#IWSG: An Open Letter to Anyone Who Ever Talks to a Writer

Welcome to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!  If you’re a writer, and if you feel in any way insecure about your writing life, click here to learn more about this awesome group!

Since last month’s meeting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, I’ve been getting out more, doing new things, meeting new people.  It’s not like I took the “your life is soooo boring” thing seriously.  I didn’t plan this or anything.  It just sort of happened.

Anyway, if I’m going to be meeting new people, having more of a social life, and all that stuff, then I think it’s time to revisit one of my older IWSG posts.  So here, once again, is an open letter to anyone who’s had a conversation with me.

* * *

This is an open letter to anyone who’s ever had a conversation with me.  You may or may not have been aware of this at the time, but I’m a writer. That means there’s something you should know: while we were talking, I was taking mental notes about you.

Okay, there’s no need to panic.  I’m not in the habit of taking people I know or people I’ve met and just dropping them into my stories.  Yes, some writers do that, but that’s not how my process works.

So I promise I will not create a character just like you; however, the things you said—especially the way you said them—may inform my character development process at some point in the future.  Well, maybe not in the future.  To be honest, I’m probably already using you as a source of inspiration.

If you used some particularly interesting turn of phrase of displayed some unique or striking mannerism while we were interacting, I may have actually written that down to ensure I wouldn’t forget.  I wouldn’t have done this in front of you. That would’ve been rude. But be aware that I probably did this behind your back, and I probably added you to a file folder when I got home.

I hope this doesn’t make you feel self-conscious or uncomfortable. It’s important to me that you behave naturally.  Or rather, I want you and need you to behave authentically, because authentic speech and behavior are precisely that I’m trying to replicate in my storytelling.

Thank you for your time.  I just thought you ought to know what you’re getting yourself into when you talk to a writer like me.


J.S. Pailly.

10 thoughts on “#IWSG: An Open Letter to Anyone Who Ever Talks to a Writer

  1. Ha! I’ve been known to take a phrase or two, or a trait or two, from people I’ve known. But they’ll never be able to prove it in court, so I’m safe.

    Of course, in your case, you may have people start coming to you with pithy phrases in the hopes that you WILL use their words. It might be their only chance at 15 minutes of fame.

    Liked by 1 person

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