“I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” (First lines of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, Simon & Shuster, 1972.)
An author knows they are having a bad day when (with great help from Steve, Bob, and Tamela, who each contributed to this list):
Your agent rejects all of your latest ideas.
Your royalty check is 90% less than the last one.
Your publisher decides they don’t want to publish book three in your trilogy.
Your publisher is sold to another company and everyone you knew is no longer there.
You get three one-star reviews on Amazon that specifically reference your lack of writing ability.
Someone else wins the award you were hoping to win.
You spend the money to attend a conference to meet a specific faculty member…that canceled at the last minute.
You discover that your offline backup wasn’t backing anything up…after your hard drive crashed.
When the pizza delivery guy seems so much like part of the family you are tempted to add him to your Christmas card list.
You misspell your own name.
You misspell mispell.
You spill coffee on the computer keyboard and it improves your work-in-progress.
A box of your first book arrives at the front door and it is someone else’ book. And worse, it was your next idea! You always thought about writing a dystopian book for children, but this other author beat you to it. Dag nab it.
You question your publisher about a royalty statement believing the payment amount is too low and discover instead you were overpaid. But they thank you for calling it to their attention.
Your agent calls you to tell about an offer on your book, and realize they called the wrong client.
When writing as a process of discovery, your favorite character is killed off in a freak accident, meaning the big climax must now be completely re-written. Don’t mess with the process.
The auto-correct function has been inserting profanity throughout the manuscript. Thank goodness for the find all/replace all function in Word.
You are 90% completed with your manuscript and you read an article about another more famous author writing on the same subject. Seriously? Famous roller coasters of Rhode Island? That’s my idea!
During a lightning storm, a bolt of lightning strikes the house and fries your laptop on which you are writing, destroying just one file…the manuscript you are working on. Makes you question God’s leading for your book.
Okay, these are starter ideas. Now it’s your turn to finish the sentence, “An author knows they are having a bad day when…”