Occasionally, while on book tour, I find myself saying mean things to audience members. I know. Probably not a good idea, but sometimes I can’t help it.
My two meanest comments from this year:
Mean Comment #1
While speaking to an 82-year old woman, she informed me that she had a great story to tell, and that “one of these days, I’ll get around to writing it.”
“One of these days?” I asked. “Why not today?”
“I’m not ready yet,” she said.
“I don’t mean to offend you, but you’re 82-years old. You’re running out of time.”
“Are you implying that I am going to die someday soon?”
“Certainly before me,” I said. “And yes. Probably someday soon. You need to start writing before it’s too late.”
She was not happy.
Mean Comment #2
In answering a question about finding the time to write, I explained that I write in 10-30 minute increments, whenever I can find the time. Six sentences here. A dozen pages there. A full day from time to time, especially during the summer. Any free moment that I can find. Though I’d love to spend a couple hours at a time working on my manuscript, my lifestyle simply doesn’t permit it at this time.
A woman who had expressed a desire to write but had not yet started said, “That’s all well and good, but I just can’t work like that.”
“You can’t work like that?” I said, perhaps a little harsher than I had intended. “You’re not working at all. How could you possibly know how you write until you actually try to write?”
“Ouch!” said her husband, who instantly regretted the smile on his face.