- Someday I ought to write a book.
- Woohoo! I’ve just started writing a book! I deserve some ice cream.
- I’m so excited, things are going great.
- Writing is hard.
- No, writing is cool. I’m having the time of my life.
- Writing is hard. I should just give up.
- I’m almost done with my first book. Writing is so fun. I have written 4,000 words! I deserve some ice cream.
- I just found out books are usually a lot longer than 4,000 words. I have no idea what I’m doing. I should just give up.
- I have lost all sense of direction and perspective. I have no idea if this is any good or not.
- I showed my writing to someone and she loved it! I’m going to be famous. I deserve some ice cream.
- I showed my writing to someone else and he pointed out a few problems. I’m horrible and I hate writing.
- I finished my whole manuscript! I’m an author! I deserve some ice cream.
- Someone said I should probably go through my manuscript looking for mistakes, but that’s crazy, I didn’t make any mistakes.
- I’ve started going through my manuscript and I made a million mistakes! I have no idea what I’m doing. I should just give up.
- Okay, maybe it’s not as bad as I thought.
- Okay, I think it’s so much worse than I thought. Writing is hard.
- The second draft is finished. I’m finally done. I deserve some ice cream.
- I think it’s ready to submit to agents and editors, so I’m taking it to a writer’s conference to shop it around.
- I just got back from the writer’s conference. I have no idea what I’m doing. I should just give up.
- Maybe I can survive just one more draft.
- Repeat #3-18.
- Someone is finally interested in my book! I’m going to be rich and famous! I deserve some ice cream.
- No they’re not. I should just give up.
- Repeat #22-23. As necessary. Ad infinitum, even.
- Someone is interested in my book, but they want changes. Lots of them. I clearly have no idea what I’m doing. I should just give up.
- The rewrite is finished. I’m finally done. I deserve some ice cream.
- Woohoo! I’ve been offered a contract! I’m an author! I’m going to be rich and famous! I deserve some ice cream.
- Another rewrite? You must be kidding. I clearly have no idea what I’m doing. I should just give up.
- I finally finished the rewrite. I’m finally done. I’m exhausted and I have lost all sense of direction and perspective. I have no idea if this is any good or not.
- I’m so relieved to be finished with this book. I deserve some ice cream.
- Edits? I thought this thing was finished. Now I have to review all these edits? And comments? This will take forever. I have no idea what I’m doing. I should just give up.
- Okay, that’s it. Finished. Kaput. What a relief. I deserve some ice cream.
- Oh for crying out loud. I just got these things called galleys and I’m supposed to respond WHEN? Who has time for all this?
- Finally done. Finished. Kaput. What a relief. I can finally relax and enjoy a little ice cream.
- This is so exciting. I can’t wait to hold this book in my hands.
- Influencers? Endorsements? Marketing? What’s that? I have no idea what I’m doing.
- Reviews? Pre-orders? Blog tours? Sales rankings? Book launch? What’s all that? I have no idea what I’m doing.
- My books are here! My books are here! My books are here! I deserve some ice cream.
- How is there a typo in this cotton-picking thing?
No name-calling, no blame. The author deserves lots of ice cream.
Brennan S. McPherson
Step 40. Add up expense of all that ice cream and realize you have to make your entire advance back in book sales and then some to pay for it.
Step 41. Get so depressed about it that you eat more ice cream.
Love it, Brennan. You made me laugh. Now ‘m ready for ice cream. Whoops, it’s only 9:30 a.m. Too early? Naw!
Brennan, that is hilarious and a ton of ice cream. But of course…
Daunting! But the story is still begging to be told. If it ever stops begging, then what? It going silent worries me.
So THIS is why I’m so large?! I’m a writer! Who would’ve thought. Love being able to laugh at myself from time to time. You made my day sir. I can see this making one of Mr. Steve’s “Fun Friday” postsw in the future. God’s blessings.
Sharon Kay Connell
So true, J.D. Hope to see it posted again. We all need a good chuckle at ourselves. 🙂
I love this! So true! Thanks for the laugh!
Love this!! I can relate in many ways.
I especially loved the ice cream part. 🙂
Ha! Camping out in the 14-16 range at the moment.
Sharon Kay Connell
Love it! Laughed all the way through thinking about all four of my books. And it still happens when you do a rewrite for the 2nd edition. ROTFLOLACGU! Have to share this with my group forum on Facebook. You nailed it. And I thought coffee was the only addictive intake for an author. I’ve been neglecting the ice cream.
27A – Now that I have a contract, can I afford a research trip to Jamaica, since the main character of the sequel’s from De Island, mon?
Uh, no, says The Wife, but I CAN spend a couple of days in the Queens neighbourhood of that name.
Think I’ll just get a pound of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.
Oh. It costs HOW much?
Queens it is.
God made wives for a reason.
Shannon, He sure did!
Bwahahaha! Thanks for the laugh. I’m partway down the list and taking it slowly. And I never considered ice cream; what have I been thinking?! My panacea has been iced granola bars.
Loved it! I’ve been through most of these getting short stories into publication, but have been stuck in the #22-23 loop for half a year now with two book publishers. 23A “Wait. They requested the full manuscript. Maybe they are interested, I just need to wait a little longer.” When do you say forget it and pull the manuscripts (then drown your sorrows with ice cream)?
This post really spoke to me. You have no idea how accurate the ice cream part is. I may or may not have, at this very moment, 2 or 3 different tubs of it in the freezer with my name on it…
I’m dragging my feet on #18 right now, but it’s reassuring to know that wherever this journey takes me, ice cream will always be there for me.
Well, you know… And God and my husband, too, of course…
How true! I have an entire box of Schwans ice cream bars in mine…
There’s a typo I the ice cream?? After all that, it wouldn’t surprise me… 😉 And now we know Bob’s writing reward…
Ha! *in the ice cream…
Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D
Make mine butter pecan. Thanks!
Make mine chocolate, please – with nuts and caramel! Thanks for the laughter!
OH. My. Gosh! Love it! Sooooooooooo true! *giggle*
Janet Ann Collins
My goodness, that could become the plot line for a novel itself. Every scene has goal, motivation, and conflict.The Adventures of a Wannabe Novelist would make a good title. Please be sure it has a happy ending like great sales and maybe an award.
Hilarious! Thank you for this that is both discouraging and encouraging at the same time. I now know what I’m in for down the road, and I also know I won’t be the first to feel the way I will. 🙂
I’m saving this and sending it to family members when they wonder what I’ve been doing for the last 6 years with this writing I insist I’m doing. Now they’ll finally understand.
Jennifer, I love this idea. Perhaps I should carry copies with me to church for my friends.
Jennifer and Cindy, YES!! What an excellent idea because the people around us sometimes do not truly “get” what we do. Deer in the headlights whenever they ask how your writing is going, and you tell them—in too much detail. Whoops. 😀
Hitchcockian indeed! This is a great example of “show, don’t tell.” You took us realistically through the practical steps and emotional highs and lows of writing, all the while making us laugh. What I glean from this is the importance of keeping a steady hand on the tiller. (Otherwise, you might get really fat!)
Spot on. Bring on the M&Ms & ice cream! ???
Hilarious and true! At least I’m past the half-way mark. Woo-hoo!
Yes, the writer’s life can be simplified by wanting to give up, motivating myself with chocolate, and rewarding myself with chocolate when I complete my goals! The cycle never ends, but it’s a beautiful mess, as I’m told.
The writer’s process will probably also be the inspiration for novel number 2 for some of us 🙂
Stuck at step 24.
Rebekah Love Dorris
I think each of these, 1-39, should be sandwiched in with ISBWNRSB in front and ice cream in the back. SWIDT?
Rebekah, this is so awesome. ILYSOH (I Love Your Sense of Humor). I totally agree!!! Why not have ice cream at the beginning, middle, and end?
I see ice cream and sandwich…you know what I’m thinking!
Rebekah, how funny! I love it.
What are you thinking, Elizabeth? I’m imagining manuscript pages intertwined with ice cream sandwiches, the ink melting with the ice cream—from all our tears and sweat. . . .
Sounds like a plan, Tisha! And just between us, the best iced coffee features ice cream for flavor. SNAP! (Smart Nifty and Practical)
I’m loving all these acronyms! We can add these to Steve’s list.
4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 14, 16 and others should be followed by “I need chocolate.” Either that or wailing and cabinet-door slamming. At least in my experience.
Now I’m depressed again. Pass the ice cream.
Barbara Ellin Fox
I have to skip steps 2, 7, 10, 12, 17, 21, 22, 24, 26, 27, 30, 32, 34, and 38 because I’ve given up ice cream until ACFW conference. So, on a personal note, if I attend a conference at which you are doing appointments and I score one with you, should I bring a Klondike Bar or Talenti gelato? Ben and Jerry’s, Häagen-Daz, Blue Bunny, McFlurry…?
Bring it all, Barbara! But Talenti is extra nice. Just sayin’.
A great giggle. I think I need a new scale…
# 42 I ate so much ice cream I had to buy clothes to fit to be seen at the writer’s conference
#43 I bought too many clothes and can’t afford to go to the conference.
#44 Sigh, I’ll have some ice cream. Whaddya mean there’s no fudge?
#45 “crisis center, can you tell me what’s happening?”
“WE’RE OUT OF FUDGE, I CAN’T COPE!”
“Ma’am… are you a writer?”
LOLOL! Made my day. Peanut M&Ms or no writing for me at all. Ever. Well, that and Coke Zero to balance it out.
“Ma’am…are you a writer?”
just hand over the chocolate and no one will get hurt (and I can go back to writing lol)
Marie Wells Coutu
Perfectly stated! And then Rinse and Repeat.
You mock my pain. Never do it again. I died that day… LOL!!!
(just kidding…mostly… and don’t shoot me–for those not quick on the uptake, that’s a quote from a movie)
Too funny – I immediately got the reference. I have every line memorized. Because.
Every line memorized?
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means…
(I’m on the Brute Squad)
You are the Brute Squad! 🙂 🙂 lol.
loved this movie.
How could I have left out the ice cream!
Loved the article. Lots to look forward to.
Oooh, I like Barbara Ellin Fox’s idea about buttering Bob up with ice cream at writers’ conferences. What a plan! If we all plot together we can get him to tip the scales at 350 within a year’s time. But of course we’ll have to contend with his wife, who may not appreciate having to shop for new clothes for his new size, each month. How many writers’ conferences does he do in a year, anyway?
We poor old bedraggled authors get so caught up in what other people think that we lose.
Yes, we need to acknowledge the information and input of others but they also must realize that this is OUR vision, OUR dream and OUR story NOT theirs.
All this extra so called ‘expert knowledge and advise’ got me to the point of not writing……I recently finally got through that not so lovely fog and I write MY story and no one else’s….PERIOD!!
Snacking is part of the whole writing process. Bring on the chocolate, ice cream, and coffee. Appreciate the laughter from your wonderful post!
I would write a comment, but I have no idea what I’m doing.
Paula – I am glad I wasn’t drinking when I read your comment (water that is). Bad enough my husband thought I was having a stroke.
I just read this post. I have no idea what to do. Can someone drive me to the store for ice cream? I cannot see through my tears…of laughter!
Hey! That was pretty good! I should write a book…after I finish my ice cream.
Ugh! I ate too much ice cream! I need a nap. Then I’ll start on my book…hmmm, for some strange reason, now I’m craving ice cream!
I read this to my husband and we’re both giggling. Now he understands a little better what to expect in our future – a true gift. Thanks for that!
Enjoyed chatting with you about Amish and Mennonite encounters at the conference this week. I’m so glad you came!
I like the ice cream part. Where do I sign up ?!
Ha, ha– join the club! we either all mob 31 Flavors (do those guys still exist?) or attack every Schwann’s ice cream truck in each state. Military style, across the nation.
Set ‘chyer watch.
~the Ice Cream Idols (an arm of the Doughnut Dollies)
Claire, I’m positively tickled—and laughing at the imagery you’ve created. . . 🙂
Anything I can do to ease the agony of 1. rewriting (because we all know writing is fun) 2. editing 3. repeat 10,000 x 4. writing the synopsis 5. trying to gracefully deal with rejection letters/or no response at all 6. and the rest of Bob’s list. Repeat.
~You’ll live, just hand it over~