1. Spelling my name wrong.
This is annoying but acceptable given the fact there are a few ways to spell most first names nowadays. It’s not acceptable however if I’ve a) spelt it for you over the phone or at Starbucks or b) emailed you first, signing off with my FULL NAME SPELT CORRECTLY. If you can’t read or listen to something carefully, I’m not sure I trust you with making my drink or doing most things in life actually.
2. Incorrect grammar in a professional context.
You know what I mean – on advertising posters, in leaflets, newspaper articles and generally anywhere. There’s nothing more upsetting to an aspiring writer than knowing somebody gets paid to do their dream job badly. Especially when said hopeful writer tries so hard and spells/punctuates so well, yet never seems to get the job. And while that’s more disheartening than annoying, there’s nothing worse than a professional email that opens “Hi, I hope you’re well?” That’s not a question, silly. A real question would be: Given your poor grasp of the English language, how did you get your current job?
3. When People On Social Media Type Like Idiots.
Why Are People Still Writing Sentences That Capitalise Every Word? Your Life Is Not A Headline. Please Stop. See also: Dem who finished hi skl and got a gr8 educashun but still type lyk diss. I feel like I’ve learnt another language trying to decipher your status update. And let’s not go there with those who over-LOL and ROFL or totally!! Exclaim!! Everything!!
4. Cold callers who can’t be bothered to get your details right.
Never mind the general annoyance of cold callers trying to sell you windows or bathtubs or other stuff you already have, the ones who can’t even get your name and status right are really annoying. Sure, this infuriates most people, but a vital part of a writer’s job is to research carefully, and when some numbskull can’t even hazard a guess at whether you are miss or mister, homeowner or renter and has basically put little to no thought into their sales pitch to you, it’s off-putting and just plain rude. Writers don’t get commissions from putting out shoddy pitches to press, websites or agencies, which they know nothing about, and so the same applies to cold callers.
5. People who insist on comparing you to others in your field.
If as a writer you’ve managed to get past the fact a lot of people don’t see this as “a real job” or indeed career, you’re probably now mostly met with unwanted and unnecessary comparisons. Like to write about feminist issues? You must want to be the next Germaine Greer. Want to write compelling crime dramas? You must think you’re the next James Patterson. Love a bit of raunchiness in your stories? You’re definitely hoping to be the next EL James, aren’t you? I can assure you no one is seriously aspiring to be the latter, and most just want to do them, their way.