Why writers need to keep a pen handy…

My fellow romance authors are probably familiar with the phrase “you write porn.” And, like me, it probably annoys the living daylight out of you. Here are some of the other frequent comments about writing and the E-publishing industry that make me want to stab people with a pen. Comments in brackets are the things I’d like to say in response.

It’s not really work (and yet, while you spend Saturday afternoon watching football/shopping, I’m hunched over my keyboard)

E-publishing isn’t real publishing (there are global sales figures that disagree with you)

E-books aren’t of the same standard as physical books (#%$^*&$@ speechless with rage – the people who say this know that I’m a writer AND editor)

I could write a book (so why don’t you?)

My job just doesn’t give me time to write (yes, because working ten-hour-plus days in the corporate world, being on call on weekends, and two hours per day commuting left me with oodles of time)

And now, on to the romance specific insults…

You write porn (have you even read a romance novel?)

Men can’t write romance (This is like saying women can’t play sports. I take offense on several levels, but mostly because I edit some male authors, and they rock!)

Only lonely women with a hundred cats read romance (will all the men and women with families and fulfilled lives please raise their hands)

Romance novels aren’t real books (seriously? And yet so many romance novels make the NYT list)

Anyone can write a romance (please, go ahead. I dare you)

Romance novels are just sex with a pretty cover (again, ever read one? no? hmm…)

Mommy porn (My teeth itch every time I hear this. Really, could you sound any more like an uneducated, close-minded fool?)

Anybody got any others to add? I’ve been practicing my deep breathing exercises to prevent myself from plunging that pen into someone’s chest, but I’ll gladly share my outpouring of angst!


About oliviaventura

I was born many years ago in... No, seriously, all you need to know about me is that I love love LOVE reading, and it's even more fun to write my own stories (I get to choose the ending that way). I've worked in plenty of different jobs, many in retail, which is the best way to meet some really colorful people, and also in recruitment, telecommunications, and food safety. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and I'm still on the lookout for Mr. Right, so if you know him, send him my way.

Posted on April 30, 2012, in Authors, Books, Romance Authors, Romance books and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. You had me laughing so hard Olivia…and I have to admit I’ve heard a few of these…plus I’ve been accused of writing ‘fluff’…in fact I’ve had people call my writing fluff so much that I started referring to it as such myself *heads desk*…thanks for this great post…love it and freaking adore you! 🙂

  2. The one that gets me is “You must be getting a lot of sex to come up with such good sex scenes”. My response is “I’ve been divorced for 8 years and have a very good imagination” before laughing

  3. D. Renee Bagby

    I’ve only heard a handful of those comments. Thank all the writing gods. Out of those few, some of them came from other authors. That was a WTF moment if ever there was one. I even had an agent ask me why I gave up on my career by e-publishing. Keep in mind he asked this particular question while moderating an e-publishing/e-author panel, which I was sitting on with several other authors and editors of e-publishing, during a convention. If there hadn’t been someone between him and me, he would have gotten smacked. The other panelists looked like they wanted to cause him bodily harm too since he spent the whole panel trashing e-publishing and talking up his clients.

    • I hate when people do that. I think professionals should either say nice things or be non-committal. He’s trashed his own reputation with everyone who was there.

  4. Very amusing post. thanks for sharing.

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