George Orwell once said, "Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand."
Amen, George. Any hard-working writer can commiserate with the emotional roller-coaster one embarks upon while trying to write a great piece of literature. It's enough to drive the best of us insane. Of course, no two writers employ the same creative process. Some of us may crank out our novels, scripts, or essays at the rate of Jack Kerouac on too much coffee and Benzedrine, while others may prescribe to the Helen Hooven Santmyer approach to writing (allegedly it took the author 50 years to complete her novel And Ladies of the Club).
Chances are you fall somewhere in the middle. No matter your pace and method, though, none of us are exempt from the joy and the agony that comes with pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into a piece — the productive days and the wasteful ones, the writer's block and the Eureka! moments.
Are you struggling to maintain your sanity while adhering to the daily writing quota you set for yourself? Boy, do I get it. These 25 song titles describe the emotional stages of writing, for those moments when you need a good laugh to pull you out of the trenches.
"Welcome to the Jungle" — Guns N' Roses
So... you want to write a novel, eh?
"Ambitionz Az a Ridah" — Tupac
Ridah, pronounced like writer with a Boston accent.
"White Blank Page" — Mumford & Sons
First page, endless possibilities!
"Time to Pretend" — MGMT
Inspiration strikes! Let the brainstorming begin...
"Into the Groove" — Madonna
This is going swimmingly! Who said writing is hard?
"Ramble On" — Led Zeppelin
Okay, maybe this 20-page first paragraph is getting a bit convoluted.
"Under Pressure" — Queen & David Bowie
You were destined for greatness, remember? Greatness! MAKE THIS CHAPTER MAKE SENSE.
"When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Gets Going" — Billy Ocean
Okay, it's been six months and I hardly have a decent Part One fleshed out.
"One More Cup of Coffee" — Bob Dylan
Maybe more caffeine will help...
"Where is My Mind" — The Pixies
Too much caffeine, can't think straight. Is there seismic activity in my room or is my hand just shaking violently on its own?
"Road to Nowhere" — Talking Heads
Welcome to your worst nightmare: Writer's block.
"I Fall to Pieces" — Patsy Cline
I thought I could write a novel? HA! Who do I think I am? Hemingway?
"Maniac" — Michael Sembello
All of life is MEANINGLESS.
"If I Had a Hammer" — Pete Seeger
...I would drive it right through this godforsaken MacBook.
"Psycho Killer" — Talking Heads
Commence kicking things in bedroom until at least one toe is brutally stubbed, refrain from throwing glass vase because you actually kind of like that vase and it would be a pain to buy another one later; finally, go out for angry, tortured artist walk around block. You don't smoke, but you light a cigarette anyway to complete the effect.
"Burning Down the House" — Talking Heads
Return to the shambles of your writing room, seething with despair. AND YOU ARE PLAYING A LOT OF TALKING HEADS RECORDS, OK?
"What Have I Done to Deserve This?" — Pet Shop Boys
Why, God, WHY? I should've gone to medical school.
"Comfortably Numb" — Pink Floyd
Commence work in semi-conscious zombie-like state.
"Keep Ya Head Up" — Tupac
Perhaps I overreacted. This draft isn't terrible.
"I Will Survive" — Gloria Gaynor
Well, maybe it is terrible, but hey, I'll make it great when I tackle that second draft!
"Against All Odds" — Phil Collins
A light at the end of the tunnel: Just one chapter to go.
"Jigsaw Falling into Place" — Radiohead
I've arrived: THE FINAL SENTENCE.
"The End" — The Doors
I FINISHED IT. I FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT.
"Just Like Heaven" — The Cure
I've never felt true happiness until this moment.
"I've Had the Time of My Life" — Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes
Rewriting and editing the second draft, contacting editors, getting this book published, and making The New York Times Best Seller List should be easy, right?