14 Stages of Writing a BookPosted 7 years ago by Ann Handley | 75 Comments
1. Confidence. I’ve crafted a killer proposal to write a book based on an original, amazing idea and a unique approach. My book solves a problem lots of people have, and by writing it I’ll create bounty and blessings for all. I write a proposal oozing with wit, charm and warmth: I smugly mail it off, channeling Jack Nicholson as The Joker, “Wait’ll they get a load of me….”
2. Anxiety. Why aren’t they getting back to me? Hello? Where is everyone? Why haven’t they accepted the proposal? Wait – will they accept my proposal?! Crap! My cell was off! What if they tried to call? Is it hot in here… or is it me?
3. Elation. YES!!! I’m writing a book!
4. Fantasy. I’ll get up early every morning and go to the coffee shop, where I’ll write in the same booth in the back. I’ll wear a thoughtful expression and maintain a writerly, quiet demeanor. The staff will get to know me; and respectfully they’ll have my latte waiting and save the last scone for me. Maybe I’ll wear a beret. Maybe I can have a launch party there…
5. Self-doubt. Wait… I’m writing a BOOK? Who am I kidding? What do I know? What have I gotten into?
6. Procrastination. I have plenty of time. The manuscript due date is when… well, whenever. Ages from now. Wonder what’s happened on the last five years on “Lost”? I could watch all the episodes online now and be clued in for the finale! Also, I should call my high school friend Todd. It’s been years — wonder what he’s been up to? I think I’ll “Google Image” him…
7. Realization. Wait. The manuscript is due WHEN?
8. Bargaining. If I finish this paragraph, I’ll let myself eat the chocolate chip muffin saved from earlier. Or maybe I should eat half now so I have the energy…
9. Depression. This is horrible. I hate this. This is stupid. I’m stupid. I’m ugly. I hate writing. I have nothing new to say. I don’t want to do this. I can’t do this. I wish I were dead. Also, I wish I had another muffin.
10. Repeat steps 5-9 above, for an indeterminate period of time, in an endless, private circle of hell.
11. Annoyance. Leave me alone! Stop calling me! Stop emailing me! Stop knocking on the door! Stop asking what’s for dinner! I’m writing a book – can’t you see that?
12. Actualization. (Silence. Save for tap-tapping on keyboard.)
13. Exultation, served with a side of relief. YES! I wrote a book. I’m an author! (Phew.)
14. Consciousness. Time to market the book? Oh, right. I used to be an author. Now, I’m in sales.
photo credit: Yomi955