When You Ask Me How It’s Going

Every once in a while, people ask how my current writing project’s going. When that happens, they’re likely to get one of five possible responses.

Response 1: The Non-Answer

“It’s fine.” And then I change the subject.

Interpretation: It’s not fine.

Response 2: The Gloss-Over

“Oh, you know; I have some stuff in the works.” And then I change the subject.

Interpretation: Everything is fine, but I’m not ready to talk about the project yet.

Response 3: The Facts

“It’s going okay. I’ve been writing about [insert topic].”

Interpretation: Things are going very well. The end is in sight.

Alternate Interpretation: I’ve sunk so much of my life into this project that the law of diminishing returns no longer registers with me. I will finish this project or die trying.

Response 4: The Cliff’s Notes

“It’s going well. I have this book about [insert topic] that I started last year. I have a draft done, and the proposal’s with an agent. Still could be nothing, but we’ll see what happens.”

Interpretation: This is probably the best thing I’ve ever written.

Alternate Interpretation: I just had one good writing session. I don’t know how long this wave of confidence will last, so let’s both just enjoy the ride.

Response 5: The Middle School Meltdown

“I don’t know why I even bothered to start a new book; the last ones weren’t exactly New York Times bestsellers, and I don’t know why anyone would want to read anything I’d say anyhow since I can’t write and barely know anything about anything. This outline doesn’t make sense, the major premise is clunky, the support spotty, and my arguments riddled with logical inconsistencies. I’m deleting the draft, burning my notes, and going to live on a mountain by myself where I can dedicate my life to the undistracted reading of books by people who actually know how to write.”

Interpretation: Writing is hard work, and I’ve been at it too long. Someone please tell me to take a break.


Lately, I’ve been toggling back and forth between Response 2 and Response 5 (although unless we’re blood-related, you’re unlikely to witness me in full Middle School Meltdown mode). I really am excited about the project I’m working on, but in its current state, I still find it very hard to talk about. However, since I recently finished the first draft, I’m hoping to move into a comfortable deployment of Response 3 in the near future.

Until the new book is ready, consider catching up on my current releases. I’m happy to talk about them and would love to hear what you think.

Happy Monday, y’all!

May your hearts be warm, your A/C cool, and your coffee hot.

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