for the evil writers award. here's the post! https://thedepthofmyfaith7.blogspot.com/2017/05/evil-writers-award-mwahahaha.html
    Hope you can do it!

    Allie Taylor

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    1. Mwahaha it looks dastardly. :P Unfortunately I'm not sure how well it would go on my blog... plus I RARELY do tags lol. But maybe I'll give it a shot sometime!

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  21. This was an awesome post. Also- awesome converse pic.

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    1. Thanks! YES IKR THANK YOU FOR APPRECIATING THAT XD

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  22. POINT #1: Okay. Um, yes. Initial reaction is SO me right there. *points to comment I just left on one of your older posts* It's . . . not coming.

    POINT #2: I don't know what the one-line pitch is for books actually . . . but for movies it's called a log line. (Don't know if that's one word or two.) But I've got this one preeeeeetttyy much under control. *cough* I just write and memorize a summary. *face palm*

    POINT #3: I need to work on this one. Big time. Because I'm still living in that fantasy of being a full-time writer.

    POINT #4: Um . . . I *think* I can handle this one. Maybe. Hopefully by now?? Yeah. Maybe not so much.

    POINT #5: Ahem. No comment. *eye roll* Just nobody ask this question, OKAY?? Actually, I wouldn't mind a few good betas. *sigh* Gosh I should really make up my mind.

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    1. 1) SAME. Oh wait I think I missed that comment...? *goes to search* xD

      2) Oh yes okay I've heard the term log line before (and spellcheck doesn't like it as one word so it must be two, I guesss). SAME I DO THAT ALSO.

      3) Haha I did for a while but I actually have a lot of interests outside of being a writer? So idk, it's easy for me to see myself doing multiple things to make a living. xD

      4) This one always makes me laugh tbh.

      5) SAME. NO ONE ASK ME THIS. (although true, beta readers are an important thing to have... I feel like you ask them though, not they ask you. xD)

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    2. 2) Haha, I've not had the best luck with spellcheck. XD Good to know I'm not the only one.

      3) Yeah, I understand that. I wish we could make livings as a writer though! That would just be the best. #dissapointing

      5) That's probably a good point. I finally just asked my best friend to be my alpha. *screams*
      *panics*
      *blacks out*
      *awakens with fuzzy vision*
      *remembers what I did*
      *blacks out again*

      Yeah, so I'm a tad nervous to have someone read it all. XD Yikes. Breathe, Bethany, breathe.

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  23. Person: what's your book about?
    Me: ...... stuff.
    Person: ...you're sure you're a writer?

    XD this post was so relateable. :p But the responses are actually super helpful!

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    1. Lol "stuff." Totally answers the question. :P

      Thanks!

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  24. "what is your book about?" Me: "uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......let me get back to you on that...."
    Totally the scariest question ever. #unnerving
    Thanks for this post, Jonathan! :)

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    1. IT'S TRUE IT REALLY IS. The one line pitch is really helpful though. *nods*

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