Dear Loved Ones, Friends, Co-Workers and Fellow Planet Dwellers of the Writer:
I think it’s time someone explains why your Writer-in-Residence behaves like a sulking, caffeine-addicted mess during long stretches of time. In a word: Editing. Yes, it’s an ugly problem with no solution. The following are common phases of editing:
- Initial Edit/ re-write after the rough draft
- Mantra: “It isn’t that bad. I can fix this.”
- Signs: Normal dress. Bright eyes, slight concern.
- Fleshing Out the Story Draft
- Mantra: “Hey, this is really good. I think this just might be my break out novel.”
- Signs: Normal dress with the occasional day in PJs. Lost in thought. Nods often to themselves.
- Plot Hole Fixes Draft
- Mantra: “What the hell was I thinking? I suck. The book sucks. This will never sell.”
- Signs: Unintelligible muttering. Glossy eyes. Irritability. Throws laptop across the room.
- Razzle-dazzle Draft
- Mantra: “Oh Gawd! When is it going to be over?”
- Signs: Openly weeping. Loss of sleep.
- I Hate This F’ing Book Final Draft
- Mantra: “I’m dead inside.”
- Signs: Weight gain. Depression. Empty take out boxes littering the floor.
How you can help your Writer-in-Residence:
Phases 1-3: Be supportive. Tell them you have faith in their talent. Read their crappy draft of the novel and provide sincere, but kind feedback.
Phases 4 and 5. Put a pot of coffee and several boxes of take-out next to their laptop. Walk away. Don’t poke or prod your writer (even if they appear dead) until the manuscript has been sent out.