First things first. This isn’t an article for all y’all fiction writers who have actually been published. I’m sure you have your problems, but this post is not for you, you beautiful, successful monsters. This post is for the semi-clueless writers whose hearts are still full of hope, with their Word docs full of nonsense plot outlines and six different versions of the same abandoned manuscript. This is for anyone and everyone who is writing a book right now and has no idea what the hell they’re doing, because that’s where I’m at too. If you’re riding on this struggle-bus with me, you know all of these struggles way too well:
1. You never have time to write
Apparently you have to work to pay rent? And see people to maintain friendships? Also, laundry gets dirty, plates don’t wash themselves, and the fridge is not filled by fairies? What! Does not compute???
2. Just kidding — you do have time, and you waste it like nobody’s business
*scrolls into the Twitter abyss*
*calls mum for a catch up*
*finds the lost portal to Narnia*
Oh man, no time to write! Better luck tomorrow.
3. The conditions have to be ‘just so’ when you’re writing
When there’s no pressure, you can write upside down strapped to a rocket. When you’re writing The Novel That Will Make You As Famous As J.K. Rowling, So Help You God, then you need to have a candle burning, a half glass of red wine at your side, and a chimpanzee playing the violin before you’ll even think about opening your laptop.
4. You’re constantly daydreaming about your characters
I’ve apologised to at least ten different stationary objects that I’ve walked into this month alone.
5. You keep getting 40,000 words into something and then immediately want to burn it down
BURN IT ALL DOWN. (Or rename it “ZZZZZ” so it hits the bottom of your Docs folder and you never have to see its ugly mug again.)
6. Whenever someone asks you what kind of story you’re working on, you make this face…
Which basically says “It’s just this little dumb stupid terrible awful horrible story I’m working on, sort of, kind of, maybe.”
7. And whenever someone asks to read what you’re working on, you make THIS face…
Whilst thinking “OVER MY DEAD BODY. (Nobody has to read this for it to get published, right? Right??)”.
8. And yet, you’re genuinely concerned about casting the movie for this book you haven’t even finished
Is [insert favourite actor/actress here] available and will they remain available for the next 10-15 years while I’m getting my sh*t together?
9. Friends you didn’t even know were writing a book end up getting published before you do
Congrats, by the way. Can’t wait to read it and love it and eat an entire pack of Oreos consoling myself, you talented pain in the ass.
10. Every 3 weeks or so you are thoroughly convinced that your ideas suck, everything is crap and what the hell were you even thinking?!
Writers are totally emotionally stable, though!! Honestly, we’re fine!! Everything’s great!!!!!!!!! (Help.)
11. Writer’s block is some real sauce
You can stare at that blank page for hours, and end up typing every random word you can think of in the futile quest for inspiration. You start a sentence, and delete it. Get up and make a drink. Type another sentence. Delete it. At the end of the day you have a blank page and a headache from banging your head on the wall. And it’s not like you can talk to anybody about it, because then you’d have to actually admit that you were writing something in the first place.
12. Nobody but you actually cares
Like, you’re a nobody. You have no deadlines, no expectations, and no cheerleaders to provide that much needed praise and admiration for the stinking pile of dog-poop you’re writing. So you are forced to plod on, without reward. Most likely most days you feel dead inside. TELL ME I’M PRETTY, INTERNET.
13. You actually have no freaking idea what to do when you’re done with this giant thing you made
Click your heels three times, blow some glitter on your manuscript and hope for the best! According to the internet, the “real work” in getting published hasn’t even begun yet.