The ugly truth about trying to write a book

It’s been a long journey, let me start by saying that. It’s also still very much in the journey phase as I STILL haven’t finished this so-called book yet. Mainly on account of the fact that I’ve rewritten it precisely one million and fifty-five times. Damn you perfectionism.


My general feelings about writing a book are ones of immense detestation and frustration. It’s hard. Flipping hard.

It’s hard to motivate yourself.

It’s hard to find the time to actually sit down and write amongst living everyday life, running errands and talking to other humans.

It’s hard to care on the days when your writing feels stagnant and dull because your mind is full of other, I dunno, real things. Fiction has to take a back seat sometimes.

It’s hard to see the point of it all. Because let’s face it, getting published is virtually impossible. So am I really going to all this effort for a rather large word document to just live it’s life stuck on my external hard drive?

It’s hard to focus on the actual process of tap-tap-tapping away on your laptop rather than day dreaming about being done and putting your silly ambition to bed.

It’s hard to stay inspired.

It’s hard to feel like you’re actually any good.

It’s hard to build and maintain a plot and the momentum of it all.

It’s hard to make speech and characters reactions realistic and plausible.

It’s hard to make it all interesting and witty, literary and worth a read.

It’s hard to stop thinking about what people might think.

It’s hard to keep answering questions about this seemingly endless, deadend endeavour.

I’ve spent a lot of money on coffee during this lengthy process of writing. Possibly more than I’ve spent on my new Macbook Air, so you know, I’m talking a whole heap of coffee beans over the last few years.

I’ve written approximately 87,000 words of absolute tripe, trying desperately to sound original and witty but on reflection sounding like a cliched try hard. And don’t even get me started on first and third person narrative, it took me about 5 months to settle on which one I preferred and even then I’ve yoyo-ed between them multiple times and I’m still none the wiser.

Some days there is just too much to write. So much so that I forget to come up for air, nodding my head and punching the air and shouting ‘yes, yes, yes!’ as I frantically type, words falling out of me because finally I think I’ve got it, I’ve found my voice, my flow. Only to then read over it the next day, my initial smile dissolving into tears and desk thumps as my Wednesday self acknowledges just how delusional my Tuesday self really was.

Other days, my mind is empty and all I can think about is the prospect of dinner and the dire state of my savings account. And getting even one tiny sentene out of my brain is literally as fruitless as getting blood out of a stone.

It’s exhausting.

I set myself deadlines, only to fail to meet them. I mean I’m in Starbucks this minute, to write some book stuff and yet here I am procrastinating, blogging away about how awful writing a book really is.

It’s not glamorous or fun, or even remotely exciting. It’s just me and my laptop and a ton of words and ideas that I cannot quite seem to tame.

Does anyone else feel my book-writing-pain?





One thought on “The ugly truth about trying to write a book

  1. But one day, you’ll get to the end – or at least an end where all that’s left to do is some minor editing – and the relief you’ll feel! A really good feeling, getting to that point. Worth all the pain that comes before. Similar, I would imagine, to crossing the finish-line of a marathon. Not having run one, I wouldn’t know for sure, but I expect it’s similar…

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