by Jorn Lier Horst, Norway
A journalist called me some time ago and wondered what one should never say to a writer. The background was the hashtag #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter started on Twitter by author Joanne Harris. The journalist called reaching around to Norwegian authors and wondered what irritated us. I had to admit that I was not completely comfortable when someone started a conversation by telling "I do not read books, but ..."
And, like the writer Lars Saabye Christensen answered: "What are you doing?" is a foolish thing to ask a writer. It's obvious, we're writing.
And like my friend Tom Egeland answered: "Where do you get your ideas from?" is not a annoying questions, but utterly impossible to answer. Like "Where does a composer get his music from?" or "Where can an illustrator find his strokes?" To explain creativity is like trying to describe in words why a symphony is beautiful.
So, can you tell me: What is the most annoying thing you have been asked? And where do you get your ideas from? And why is Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 beautiful?
Jørn Lier Horst
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