Monday, November 12, 2012

Twenty-Five Brief Excuses for Not Working on Your WIP Right Freaking Now

1) You're reading this list.

2) You're reading another list about writing. Possibly something meant to be motivational. Possibly something involving the publishing industry, something that relies largely on comforting words like "personal craft" and "unique voice."

3) You're stalking literary agents on Twitter.

4) You're stalking literary agents on their blogs.

5) You're stalking literary agents at their home addresses. (No. Bad. Stop.)

6) You're daydreaming about another idea which sprang into your mind as a fever dream at two in the morning and seemed brilliant, but which you promptly forgot. You think it was about something involving a duck. Maybe.

7) You're re-reading the bits of the WIP that you've already written. (It's initial analysis, okay?)

8) You're writing extensive backstory for your characters because look, it's important, it's part of the psyche.

9) You're on AgentQuery, QueryTracker, Preditors and Editors, or some other website involving other people who also should be working on their WIPs.

10) You're on Facebook, Instagram, Gmail, or some other website involving people who would have no idea what "WIP" meant were you to drop the abbrev in convo. (Their ignorance is comforting. Well, you think to yourself, I am farther along than all these people!)

11) You're debating character quirks with yourself. This character really likes cursing - should you rein him back? Will people judge you as an author or as a human being for his vulgar behavior? Moreover, will they judge you if your main character's second nephew has a penchant for speaking using only words that have the letter X? Or how about that girl you stuck into chapter seventeen who eats condiments without food? Is your book turning into an indie movie? What's even going on? Where are you? Who are you?

12) Okay. You've taken a break to eat. Things seem normal again.

13) You're still eating. You're feeling guilty about eating.

14) You're staring at the last sentence you wrote yesterday, rereading its final words over and over and over, attempting to find an adequate segue to the next scene you have planned, which shall be a Scene of Great Emotional Gravitas.

15) Someone from the Real World texts you and jolts you from your Mindset.

16) Someone from the Real World is talking to you. In person. You can't seem to converse, because all you can think about is how inadequate your dialogue is.

17) You're at work.

18) Just kidding. That's not an excuse. You're at work and the power's out.

19) Scrivener is still installing on your laptop. (It's been seventeen hours. You're considering buying a MacBook. Is this PC really worth the pain?)

20) You're drawing arcs. Character arcs. Plot arcs. Psychological and spiritual arcs. Vaguely parabolic arcs. You always knew Algebra 2 would come in handy at some point.

21) You're making a Writing Playlist on Spotify or iTunes. (You're getting desperate.)

22) You're moving to a location where your "emotional interiority can be the most focused". You're not even entirely sure you know what this means. (Oh, God, this is bad.)

23) You're considering becoming a poet instead. (You write commercial fiction, buddy.)

24) You're still reading a list some girl wrote on a writers' website. But you're about to finish that list. You feel mild panic descending upon you. You have no excuse, now.

25) Go. Write. Do it.

Riley Redgate, enthusiast of all things YA, is a bookstore-and-Starbucks-dweller from North Carolina attending college in Ohio. She blogs here and speaks with considerably more brevity here.



In an upcoming post From The Write Angle contributors will answer your questions. What's it like to "get the call" either from an agent or a publisher? How do I get my MS in to Hollywood? How do historical writers do all of that research?

What are your questions for our contributors? Keep an eye out for our upcoming call for questions.


JeffO said...

Ha, funny stuff. When it's not sad and true, that is.

simplicityofthoughts said...

That was hysterical. Mostly because I relate to every single reason for not writing (yikes) And here I am further delaying my writing by trying to come up with something witty to say in the comments.

SC Author said...

1, 2, 9, and 24!! YES!!! I should go NaNo but I have other blog posts to read... *runs off* I'll do it after though! *cowers in shame*

LucidDreamer said...

Oh, this is funny. And sadly, so true!

Jemi Fraser said...

Teehee!! Too true :)

Leslie S. Rose said...

Have you tapped into my security cameras to learn all my secrets?

Riley Redgate said...

@JeffO: Yeah, I would have chortled more whilst writing this if it weren't pretty much all personal experience.

@simplicityofthoughts: The pithy comment is a fine art. A most worthwhile pursuit. ;)


@Lucid & Jemi: Yay for uncomfortable accuracy! XD

@Leslie: ... possibly ...

Sophie Perinot said...

This made me laugh out loud because, I'll admit it, lately I am easily distracted (*squirrel). Anyone reading this an looking for yet one more way to put off writing? Consider taking a moment to go here: and nominate From the Write Angle as an excellent blog for writers ;)

Mary Tod said...

Hilarious ... I'm currently engaged in 1, 2, 6, 10, 11, 15. I'm busy doing ... nothing productive!

Angela Ackerman said...

ACK! Get out of my head!!!

LOL, so funny, and so many of these are spot on.


Joey Francisco said...

Damn it Riley, why are you so right???

You nailed it, and were it not for 7, 9, and my middle school aged son's homework and tests, I'd be probably done with another ms and have nailed Nano.

Which in honesty, ain't gonna happen this year, but I'll get close. My best guess-timate is I'll be 6k short of goal.

Thanks for the verbal a$$ kicking. I needed it.

Love this blog~

Debra McKellan said...

teehee 1, 7, 10, 17. Now I'm contemplating outlining. Oy.

Jean Oram said...

Okay! Off to write. You've guilted me into doing it RIGHT now. :)

Thanks, Riley.