If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had moments as a writer when you’ve asked yourself “why did I just do that!?” With any creative medium, some of the best mistakes can transform into a masterpiece (at least if it doesn’t turn into a total flop).
The following list will provide some insight into a writer’s mind, and what happens when they go off the rails and start using creativity in wayward (but silly) ways.
You’ve Made Your IRL Crush the Main Character’s Love Interest
“The handsome billionaire, playboy stalks towards you. His eyes a deep shade of seafoam green. He quirks his lips and smiles at you and says: ‘Hey do you know if we have more French vanilla creamer in the breakroom?’.”
***Cue bubble popping noise***
Yes, don’t even deny you’ve never done this before. An IRL (In Real Life) crush is now gracing the pages of your novel. And, he’s strutting his stuff, giving your main character all the juicy attention, she’s been craving. And, you feel dirty inside because you realize that the sultry billionaire is Bob in accounting.
And, Bob may or may not have a SO. But, you don’t care, it’s not like Bob is going to buy your book, and tell everyone in the office that you’ve created smut in his likeness. Stranger things have happened, right?
Someone You Hate in Your Current/Past Life is Now Your Antagonist
Every story needs a villain. And, your villain just so happens to be the bully from high school who teased you while you changed out for gym class, after noticing you have a *gasp*… stretch mark. Oh, yes, you’ve created an evil antagonist from that mortifying experience.
You made sure to give them tons of weapons, an ugly gash above the forehead, maybe a gravelly voice, and a limp when they walk. The villain probably shares some trademark insult that only Messy-Jessie-in-Homeroom can come up with. I don’t find that petty at all. Okay, maybe a little.
You Sent a Query Letter to an Agent without Editing the First Draft of Your Manuscript
You worked months or even years on a debut writing project. You’ve never taken on the task of writing a novel before. But, hey if someone like Marissa Meyer or E.L. James can do it. Why not you?
So, you go ahead and start drafting this incredible novel. You’ve got action, romance, a bit of real-life situational elements that make you tear up. The emotions and dialogue all feel so real as if the characters are standing over your shoulders telling you what to write. Then, you reach the last word of the last chapter and end the manuscript with a bold THE END!
Congrats. All that’s left to do is start glancing over the Writer’s Digest Literary Agents Forum in order to find Query Letter Submission instructions for ABC Literary Agency.
Did you even read the first paragraph of your first draft? Of course not, because you’re imagining yourself at a dinner party telling Cassandra Claire how your latest novel came to you in a dream while sipping champagne from a crystal glass flute.
Side Advice: Don’t be that person. I don’t need to tell you what your first draft resembles. Look for yourself. Before you start querying agents. Get your hands dirty and start cleaning up that mess you call a manuscript. At least, then it wouldn’t be worthy of earning its place in the slush pile.
You’ve Imagined What You’ll Buy with a $100k Book Deal Advance
You’re already sipping champagne with literary giants in that glorious imagination of yours. Now you’re spending money you don’t have, even if you haven’t received an offer from a publisher.
(The norm varies. From what, I’ve seen with little research online: an advance could fall roughly between $5k to $20k. And, that may be possible for a weathered author with a good agent.)
Are you’re thinking about the latest Maserati Ghibli, and maybe a new edition to your house?
Oh, but wait, advances come with a catch: you have to earn that money back before you get a single penny from royalties. Now, $100k is nothing to sneeze at. But the odds are against you. Before you start planning your future pool party at the new McMansion, focus on creating great work, making sales and promoting said work.
You Thought Self-Publishing Would Be Easier, Cheaper, and Lucrative
Self-publishing can be all those things. If you’re willing to do as Rihanna puts it: “Work, work, work, work, work.”
There are several indie authors who make it rain stacks. But the money bag clouds didn’t just appear overhead one day when they decided to Publish their Amazon KDP eBook online.
They had to put in the work. Write nearly every day. Promote themselves. Do uncomfortable and at times unrewarding tasks. Save mad money. And, then put hard earn cash from other day jobs and side jobs back into their writing before they could even start making a single profit back from their work.
Don’t fool yourself no matter which route you decide on as a writer, you will be doing a lot of work if you want to make it.
So, what’s one of the craziest things you did as a writer? How did it make you a better creative? Let me know in the comments below.
Don’t forget my debut sci-fi novel, Syphons, A Novel is available for pre-order at Amazon for 2.99 and the price will increase on release day which is May 3rd, 2019. Are you interested in reading more of my work for free?