Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How to Be Patient, A Primer for Writers

How to Be Patient
A Primer for Writers
by Lucy Woodhull, Perfectly Patient Person

9am: Check Your E-Mail

Checking your e-mail should not cause anxiety. Just because one horrid little e-mail could dash all your literary hopes upon the craggy rocks to total despair is no reason for your heart to beat faster as you hit refresh.

10am: Click "Refresh" No More than Once an Hour
You are a bona-fide adult person who does very adult things like write novels, not some teeny bopper waiting for a missive from the "do you like me yes or no" guy from math class. Have some dignity!

10:15am: Check Twitter
Casually read your Twitter. Make sure to re-Tweet all the happy Tweets from your fellow writers who have actually sold a damn book. Do not feel bitter. This is beneath you. Just because you work just as hard as they do and are a misunderstood artist is no reason to not feel happy for them.

10:20am: Notice that Dream Agent/Editor is Writing Tweets
Well, look at that! Your Agent/Editor just Tweeted that they have a new acquisition!

10:21am: Check Your Cell Phone
Nope, the acquisition was not you.

10:22 am: Check Your Voice Mail
Still Not You.

10:23am: Eat Twinkie
...because Twinkies always love you.

10:32am: Do Not Check Your E-Mail
You have many things to fulfill you in life! Go smell a rose or something. They'll write soon, for you are brilliant and have written a novel for the ages.

10:35am: Eat Twinkie
...Because the first one was so good. And because they are a totally a breakfast food. Creative types like you owe it to themselves to break the rules.

10:36am: Wipe Twinkie Off Your Keyboard

10:37am: Hit Refresh
Oh, look! Mod Cloth is having a sale!

10:38am: Frown
...Because if you sold your amazing novel you could afford to shop at Mod Cloth

11:00am: Resist E-Mailing the Agent/Editor

11:10am: Begin Composing E-Mail to Agent/Editor
Make it charming, but not desperate! You're so witty! They won't mind your adorable missive. After all - you're the voice of a generation.

1:07pm: Finish Brief, Fifty-Two Word Letter
Whew! That only took two hours. You should have been working, but your literary career cannot wait.

1:08pm: Convince Yourself Not to Send the E-Mail

1:10pm: Convince Yourself to Send the E-Mail

1:11pm: Convince Yourself Not to Send the E-Mail

1:13pm: Convince Yourself to Send the E-Mail

1:32pm: Send the E-Mail!
But first rub your special troll doll and turn in a circle three times. Shakespeare did this for good luck.

1:37pm: Hit Refresh
Have they responded yet?!

1:55pm: Attend to Real Life Things
It is healthy to do things such as go to the bathroom and feed yourself, even when you're a brilliant artiste.

2:17pm: Check Twitter
Your dream agent/ editor is OUT AT STARBUCKS? What the hell are they doing? They should be in the office, preparing their contract for your amazing book! Has the world gone topsy-turvy?

2:19pm: Hit Refresh
Have they responded yet?! NO? But they have an iPhone - they Tweet about using it all the time. They should be able to offer you a contract even if they are at Starbucks.

2:45pm: What's That, Twitter? Dream Agent/Editor is at Chuck E. Cheese?!?!
It's not even lunch or dinner time! Are they so lazy that they laze about, lazily, eating pizza with their kids instead of scooping up the Greatest Literary Masterpiece of the Twenty-First Century?

2:57pm: Maybe They Should Not Be Your Dream Agent/Editor
This person is clearly undeserving. You bet their five year old named Madison has more taste in her little finger than her parent.

3:01pm: Begin Composing Scathing Break-Up E-Mail
This one will be even better than the time you told off Time Warner Cable.

3:06pm: Finish Composing Scathing Break-Up E-Mail
Not only is the note in rhyme, to help drive home the message that you're the Most Amazing Writer Who Ever Lived, but it's addressed, "Dear Shit for Brains." Ha!

3:07pm: Maybe This is a Bad Idea

3:08pm: But Someone Needs to Stand Up to These Arrogant Agent/Editors!

3:11pm: Take a Drink From Your Work Flask
For fortitude in the face of adversity.

3:14pm: Take Another Drink
It worked for Hemingway.

3:27pm: Hit "Send"
Take that, publishing establishment!

3:28pm: Freak the Fuck Out

Why doesn't G-Mail have a recall feature??!

3:33pm: Take Another Drink
They're not even checking their e-mail anyway, so it's all going to be okay.

3:35pm: Be Depressed
It worked for Sylvia Plath

4:02pm: Hit Refresh
You have an e-mail from them. Subject: Your Book.

4:03pm: Stare at Browser

4:04pm: Take a Really Big Drink
You should have brought your bigger flask.

4:05pm: Open E-Mail

4:05pm: Cry

4:06pm: Delude Yourself
They don't understand you, like your mother. You stood up for yourself, and you feel proud, really. Just because you've been called a "nut-job" doesn't mean it's true.

4:22pm: Finish Box of Twinkies
There are a million other dream Agent/Editors in the sea.

4:25pm: Wipe Twinkie Crumbs Off Boob

4:30pm: Check Twitter
Dream Agent/Editor is Tweeting. Uh oh.

4:31pm: They Can't Mean You
You cannot possibly be the new hashtag #howtonevergetpublished

4:40pm: Dream Agent/Editor Has Written a Brand New Blog
Uh oh.

4:44pm: Prizes!
Dream Agent/Editor has posted your poetic hatemail. They are holding a contest, asking writers to compose a response to you.

4:57pm: There are Forty-Seven Entries Already
...And they all start "Dear Shit for Brains."

5:00pm: Time to Go Home
There is more liquor at home. It's hard to be a writer.

6:32pm: At Least No One's Outed You as the E-Mail Writer

6:43pm: Shit
Someone just did. They were your Beta reader once upon a time, but you let them go because they didn't understand your deep, underlying themes.

7:43pm: You Are Famous, Which is What You Always Wanted
Congratulations. You are now an internet meme.

9:00pm: Learn Lesson About Patience
It's about time, shit for brains.

1 comment:

  1. At least you have your faithful Twinkies.