Writing is a lot like skydiving. There are only a couple of slight differences. The first is that there are no instructions. You aren’t told what to do or how to do it, you get into the plane and jump right out of that sucker into a spiraling free-fall. The second difference is that there is no designated landing zone. You simply land wherever you land and smile as you do. The final, and perhaps most crucial difference, is that there are no goddamned parachutes.
Okay, so maybe writing isn’t at all like skydiving, and that’s a good thing. If it were we’d all be dead.
#1: Coffee is Actually Quite Expensive
There’s no way you’re resorting to that cheap crap that gives you strange rumbles in your stomach whenever you drink it. Looks like you’re stuck with spending what little money you have on coffee now. And you know what? You’re actually okay with that.
#2: Drinking it Eight Times a Day is NOT Good For You
Or your head. Or your pulse. Or your gut, for that matter.
#3: Lounging Around in Your Underwear All Day Isn’t as Fun as You Thought
Especially not in those cold winter months. Talk about frostbite… It’s one thing freezing your ass off all day, but at the other end of the spectrum, when the inevitable strikes and you spill coffee number six all over your lap, you’ll really wish you were wearing trousers.
Or maybe a hazmat suit…
#4: You Can and WILL Talk to Yourself
Your journey starts out as innocent as can be. You’ll be typing away silently. Plotting out next chapters, making character outlines; drinking coffee, of course. You may have some chilled background music on. All is well in your new little writing world.
A few months down the line is where it begins. It starts as a whistle. Then maybe a few groans here and there. Until one day you’re having a full-blown conversation with yourself, debating the relevance of the comma you’ve been staring at for the past thirty-seven-and-a-half minutes.
All is fair in love and comma placement.
#5: Naming Characters is Literal Hell, Like Literally
Don’t worry about talking to yourself by this stage – that started way too long ago to change it now.
You’ll wind up pondering this for so long that you’ll eventually give up and call them something stupid like ‘Character X’.
Sure, that’ll do for now. All hail character X!
Now, how do I describe her?
#6: No Matter How Much You Try, You Can Never Accurately Portray the Story You Picture in Your Head
The frustrations never cease, do they?
You could spend hours upon hours working on that one paragraph of description, but no matter how long you spend on it, you’ll never be able to accurately recreate the way you picture the scene your head.
Screw it. Throw in a new character and kill them at the end of the chapter. That ought to liven things up around here…
#7: Google is Your Best Friend
But also your worst enemy.
“I’ll just open Google to do a quick bit of research on this topic.”
But you won’t, will you? It’s been three hours and the only things you’ve researched are the funniest Vine compilations of 2017. Great going, sport.
There’s always tomorrow…
#8: Twitter – That is All
Engaging in a two-hour conversation with ‘@write.and.left_45’ about how effective shocking reveals are will not get your book written any faster.
#9: Your Keyboard is a Crumb Magnet
Anything crumbly at the desk is a no go. Flaky is no good either. The small fragments of dislodged food will get stuck between your keys, and you’ll be lucky if you ever see them again.
You’ll believe me when you have to change your main character’s name to ‘Hristopher’ because your C key no longer works…
#10: Writing is a One-Way Ticket to Hell
Whether you’re killing off characters in a spontaneous bloodbath, or having a mother of three sleep with other men whilst her husband at work – there are no two ways around it: writing is brutal. And it is sure to win you a one-way ticket to hell.
Or maybe a mental asylum…
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