Drunk Texting My Novel: When ‘Baby I Miss You Please Come Back What Went Wrong Between Us We Used to Have So Much Fun Together and BTW Are You Horny Tonight?’ is a Summary of Your Entire Revision Process.

southparkYou are living the dream. People like your novel-in-progress. Some even love it. You certainly love it, and know deep down that it will always love you back. There’s just one problem:

Trusted Reader (who also happens to be a gatekeeper to publishing): “There’s something about this novel that I find kind of unsatisfying.”

You take it well.

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Who are they trying to kid? Your novel is PERFECT. You have peeled back the skin of existence and loosed its inner light upon the human soul.

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But you don’t want to be ungracious. Nor do you want to remain an unpublished author forever. Whether you like it or not, it’s time to go back to your sublime and untouchable masterpiece and tear it to bits.

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This is only your 12th full-scale revision in the past three years. You and your novel have a solid, mature relationship that accepts change. This should be a cakewalk.

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You decide to completely disassemble the delicate structure you spent the past decade building up block by block, and do something totally radical.

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Your novel is having none of it.

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Something has gone out of the relationship. You start seeing other novels, casually, of course. Maybe some genre fiction will scratch the itch.

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Your novel, on the other hand, seems to enjoy being single. Footloose. Authorless. Just to spite you.

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You can hack this not seeing each other thing. 80% of the revision process takes place off the page, anyway, doesn’t it?

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Maybe reading a novel you deeply admire will get things back on track.

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You could try just *not* being a writer for a little while…

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But you miss it. You miss it intensely. You can’t stop thinking about your novel. Every brilliant thing you experience serves as a reminder of your genius idea that you’ve allowed to slip away.

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You lay awake at night replaying in your head soundbites from that Terry Gross interview you imagined you would do someday, after your novel takes the world by storm and you are regarded as the intellectual heiress of Faulkner, Woolf, AND Joyce…

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Meanwhile, your novel just wants to party. After all, it’s got a story to tell, dammit, in case you have forgotten. You used to know that, didn’t you, back when this whole writing a book thing was about telling a goddamn story.

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But what about my slow, sensual undressing of the human condition as told through stream-of-consciousness–

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Repeat after me: STORIES ARE FUN.

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STORIES ARE WHY WE READ.

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ALL WRITERS NEED STORIES…

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So go and fulfill your friggin’ purpose as a writer, and take your long-suffering novel out for an awesome night of hot, sweaty, transcendent STORYTELLING.

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Otherwise, you’re just doing this:

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(Some GIFs bear repeating.)

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