First of all, quick shout out to all those participating in NaNoWriMo! Best of luck! Pace yourself and don’t give up!
If you’re looking for a quick break or some empathy, I got you.
In full honesty, COVID sucks.
But one small highlight in the cloud of craziness has been a dramatic drop in some redundant conversations. I don’t have the video editing tools to make this happen, but this would be my own “Problems only _____ People Understand.”
15 Problems Only Beginning Writers Understand:
New Acquaintance: So you’re in college? What’s your major?
New Acquaintance: Oh, so you want to teach?
Writer: No, I didn’t get a education degree. I want to write.
New Acquaintance: Oh, so . . . what’s your paying job?
Writer: . . . I work at a book store.
People who think we can write Anything
Friend: So I have this awesome idea for a book. Do you think you could write it for me?
Earning Money for Writing
Applying for jobs online, using keyword: ‘writer’
“Technical writer . . . teacher . . . ‘can write and speak English’ . . .”
People who want to be Fictionalized
Friend: Can I be a character in your book? But I want you make me someone cool, like a spy or someone with superpowers.
People who Think they know the Publishing Industry
Jerk: Did you know 1 out of every 10 Americans is writing a book?
Writer: Good for them. Too few of them actually put forth the effort to publish.
Jerk: So have you published anything yet?
Writer: Yes, in a couple magazines and an anthology.
Jerk: . . . But not a real book?
Reading a rejection email: tally = 18
Writer: When Stephen King had rejections, they were physical letters, so he at least had the satisfaction of slamming the rejection paper into a nail on his wall.
So Many Options
Writer to another Writer: There are so many choices in publishing! Do I self-publish, or go traditional? Do I find an editor or an agent first? Do I even need an agent?
Getting Constructive Reviews
Friend: Can I read your book? I promise I’ll give you a good review.
Writer: Sure, I’d love for you to review it when it’s published, but I’m still in the editing process. I need an editor who understands plot structure and characterization.
Friend: Well, I’ve read a lot of books, so I can tell a good book from a bad one. Does that count?
Writer to another Writer: They say to read other books and know your genre, but then I don’t have time to write! I need to research my setting, but how much is too much world-building?
Reading is No Longer Fun
Writer reading a book: . . . Yep, saw that plot-twist coming.
Answering Simple Questions about Books
Friend approaches Writer (who’s reading): That looks like an interesting book. What’s it about?
Writer: Uhhh, how much time do you have?
Trying Not to Judge Other Books
Writer reading a book: Hmmm, that’s a bit out of character. And is that a spelling error? I hope my editor would have caught that.
Answering Simple Questions about Books . . . Again
Friend: What’s your favorite book?
Writer: That’s like asking a parent to choose their favorite child.
Writer on the phone with Editor: I’m excited to work together–! . . . You think I should delete my main character?! . . . Which chapters do I need to re-write? . . . My deadline’s when?!
Friend: Hey, did you want to hang out tonight?
Writer: Sorry, I can’t. I have a deadline next week.
Friend: But you have a whole week.
Writer: No, I have only a week.
Writer reading a book: Oh look, a female character who’s “about his age.” Cue romantic interest.