One of the most common things people ask if you’ve ‘come out’ as an aspiring writer, is “How is the writing going?” They are generally trying to be friendly or chatty, I understand. Really, I do.
So why is it that sometimes it feels like that question is prying, trying to access the murky depths of wobbly writerly weirdness that is the mind? Or my mind, at least. I only ask because I’ve been asked the question about eleventy billion times.
The polite and reasonable answer is, “Good!”–even if it’s not entirely true. Even the most polite questioners usually have no idea of receiving an honest answer. But I’m going to attempt it now. Are you ready? Good.
Here’s my list of ten possible real answers to the question about how my writing is going.
10 real answers to the pesky writing question (instead of “Good!”)
- I’m writing like an absolute machine. Seriously, it reads like a robot has written it.
- I’m up to draft number seven and I’m not sure of the main character’s name yet. She won’t ‘speak’ to me. I think she hates me.
- There’s some sort of theme underlying all the references to cupcakes and coffee in my manuscript, but I can’t work it out. I’ll just go for a coffee break…and maybe buy a cupcake.
- My kids are demanding things like food and clean clothes and that I actually respond to them when they speak. How is a writer supposed to concentrate in such circumstances, let alone write a sexy scene? (Secret tip: ABC for Kids is awesome)
- Well, let’s see. I have a half written scene open on my laptop, which I stare at and then read some Facebook posts. Then I look up exotic locations on Google Maps and imagine my characters there. Then I close the laptop.
- It’s all flowing at the moment, it’s like magic. Don’t talk about it or you might jinx it.
- There’s this half-written manuscript on my laptop that’s annoying me, because I just realised where the bad guy’s drugs are hidden. I haven’t been working on the story for over a year, and I have another manuscript to finish right now. Weird.
- I wrote for two hours and I think I have one good sentence. That’s okay, I’m counting that as winning.
- Coffee. I need coffee. Someone bring me coffee.
- I think this is alright. I just read over the earlier chapters and they are even interesting. Kind of. A bit of editing and it should polish up nicely.
AAAARRRRGGGH! Editing! Don’t even talk about it.
Oh, and one more bonus answer before I go.
11) I’m scared to open my manuscript right now. I wrote a blog post instead.
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