Cons:

I’ve spent nearly ten years writing blog-type entries on a regular basis, and as such I don’t know anything about character development, plot, or stringing together much of anything longer than 1000 words.

My character names are always terrible. As if they’ve been picked out of a baby name book. Which they are.

I spend half my day trying to meet writing deadlines. If I have one more word-related obligation hanging over my head I will surely ruin the last bit of pleasure I get from this activity.

Whenever I try to write something that takes more effort than reporting on Justin Bieber’s latest haircut, the children invariably sense my attempt to achieve some sort of focus, and that’s when they attack with the hand-carved prison shanks.

A book? Do you know how long that is? What kind of madman just sits down and writes page after page after page—my god, they don’t even have COMMENTS along the way.

I tried to write something a couple years ago and it was horrible. Just. Horrible. I hated it. And I hated myself a little, after I gave up on it. Even more than I hated myself during it, for sucking at it so much.

See, it’s disheartening and awful to attempt to write something, thinking this is the one thing you’re supposed to be at least a little bit good at, only to have it take like five hours to painfully crank out half a paragraph, which, by the way, is a total piece of dogshit. Why would I want to put myself through this? It’s not even FUN. It BLOWS ASS.

Pros:

What if I took this fiction idea I’ve been kicking around and just started working on it, instead of whining about how hard it would be? I bet that would feel better than procrastinating with a blog post about how I probably shouldn’t even try because god, there are a million reasons why I can’t do it.

Comments

58 Responses to “Pros and cons of attempting to write a book”

  1. Shawna on April 27th, 2011 6:43 pm

    I would buy it!

  2. Rachael@RecoveringYou on April 27th, 2011 8:46 pm

    Um uh huh, yup, the last part. Yup. Do that.

  3. Shannon on April 27th, 2011 9:14 pm

    God damn it Linda. I don’t really know you but I live down the street and I emailed you once. You emailed me back but then (I think) blew me off (I’m assuming). But, BUT I live like half a fucking mile from you and I’m doing the same damn things you’re doing; raising (a) kid, being a wife, writing my first novel. Why don’t you just email me already and we can talk about all things literary while using multitudes of cuss words and making fun of our kids.

    My request is admittedly selfish because I really need someone who I KNOW can write well (and isn’t a complete dork) to read my shitty first draft and tell me (gently) how bad it sucks. I keep thinking that it’s going to be you.

  4. Robin on April 28th, 2011 10:17 am

    Yup. Pretty much.

  5. Brooklyn on May 1st, 2011 12:14 pm

    Well, I am in my last grad class and have a 30 page paper due next weekend. ;-( I CANNOT make myself write it. I hate it. I am also considering quitting teaching next year to stay howe with my daughter and be here for my son after school. I would love to write a book. I find that I hate homework, but I LOVE blogging and telling stories. :) I think I’ll start with an e-book about how to sell on Amazon, but who knows.

    Its very nice to see that other people do everything BUT work, too. LOL Thanks for making me feel like I’m not alone. :-)

  6. Christina on May 7th, 2011 11:41 am

    I’ve read your blog for quite some time now, and I can honestly say that if you wrote a flippin’ telephone book, I would check it out. Because, despite the overwhelming and daunting task (task? really? bigger than task.) that writing a book must be, I would imagine whatever you put forth would be a good read.

  7. Maria on May 15th, 2011 11:33 am

    Find a couple of cheerleaders for the project. People who are interested in fiction and preferably the type of fiction you want to write. Stick your progress in a google doc, add them to it, and ask them for comments. Or just email progress to a couple of people as you go, a chapter at a time, whatever.

    There’s nothing wrong with needing feedback as you go. Writing long form in a vacuum is VERY difficult, especially when you’re used to a reasonable amount of back and forth.

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