One of the worse things you can ask is “How many words have you written?” “How’s your little story going?” “Can I see it?” without any form of prompting.
If the budding writer is figuring out a writer block, they’ll just get depressed over such questions.
Try something along the lines of “Have you come up with any cool ideas for your newest story/poem?” or “Maybe we should do one of those writing challenges together. Do you have any suggestions?”
Writers end up getting used to rejections. We get rejected by our characters, plot, story, ourselves. That’s one of the writer block reasons. We get rejected by our rereads, our beta readers, our editors, our teachers, everyone who reads our work. (Learn to critique. We need the good and the bad.) We get rejected by agents and publishing houses. We get rejected from blog tours and ARC readers failing to read. We get rejected by reviewers and casual people.
And that’s just for the writing side of things. Let alone the rest of life and its rejections.
We need a thick skin for general use.
If you want to support us, you need to be a place we vent to and gain boosts and speak our mind.
Asking us ‘what have we managed’ is okay most of the time. Or ‘if we need anything’. Or ‘if there is a way you can help’.
Writing comes with it a lot of lows. We need them. We must learn from them. And we will face so many more than an average person. And we will use those lows to improve our stories and improve the world.
Please, open up dialogue. Ask about whatever character or world we were talking about with you last.
Don’t ask us how many words we wrote. Or what page we’re on. Or how much longer until the story’s done.
Talk to us. Let us talk about the story and our situations freely. We will.
Or we’ll just cry in a puddle of sadness.
Sit with us. Stay with us. Feed us. Force us to step away for a bit even if it’s just a shower or a walk.
Don’t judge. We are only so strong.
A Writer who’s been around the block a few times.
PS. Some writers request those beginning questions. But that’s with prompting so it doesn’t count. Don’t ask about word counts unless you know it’s safe to.