Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Writer As A Schizophrenic

You do know all writers are crazy, don't you?

If you're a writer and you're not crazy . . . just wait . . . it's only a matter of time.

First of all, it's not quite normal to lock yourself up in a room with a computer to play with imaginary people all day.

And, then, when you finally finish a manuscript, what do you do? You mail bits and pieces of it off to strangers. How weird is that?

Every afternoon at 1:45, I used to drift down toward my mailbox. Oh, I pretended to be pulling the stray weed or pinching the extraneous buds off my rose bushes, but what I was really doing was waiting for the mailman with his daily stack of rejection letters.

In fact, the first time I got a request for a partial, I didn't open it for more than 24 hours. I'd opened two other rejections and just wasn't in the mood for a third. When I did open the letter the following day, I glanced at it and did a double take.

And then, of course, after you sign with an agent, there's this period during which you're trying to be so cool. You drop an email or call just to chat . . . hoping there'll be some news.

Finally the day comes when you have a contract with a publisher. Now you begin working with an editor. And mostly it's wonderful. Really, really wonderful. Except for the couple of days when it's not. And you're trying to be a good, cooperative author but . . . you really did like the old title and . . . what's wrong with the protagonist's occupation anyway?

At any rate, this Mitchell and Webb video made me laugh out loud. Thanks to Kristin Nelson of Pub Rants for showcasing it on her website here.

I hope you'll find it as funny as I did.

And I really do love both my agent and editor. I don't know what I'd do without them.

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