Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What Writing a Book is Like

Cue idea. Cue idea getting stuck in your head. Very, very, stuck in your head. In fact, you can't stop thinking about it. You've talked over the idea with your husband so many times that when you open your mouth, he starts talking about how great your idea is, just to make you shut up.

Decide to Google idea. Picture of Twilight appears. Drat. Already taken.

Cue another idea. A better idea. Realize you might have the next multimillion dollar book idea resting between your ears at this moment.

Allow yourself several minutes of self-congratulation. Envision movie, made of said idea. Movie does not include Kristian Stewart.

Continue to chew on idea. Stew with idea. Several months pass, and then one day husband mentions The Idea. Is it done? Can he read it? Should he pick up a bottle of wine tonight to celebrate The Idea? Warning lights go off in your head. What, doesn't he know these things take time? You can't rush a masterpiece!

Create a diversion. Wait, is that bacon in the fridge? Why, yes it is! Let me get you some.

But one day, hiding from the idea is just to much. It is time to write! Now or Never! The late bird gets the...oh, wait, never mind.
My hand is clearly about to fall off.
Decide to make an outline. By using the internet. Wait, what were you doing?

Obviously, the idea included googleing funny pictures of cats. And instagraming a picture of your toes. Feel affirmed when "madebychipmunk" favorites your photo. It must be great to be you.

Wait, is it lunch time yet?

But, the whole world is waiting for your idea! You really need to get writing. But it can wait until after lunch, right? Boy, the idea sure makes you hungry.

Remember why you are writing the idea. Because its in your blood! And, you are going to make money! Over lunch, envision your amazing life. Your husband will be able to retire early, and you'll buy a beach house and write from the Bahamas, while sipping margaritas!! Tell this to husband. Husband quotes Office Space. No salt for the margarita, but it had salt on it, big grains of salt, floating in the glass... Facepalm your husband.

Feel slightly better.

Wake up one morning to 11,536 words. Wow, that's quite an achievement. Make obligatory Facebook post about how far along you are. No one cares.

Two weeks pass.

Does the soft glow of your Macbook count as sunlight? Realize you don't remember the sun. Open a window. 

Decide to read husband The Idea. He thinks your names are weird. Have a marital blow out over the names of your fictional characters.

Decide to change names.

Declare today an no-writing day. You are going to shower. And shave. Twice. Maybe run to the super market. You know, for Oreos. And chips. Why don't your pants fit?

Now comes the time...the time to proof read what you've written. I mean, its not done. But you should get started early, right?

Hey, that's pretty good. Oh, but you really spelled that wrong. And is that the right tense? What is a tense? How are you supposed to keep track of things like tenses when writing? They can't expect you to do that, can they?

Realize your sentences are garbled strangers. Aliens from another planet must have invaded your idea and switched them around. Change them. Oh, but then it doesn't flow right with the next one! Change that too. Fudge, this whole paragraph is awful! How come you didn't see that before? Ok, just skip it. Breathe. It's okay. After all, you have 11,536 words. What could go wrong now?

But, wait, this one is awful too! And, why is your character so annoying? Why would she do that anyway? That's just dumb. Cross it out. Clearly she wouldn't do that. That could never happen. And why is she so different over here? Did she have a complete personality meltdown? What? Oh, this is terrible. Realize no one is going to read your book, because it sucks. It. Really. Sucks.

Contemplate the quality of your life. Your existence has no meaning. Cry.

Later, file idea away, under heading "worst idea ever." Eat entire container of ice cream.

Repeat from beginning.

And that, my dears, is what writing a book is like.


Charlotte Paris Wood said...

Don't give up! Stop proof reading.

Deanna Fike said...

i mentioned a novel idea on my blog sometime last year, and someone sent me an amazon link to a book (that i had never heard of) along the lines of my idea. drats!

keep going. don't question yourself. you can do this!

Kristin said...

This made me smile. I hope that doesn't sound awful. I'm not smiling at your writing woes, but at how you described them. :)

Tori Bragg said...

Writing a book definitely isn't easy! I've experienced that for myself. I have an idea for a book that I've been tossing around for a couple years now. It's reshaped several times, but life keeps getting in the way of me writing it. You've inspired me to be more dedicated in my writing. Good luck with yours! I'm sure it will be great :) (and by the way, if you need an editor, I just so happen to be one!)

Rachel G said...

Last summer, I wrote about 30,000 words of a book. And then I started blogging a lot and going to school so much and the book completely slipped away from me. I still have more ideas to add to it, and I fully intend to finish it, even if I never do publish it. I think in general I'm more of a short-story, article, humorous journalist type writer than a novel writer.

Cliff Coates said...

Dittos to what Charlotte said. Each writer is different, but I strongly suggest that you don't proofread what you wrote until you are completely done with the entire novel. Otherwise, it will be that much harder to finish and persevere through self-doubt and writer's block.
By the way, great post. I found it quite true/amusing/accurate...

Carolynn said...

Thank you! I found it humorous myself, too, and wrote it that way, trying to shoe the irony in my situation. Every bit is true, and its nice to be silly and giggle with my writing woes!

Carolynn said...

When I'm done, I'll definitely need an editor! If you like period romances, I'll let you read it, after I figure out everything. How much do you normally charge for editing?

Tori Bragg said...

I'd love to read it :) I don't have a strictly established rate at the moment. So far it's been $20 per 10,000 words. I'm flexible, though.

Michelle Bellamy said...

FIrst of all, that Office Space quote is killing me. It's one of my favorites and I'm giggling like a mad woman.

You can do this! Stop proofreading so much. It infringes on your creativity and train of thought. But I compeltely admire you, because I could never write fiction. I'm fascinated that people can make these stories up.