what not to say… to a teen

Okay, so it’s been almost a decade since I was a teen. But believe me when I say I remember it well. Probably a little too well. And there were a handful of things uninformed adults liked to say that were, well, less than helpful. Whether the teen you’re attempting to converse with is your offspring or not, there are a few things you shouldn’t say.

“One day you’ll ____” It doesn’t matter how you end that sentence. Whether it’s “understand” or “get married” or whatever, it’s not always helpful. Because teens hear all the time that they have a future and they have a lot to look forward to and blah blah. The thing is, while that’s all good and great, it’s like you’re saying “just hang out in limbo for a few years until you get to the age when people actually respect you.”

Not okay. You may look at a teen and see a life unlived, but they’re already living. Now. Here. Don’t tell them their lives are in the future. Don’t pretend they don’t exist now. Sure, it’s fantastic to talk about the future positively, but don’t ignore their present. (more…)

what not to say… to a tall person

I’m tall. Well, not freakishly tall. But 5’8″ is somewhat tall for a woman. (Two inches more and I could’ve gotten a scholarship.) You can imagine how tall I am when I wear heels. And my height didn’t come suddenly from a growth spurt in high school. I was the tallest one in my kindergarten class. I was taller than my mom by middle school. I’ve always been taller than most of my peers.

And while many people (read: short people) think being tall is a great advantage (sometimes it’s useful), it also comes with more than its share of annoying comments. Like . . .

“What’s the weather like up there?” Yeah, that ceased to be funny after the first time we heard it. Honestly. We get it. We’re so tall, we’re in a different atmosphere. Ha. Ha. (more…)

what not to say… to a writer

It’s the first Thursday of September. So that means it’s time for another round of “What Not to Say!”

Today we’re talking about writers. We’re a funny breed, a quirky bunch of artist-types. We may vary a lot, but there are some things that unite us, specifically things we’d rather not hear you say.

“Have you heard anything yet from that agent/editor/other important person?” We’re glad you care about us and our writing careers. We are. But see, if we’re waiting for big, important, life-changing news, we’re trying our hardest to be patient and not lose our minds. (It’s incredibly hard.) Every time you ask, you remind us we haven’t heard anything yet. Or you force us to tell you that it was a no. Believe me, when we’ve got good news to share, you won’t have to ask. (The only exception to this is if you’re a writer too. But tread carefully.) (more…)