My WiP is Making Me Fat (& Other Writerly Truths)

My WiP is making me fat. Jelly Bellies are not calorie-free, and when I’m drafting, I eat them like it’s my job.

I am currently working on my fourth young adult manuscript. At no point has the process become any easier.

If my house caught fire, I’d save my laptop before my wedding album. (I’d save my husband before my laptop, though, so I’m not entirely heartless.)

I feel intensely proud when my daughter says she wants to be a writer when she grows up.

I feel intensely uncomfortable when an acquaintance asks Β if I’ve sold my manuscript yet.

In the name of research, I Google things that should probably have me committed. Or arrested.

I am most motivated by kissing scenes. If I know there’s one coming up, it’s easy to push through to that point.

One of the best parts of my writerly life is reading the work of my CPs. I’ve lucked into relationships with some of the most talented and amazing writers around.

My WiP scares the shit out of me. Daily. (I think that means I’m doing it right?)

My agent is so savvy. She makes me laugh and she makes me think and she makes me a stronger writer. I feel Β fortunate to be able to work with her.

If I don’t eventually land a book deal, I will be heartbroken. I’m not one of those people who writes solely for the joy of it. I want to produce quality, sellable stories. I want a profession.

More often than not, the Dorothy Parker quote I hate writing, I love having written, sums of my process perfectly.

What are your writerly truths?

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22 responses to “My WiP is Making Me Fat (& Other Writerly Truths)

  1. I really enjoyed reading this and can relate to a lot of it. There are far worse things you could be eating than Jelly Bellies! I tend to eat chocolate and drink a lot of pop when I write. If you want to kick your Jelly Belly addiction, I suggest going to the Jelly Belly factory in Wisconsin and buying way too many Jelly Bellies. I can’t even look at them anymore! haha. That’s so cute that your daughter says she wants to be a writer when she grows up. πŸ™‚ I really need to find some CPs. I feel like I kinda blew it with the 2 I had… since I haven’t written anything in ages, I haven’t had anything to share. I will also be heartbroken if I never get a book deal. I am the same as you (and I’m glad to hear someone admit this) – I don’t write solely for the joy of it. I also don’t write just for my own enjoyment. I want to be a published author. I want a profession. The quote that sums up my writing process is: “The worst thing you write is still better than the best thing you didn’t.”

    • I honestly don’t believe there is such a thing as “too many Jelly Bellies” in my world. I buy the 5 pound Belly Flop bags and still can’t get enough. I might need an intervention. πŸ˜‰ Love the quote you shared, Zanne… Totally motivating!

  2. I love this and am also motivated by kissing scenes. My weakness is chocolate though Dairy Mulk is my muse’s chocolate of choice.

    My writerly truth – I hate beginning to write. It is so crazy I think about my WIP all day, dying to write, then I finally sit down at my computer and think “I’ll just check twitter and Facebook and send that email.” Crazy!

  3. I’m with you on the selling of the MS and writing as a profession. One of the best things I was shown early on through Romance Writers (and why I joined) was to treat writing like a business. I did a hobbyist type writing group at a local library where I learned a lot, but I wanted to go to the next level. I realized how we view writing, hobby or career, can make a huge difference. I suppose if several books don’t end up selling I’ll have to re-evaluate. For some of us, it may take awhile, even though it feels close now.

    • Yes, I’ve come to terms with it taking a while (because holy crap… it IS taking a while), but I’m not sure I’ll ever settling for writing as a hobby. This is a goal I’ll always pursue. I’m thinking all the positive thoughts for us!

  4. OMG, I am so bad about snacking when I write, especially late at night. I’ve been trying to get out of the habit, which isn’t easy. I feel like Pavlov’s dogs – oh, my WIP is open? *stuffs chips into mouth*

    My husband already knows that, in the event of fire, he grabs me and my laptop and carries us both to safety πŸ™‚

    • I have totally had the Pavlov’s dogs thought, Jen! It’s as if my brain won’t write words at night UNLESS I’m stuffing food into my mouth. What IS that?

      Glad you hear you’ve got your husband well-trained. πŸ˜‰

  5. I really like this post. I always appreciate your honesty. Here are some of my truths:

    I love writing. I hate it. It elates me. It depresses me. I love seeing writerly friends succeed, but I’d be lying if I said that watching their success doesn’t fill me with self doubt. It’s not enough for me just to write–for now maybe, but not for ever. I want to be published. I want people to read my stories.

    I think most of my writerly truths are this way–two sides of the same thought: the hope and the fear. Interesting.

    • I love that you mentioned how you loving seeing writer friends succeed, Liz. I do too (really and truly), but I always have that voice in the back of my head that wonders when it will be my turn. *sigh* So bittersweet this process can be!

  6. I LOVE this! And I can totally relate to several – although my snack candy of choice changes often. Currently I indulge in way too many Werthers. Also, yeah – don’t tell my husband, but I too would probably save the laptop before the wedding photos. I definitely LOVE reading the work of my CPs (especially yours!!!) and I’ll be kind of crushed if my stories don’t get published. And I’ll be extremely disheartened if yours don’t.

    My add to this: I push myself through words and scenes with internet rewards. I get both elated and jealous at other people’s successes. The number of journals I own could probably fill a book shelf. Okay, maybe not, but I own a ridiculous amount of them.

    Great post, Katy!

  7. As you know, kissing scenes are my favorite so I’m with you on using those as motivation through tough scenes. πŸ™‚

    TFD revisions is making me fat too. I feel the need to eat snacks while revising. We can be chunky together. πŸ™‚

    • Chunky solidarity… I love it. πŸ™‚ Hopefully when this draft is done, I won’t feel the need to constantly stuff my face anytime I sit down with my computer.

  8. Great post, Katy! I can relate to a lot of these too – especially your feelings about being published. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately since being in the query trenches. I so badly want to be published, too, and want writing to be my career. But it’s hard because I can’t control what happens! And it’s impossible to predict whether my book ideas will be right for the market. So I’m *trying* to write for the joy of it to put less pressure on myself. And I’m also doing what I can to become a better writer.

    I hope all of our hard work pays off! Crossing my fingers that you get a book deal soon. πŸ™‚

    • I hope so too, Ghenet! And I’m just waiting for the day you have awesome agent (and subsequent book deal!) news to share. I’ve heard amazing things about your writing; I will be shocked if this doesn’t happen for you. For now, I’m thinking all the positive thoughts!

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  11. “I am currently working on my fourth young adult manuscript. At no point has the process become any easier.” THIS! Thanks for sharing such a honest (and sometimes funny) list, Katy. That Dorothy Parker quote is exactly how I feel a lot of the time. πŸ™‚

  12. No matter what you’re writing, Katy, your voice and your spirit shine through. I love it. A League of Their Own: It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great. Writing is SO hard, I can tell this much just by reading and observing so I can’t imagine how often you writers want to throw your computers against the wall or quit all together. Hopefully, sticking with it will make the reward of being published that much sweeter. Although, nothing is as sweet as a good Jelly Belly, I guess. πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks so much, Kari! It’s so motivating and encouraging to know that other people can relate and are cheering me on. Hopefully this story I’m working on will cooperate through the end, and then all the work will be worth it. πŸ™‚