Writing Advice (As Told By Grandparents)

Writing isn’t a real job.
In fact, if you’re not in an office, wearing a suit, from 9-5, then it’s not a real job. That’s a fact.


Writing isn’t that hard.
‘I do it all the time; in my diary, on my shopping lists, in complaint letters. I’m sure I could write a book actually!’

All you need to do is finish writing your book.
This is some of the better advice that grandma/grandpa gives. However, unlike the many inspirational writers that offer this advice, they mean that once it’s written, it will be sold, and you will make money – easy as that! Not quite the truth…

My favourite author (usually Agatha Christie, Danielle Steel or Jeffrey Archer) write hundreds of books.
Just a casual fact, no point to it, just something for you to chew on…

Well, if you sell your book you’ll make lots of money.
Big if and big no.

‘I suppose your partner can support you’
‘Shouldn’t you be supporting your partner?’
The older generation seem to take one side or the other here, usually depending on whether you’re male or female. I imagine most of us find this irritating, whichever end of the stick we get. It’s especially annoying if you’re actually single and they’re implying that you should not only be making some money, but also settling down – double-grandparent-burn!

Writing stuff on the internet isn’t real.
Apparently, if it’s not on paper it doesn’t count. Expect references to ‘in my day’, youth being ‘stuck to a screen’ and ‘not understanding this computer thing anyway’.

You were always different.
Don’t be fooled, this is a backhanded compliment. Cue mentions of your successful siblings and cousins.

Imagination is great (for kids)
Another lovely backhanded compliment. Basically, what we do is great but we shouldn’t be the ones doing it. (FYI, Danielle Steel is not a kid…)

Just write one of those bestsellers.
Easy as that! Despite being some of the biggest readers, grannies seem to have no comprehension of the thought and effort gone into the books that they read. As far as they’re concerned, books could be plopped out on a conveyor belt of writing monkeys.

Writing is a lovely hobby
I mean, I have just been explaining my hopes of publishing and my blog following, but yeah, good point. Hobby it is!

You’re still young, I guess.
This is a hint that there is an age that is not young enough to write or continue ‘dreaming’ about writing. Who knows what age that is but I’m sure our grandparents will inform us when we hit it.

Oh no, I can’t read it dear.
‘I’m old, what would I know!?’
‘My sight is too bad for that tiny writing.’
‘It’s been a long day, maybe another time.’
Or any other issue that never seems to come up when Poirot is on telly… It’s worth mentioning that despite a vast array of opinions, your granny or gramps has probably never read a word you’ve written. However, they will come up with an excuse not to read it anyway.

No time? You’ve get plenty of time.
I’m almost certain that grandparents believe we do nothing inbetween the times we see them except arrange to see them again… However, this is one of the marginally fair bits of reasoning, we do have lots of time and we will finish our book!


At the very least, grandparents’ somewhat biased and negative advice does give us someone to prove wrong… Use those terrible backhanded compliments as leverage! If they don’t inspire you to write more, they can at lest be inspiration for a terrible character.

Please share any other terrible advice or comments from older generations!


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