Monday, December 14, 2015

Twenty-five Things Every Longtime Writer Will Experience

If you’ve dedicated yourself to the craft and you plan to stick with this writing thing, I’m going to let you in on a few well-known secrets. You can expect at least three-quarters of the following to apply to you at some point along the long haul. So, a toast. Because we’re in this together. And we can laugh and bond over...

Twenty-five Things a Longtime Writer Is Sure to Experience
  1. Every winter your hands will turn freakishly numb at the keyboard.
  2. Your skin will get thick, then thin, then thick again. {Rinse & repeat.}
  3. You will see others get an agent, a contract, a three-book deal and believe. Oh, you’ll believe.
  4. You will wait for what feels like eternity and every other day you’ll be tempted to abandon all belief—not just in getting published, but in all mankind.
  5. You will see someone else’s printed and edited draft and secretly wish for them to edit yours.
  6. There will be days your work is the best thing you’ve ever read.
  7. There will be days your work is the biggest load of crap you’ve ever read.
  8. You will go nuts when an admired author follows you back on Twitter.
  9. You will forget how many days in a row you’ve camped out in your pajamas and talked only to your characters.
  10. You will jump through every hoop possible in order to get published until you find that hoop-jumping is not your thing. Writing is.
  11. You will read Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird and fall in love with the craft all over again.
  12. Facebook and social media in general will become the ultimate bug zapper. But you’ll fly toward it, vulnerable every time your thoughts run dry.
  13. You’ll read reviews and instead of defining you as a writer, they will serve as small teaching tools you’ll be able to readily accept or let go. This is after you’ve memorized every single one.
  14. Your coffee and your tea will grow cold and you will forget to eat lunch.
  15. People will think you’re rolling in it. You will fight the temptation to tell them otherwise. Or if you’re like me, you’ll be downright honest and make the classic joke about your book that’s sure to make you millions.
  16. You will find that one evening your writing absolutely sings after you’ve tipped back that extra glass of wine only to reread your WIP the next day and have a good laugh.
  17. You’ll study all the latest sales and marketing trends, as well as all of the most compelling book plot ideas to discern what reaches audiences, only to find everything changes with the seasons.
  18. Adaptability will become king.
  19. You’ll have a few semi-delusional moments when you swear you see your characters while you’re shopping and it will take everything inside you to clamp your mouth shut so you don’t walk up to them and call them the wrong name. P.S. This happens in T.J. Maxx a lot.
  20. You will celebrate with other writing friends. You will cry with other writing friends.
  21. You will be staring right at someone, nodding, giving every indication you’re paying attention but you’ll be in Fictionland with your characters.
  22. The best plot ideas and dialogue will come to you at 3am or when you’re in a bathtub full of water.
  23. You’ll never quite know how to respond when someone informs you they’ve read your book but gives you no indication of what they thought.
  24. The biggest tragedy of getting sick won’t be throwing up or spending hours moaning near the toilet, it’ll be that you’re away from your computer, unable to write.
  25. No matter how brutal it gets, you won’t quit. Because you’ve come this far.


  1. I love this!! #20, friend!!

    1. Don't we know it! :-) Thanks for joining me on this wild & crazy ride!


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