Other Person: You're writing a book?
You: Yes *grins*
Other Person: What's it about?
You: Umm...well...uh...it's about a whole bunch of complicated stuff and (inserts a whole bunch of nonsense only the writer understands) and...so yeah...
Other Person: Can I read it?
Sometimes other people just don't understand us writers. So, here are some tips on encouraging the writer in your life. :)
1. Do not ask to read their book. Yes, you probably want to read it sometime, and the writer may want you to read it eventually, but this sentance means you want to read it now. Depending on what stage in the writing process the writer is in, their book may not be ready to read, or even close to being ready. Something better to say is, "I would love to read your book when it is finished." This doesn't put the writer in an awkward position and says that you are willing to wait. It also shows your interest which is encouraging.
2. When you like their writing, tell them. Writers (at least I do) love to hear that people like their writing. It boosts their confidence! If there is something that needs fixed, such as a spelling or grammar error, you may want to politely tell them that there is a typo. :) Oh, and remember to be honest when giving feedback.
3. Don't critique their work unless they ask you to. It is okay to say how you liked it, but don't give details unless they specifically ask for it.
4. When they are writing the book, ask them how it is going. This shows you care about their writing! Again, don't ask to read it now. :)
5. When they hit a wall, encourage them to keep going. Sometimes a little encouragement is all someone needs!
6. Be there for them. This is true for anyone, not just writers. Just having support helps them in their journey.
Writing is harder than you might think. Encouragement is always needed. If you are a writer, why don't you call, text, or whatever else right now and encourage them. If you aren't a writer and you know someone who is a writer, do the same thing!
(Just a tip: April, July, and November are especially great months to encourage other writers, seeing as it is NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo!)