Comments? No comment.

My sister-in-law just delivered a beautiful baby boy, which brought back memories of one of my own pregnancies, also known as Kathy’s Era of Perpetual Annoyance.

Maybe it was the hormones. Maybe it was the nine-plus pounds of baby squashing my internal organs. Most likely it was the incessant attention dedicated to my midsection, which had swollen to such impressively bulbous proportions that it inspired stops on the street, advice about the impending birth of my twins, arguments that of COURSE I was carrying twins no matter what those silly doctors said, and prenatal massage by strangers who rubbed my belly as if trying to summon a genie or polish it to a high shine.

Whatever the reason, this season of life inspired a cottage industry of maternity t-shirts designed and written by my friend and me. These shirts featured quippy comebacks to the (often annoying) comments and attention we received as expectant moms.



As suspected, we weren’t alone. Our shirts struck a chord and elicited belly laughs for one simple reason: our sisters in gestation could relate.

Which made me think: authors could have a similar line of shirts, bumper stickers or mugs, all under the category of Things to Please-Oh-Please Never Say to an Author.

Here’s my personal list, in no particular order:

You write? How cute!

Sounds like a total waste of time.

Are you a real author?

If you’re an author, how come I haven’t heard of you?

If you’re an author, how come you have a day job?

Writing a book doesn’t sound that hard.

People still read?

Why don’t you write something people would be interested in, like a movie?

I only read books by (insert famous name).

I don’t read books written by women.

I don’t think it’s ladylike for women to write about murder.

You must be twisted to write about crime.

Friends: have you heard any of the above? Different annoying comments? Since comments like these aren’t just the domain of authors (or pregnant women), what other remarks do you wish people would keep to themselves?



26 thoughts on “Comments? No comment.

  1. What a fabulous list, Kathleen! The second shirt reminds me of Veronica Mars always asking her dad Keith for a pony. My favorite story is when my older son told me he wouldn’t consider me a “real author” until I sold 5,000 books. I chose not to respond. lol

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I hate it when people say, “Oh, your books are e-books? Eww, I can’t stand e-books. I would never read one.” It’s perfectly okay with me if they don’t, it’s just, well…after I’d just said they were e-books, umm….In the words of Michelle Tanner, a.k.a. Mary-Kate/Ashley Olsen, “How rude!”

        Liked by 4 people

  2. I don’t hear stuff like that. I guess I’m just not that approachable. There was one opposing counsel who joked snidely that some day she’d see me on NY Time bestseller list. Coming from the source, I figured she was repeating ridicule she’d heard from her insurance attorney friends of my efforts. But you know what? Some day they might. And, to be honest, I do goad these people constantly in my day job.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I was dearly hoping for a pony when I was five and my mom was pregnant. But now I’m very glad it turned out to be a baby sister, as she’s way better than a pony could ever have been.

    My pet peeve is: “Oh, are you self-published or do you have a REAL publisher?” Although I am traditionally published, this annoys the hell out of me, since so many amazing books (and authors) these days are self-published, and that distinction no longer has much meaning.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. LOVE this post, K!!

    Yes to some of the above and throw in a few decades of “When are you going to write a REAL book?” (when an academic book was published) and “PhDs aren’t REAL doctors.”

    I just carry on with my impostor syndrome blazing on high and oh well, that’s life.

    Liked by 2 people

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