"All the time I'm not writing I feel like a criminal." -Fran Lebowitz

Monday, July 2, 2012

Love Can Be Bitter

Hey, just so you know (if you didn't already) - writing a novel is a bitch. It's day after day of staring at your boots, trudging forward, obsessing over commas, and berating yourself for having the hubris to think you could do such a stupid thing. But while you’re doing it, most everyone who hears about the task is supportive. You get the respect of someone who's announced he's climbing a mountain, running a marathon, or putting a deck onto their house. Then you put it out there, and things get a little trickier.

People mean well. But “support” can be a tricky thing. These are the Top 22 “supportive” things I heard the day The Vanilla Gigolo Prescription was officially put into the world. An artist can experience the high of accomplishment with the low of irrelevance within the span of a co-worker's offhand remark.
1. "Do I get a discount?"
2. "Is it available on Kindle?"
3. "Is this worth it?"
4. "Why isn't it available on Kindle?"
5. "Is it going to be a movie?"
6. "Twelve bucks?! You gotta be kidding me! (pause) C'mon, I was kidding. (pause) Stop staring at me."
7. "WHEN will it be available on Kindle?"
8. (holding book in hand) "Wow. This seems like a lot of work."
9. "Is it any good?"
10. (holding book in hand) "How many pages is it? (listens) Really? Wow."
11. “This isn’t the one you wanted to write, though, right?"
12. "Is it funny?"
13. "Congratulations! I don't really read much..."
14. "Is this gonna be anything like the plays you write?"
15. "How much money do you get off each copy? (hears answer) That's it?"
16. "I read somewhere the average book in America sells only 500 copies."
17. (overheard, a co-worker on the phone with her friend) "Yeah...Right...So I'll buy it for you, you read it, and then you critique it so I can tell him."
18. "A novel? What's next - you gonna get a job at a newspaper?"
19. "You think this is gonna get you laid? 'Cause it won't."
20. "Can you imagine how many copies Stephen King sells on the first day he releases a book?"
21. "How much money have you invested to put this out? I mean, not even including all the actual work you did. (listens) What, is that a rude question?"
22. "Wow, you seem pretty happy. Write another one so you stay like this."

Despite all of it, I intend to follow #22...