When people find out I’m a writer, they often tell me they have an idea for a book.
I nearly always encourage them to sit down and write it, because one fact that’s universally true of all writers is that there was a time before they wrote anything when they said to themselves, “I’m not a writer.”
The point of this post is not to tell you that you, too, could be a writer (although you definitely could) but to tell you what writing a book feels like.
That way, when the times comes for you to write yours, you’ll be mentally prepared. Because it’s not all sipping lattes and humming while pecking at the keyboard.
It’s something else entirely.
What writing a book feels like:
- Writing a book feels like running a marathon, only both ankles are sprained and your shoes are on backward and possibly untied; but you have no way of knowing for sure because you’re wearing a sleep mask. Also, you’re not sure how far away the finish line actually is, if you’re running the right direction, or if you’re even an actual registered marathon participant. You may simply be an imposter running down random roads hoping you’ll chance upon the actual course. It’s hard to tell. So writing a book feels a lot like shuffling blindly through a marathon you’re not sure you’ve actually entered.
- Writing a book feels like climbing a mountain, only the mountain is made of glass. You’ve strapped suction cups to your hands and feet, but half the time the suction cups pop away, staying stuck to the glass and leaving you dangling dangerously (yet tediously) in mid-air. As you hang there, stuck, you half hope the last suction cup will peel away and end it all. At least then the choice to quit will be out of your hands. So writing a book feels a lot like attempting to climb a glass mountain with malfunctioning suction cups, half-hoping you’ll plummet to your doom.
- Writing a book feels like taking a road trip, only you can’t find the freeway because you’re stuck exclusively on interchange loops. Every time you think you’ve chosen the right ramp, the lane that seemed to be soaring outward to freedom curves back and dumps you right smack in the middle of the tangle. You try listening to the radio to take your mind off things, but it will only pick up a station that seems to be your own voice shouting “Boo!” repeatedly. So writing a book feels like taking a road trip to nowhere with your only comfort the sound of you heckling yourself.
- Writing feels like pulling your own teeth, only you’re using a pen and you’re pulling them out of your brain.* Also, your pen is a computer, so you’re actually using a computer to pull teeth out of your brain. So writing a book feels a lot like pulling brain teeth.
None of this is to say that you shouldn’t try writing a book or that the experience is exclusively negative. There are moments of sheer joy and excitement when the entire thing finally comes together, and it all feels worth it.
But to reach those glorious moments, you have to pull a lot of brain teeth first.
*If you’ve been around for a while, you may recognize the “brain teeth” description as having first appeared in a post on my former blog. I don’t often recycle material, but it was too good not to share again.
But that’s not important right now.
What is important right now is that my BIG GIVEAWAY is still ongoing! I’m giving away five books to five lucky winners, plus tons of bonuses, including amazing hand-stamped aluminum bookmarks from Whimsical Words Studio. Stop what you’re doing and enter right now.
Apart from that, everything here is business as usual. Well, except that it’s church VBS week. So you know what that means: it’s only Monday, but I’m already running low on sleep and high on adrenaline.
I hope everyone has an amazing day and an outstanding week.
And if you’re currently drafting a book, may your coffee be stronger than your self-doubt!