The Best Questions To Ask A Writer

By on December 25, 2016

There are lots of questions that writers don’t like to be asked. You know, things like ‘what do you REALLY do for a living?’ or ‘how DO you make any money?’ And so on.

Yes, it’s true that we can be quite sensitive about our work and how people react to what we have chosen to do. On the other hand, there are plenty of questions that writers will be delighted to answer.

So if you want to strike up a friendly conversation with a writer then here are some great questions you can ask.

What are you working on right now?

Writers love an opportunity to tell you about their work. It’s actually great practice for them to try to tell people succinctly and convincingly what projects they have going on. Sometimes you might feel as though you have to prise this information out of them, as writers can be a little shy. If you have asked them several different ways and they are still a little closed, then they might be being secretive for a reason so just leave it there and don’t push them.

How can I read your work?

Naturally, writers want more readers so showing a genuine interest in buying their book or reading their articles will be appreciated. If a writer has been published or if they’ve self-published they’ll have somewhere you can find it so ask away, and they’ll be happy to show you where you can find it.

Would you be interested in working for me?

Most writers are always on the hunt for new contacts and ways of making a bit of extra money. They’ll feel flattered that you are interested in working with them, and if the job is something they are interested in doing, then they will no doubt be excited to discuss the project or assignment with you further. However, whatever you do, make sure you don’t expect a writer to work for you for free. It’s insulting to assume that they would even if you think it will give them good experience - so make sure you make it clear you are happy to pay them (fairly) for their services.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Writers get their inspiration from all sorts of weird and wonderful places. They’ll love telling you about how they got an idea for a book, or what made them think about a certain argument or point of view. It’s always nice if you know a little bit about their work so you can start with ‘ I loved so and so, where do you get your ideas from?’

What lessons have you learned as a writer?

Writers also enjoy musing about their writing processes, and they always like to help out fellow authors, so starting an interesting discussion about how they write and what they have learned will always go down well.

Which books do you like to read?

Most writers are avid readers and a lively discussion (or debate!) about their favourite authors, and yours is an excellent way to start a conversation with a writer.

Of course, writers like to talk about a great many things besides writing! However, if you want an ice breaker, then these questions will help you strike up an initial conversation and then you can just see where it takes you!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

About Ty Cohen

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *