13 Struggles Only Unpublished Fiction Writers Understand
Like 88 percent of the population of New York, I'm writing a terrible fiction novel. I'm not going to describe it here because you didn't do anything to wrong me, fellow human, so there is no reason to scar you for life by backpedaling and saying "but it's a different kind of love triangle" as you try not to beat your head against a desk. That being said, I'm guessing that any other novice writers out there trying to write their own awesome stupid wonderful terrible book are going through all the #struggles that I am right now.
This isn't an article for all y'all fiction writers who have actually been published. I'm sure you have problems, but I am NOT HERE FOR THEM, you beautiful, successful monsters. I am here for the semi-clueless writers whose hearts are still full of hope and GDocs still full of nonsense plot outlines and six different versions of the same abandoned manuscript. I am here for the geeks who are trying to wean themselves off of fan fiction, one angsty plot trope at a time. I am here 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, y'all. If you're riding on this struggle bus with me, you know all of these struggles way too well:
You never have time to write
Apparently you have to work to pay rent? And see people to maintain friendships? Also, laundry gets dirty? Does not compute???
Just kidding — you do have time, and you waste it like nobody's business
*scrolls into the Tumblr abyss*
*calls fifth grade teacher*
*finds the lost portal to Narnia*
Oh, man, no time to write! Better luck tomorrow.
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.
You’re constantly daydreaming about your characters
I've apologized to, like, ten different stationary objects in Manhattan I've run into in this month alone.
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 and you never have to see its ugly mug again.)
Whenever someone asks you what kind of story you’re working on, you make this face
"It's just this little dumb stupid terrible awful horrible vomit story I'm, like, casually writing on a whim."
And whenever someone asks to read what you’re working on, you make THIS face
OVER MY DEAD BODY. (Nobody has to read this for it to get published, right? Right??)
You’re genuinely concerned about casting the movie for this book you haven't even finished
IS CHRIS PRATT AVAILABLE and will he remain available for the next 10-15 years while I'm getting my sh*t together?
Your friends you didn't even know were writing books end up getting published before you
CONGRATS, by the way. Can't wait to hate read it and hate LOVE it and hate eat an entire pack of Oreos, you talented ass.
Every 20 days or so you are thoroughly convinced that your ideas are crap and everything is crap and what the hell were you even thinking putting this crap in the world?!
Writers are totally emotionally stable, though!! We're fine!! Everything's great!!!!!!!!! (Help.)
Writer's block is some real sauce
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.
Nobody is forcing you to write
Like, you're a nobody. You have no deadlines, expectations, or — most importantly — PRAISE. As a person who used to churn out 3,000 words of fan fiction a day just for the sweet, sweet smell of reviews piling into my inbox, not getting immediately rewarded for getting stuff done makes me dead inside. TELL ME I'M PRETTY, INTERNET.
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 yet begun.
Images: Pexels; Giphy(12)