on writing

09 Jul

Some of you may remember the thesis that I worked on for the past year. I didn’t chat about it a great deal on Saturday Jane, because trying to tell somebody the plot of the story you’re working on is like sharing your dream journal or elucidating on the precise brands of Friskies your cat will and will not eat. One’s imaginings are often not very well appreciated by others until they reach a sort of final narrative format.

Well, I am slowly, slowly nearing that final narrative format, in the effort of turning my thesis into a comprehensive book.

There are several wonderful things about writing a book, and there are several not-wonderful things about writing a book. The first not-wonderful thing is actually saying ‘i am writing a book’ which is about as pretentious as posting pictures of my collectible crystalline snifters or spending an hour each morning waxing my twirly mustache to perfection. The instant you say out loud that you are ‘writing a book’, you gain about sixty douchewad points, which is equivalent to three levels on the douchewadometer. Either that, or you get laughed off, seeing as how an unfortunate amount of people who claim to be ‘writing a book’ simply have a wonderful, elaborate plot rattling around in their heads but never touch pen to paper.

Here I could get stupidly elitist and talk about how these people are as much writers as I am a sky diver, being that I have thought about sky diving really a great deal, and I have analyzed sky diving technique in my brain to such a degree that if I ever did it, my plunging grace would be a spectacle to behold.

But I’m not going to get stupidly elitist today.

Honestly, though, I can sympathize greatly with these brain-writers, as another distinctly not-wonderful thing about writing a book is having the time, the inclination, and the means to write, all at the same moment. Often one will have the time but would much rather be watching reruns of Kim Possible. Or one will have the inclination and find they have left their goddamn computer in their Corvallis apartment aaaaAUAUAUGH. It is a rare nexus of fate when one has all of the proper ingredients to sit and write, and the giddy feeling it produces is not unlike opening the front door to get the paper and discovering Commander William T. Riker in a hot tub full of Froot Loops and Swiss Chocolate.

All of these unpleasant things about book-writing aside, though, it’s a fairly rewarding experience. When one of your characters takes on a life of its own and stubbornly refuses to adhere to the plot you’ve decided on, you get a little thrill as though your children are growing up. You get a feeling of accomplishment when somebody cries at a passage you’ve written, or when somebody laughs at one of your terrible, terrible puns. It’s like farming, or climbing a mountain, or any one of those analogies that could be described just by saying ‘satisfying’.

I’m writing a book, and it’s satisfying.

Now off to polish my snifters.


Posted by on July 9, 2009 in Life


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11 responses to “on writing

  1. Michael Moore

    July 9, 2009 at 5:28 am

    I too have started writing a book, although you seem to be a lot farther along than I am. I’m in the middle of chapter 2.

    Anyway I look forward to reading it at some point.

    • saturdayjane

      July 9, 2009 at 12:34 pm

      Way to go! 🙂 I know you have done quite a bit of writing in the past. I am not necessarily farther…I am just on ‘a draft’, I guess.

      • Michael Moore

        July 9, 2009 at 8:45 pm

        Well I did write that one book that after I finished writing I read a really good book of similar ilk, and then realized my book was terrible. I should go back and edit it, and make it better, but I lack that motivation.

        Anyway, if you need someone to proof read it let me know.

  2. Sal

    July 9, 2009 at 10:47 am

    I feel the same way. “I am writing a book” somehow sounds like “I am the most important human IN THE WORLD.” Sucky.

    And yet, I am excited that you are writing a book. And, in fact, cannot wait to buy a dozen copies and foist them on my friends.

    • saturdayjane

      July 9, 2009 at 12:36 pm

      Thank you for the excitement! If it ever gets published, you’ll be the first to know!

  3. Brittney

    July 9, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Well, you DO have a very luxurious moustache. ❤ I need to write more, myself. I'm so incredibly proud of you because of your thesis, and can't wait for you to become a famous writer, my dear!

    • saturdayjane

      July 10, 2009 at 10:15 am

      Aww! 🙂

      Hey, funny story, my journal thought you were spam! Possibly you are TOO MUCH a presence on the internet.

      Also, my mustache will never be quite as impressive as YOURS.


  4. Jerry

    July 9, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    There’s really no way around the douchery that comes with saying that phrase. The best I’ve come up with to mitigate that is to pop your collar and say it all ironically-douchetastic-like, but I think that may even come off as *more* pretentious.

    I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t had to deal with this problem until recently, when I’ve been carrying around the longhand notebook I’ve been writing in with me (I blame downtime between classes).

    Aaaanyway, I’m looking forward to when you are finished and published!

    • saturdayjane

      July 10, 2009 at 10:21 am

      Thanks, Jerry!

      Ah, I try not to write in public for that very reason. You are a brave, brave soul.

  5. Vanessa

    July 9, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    When I told my boyfriend’s former roommate that I was an English major (which is less like saying you’re writing a book and more like saying you plan on either a) becoming a full-time hobo or b) marrying rich, while at the same time admitting that your parents are terribly disappointed in you and wonder where they went wrong) he replied the following:

    “Oh, yeah, I’m writing a science-fiction novel. I’m working on getting an agent and everything, but it’s so hard to find the time.”

    I said “oh, cool” and pretty much blew off the conversation from there because I didn’t want to deal with it. You wouldn’t think a kid who spends most of his time sewing cosplay costumes, learning Japanese AND Chinese as part of his self-design major, and aspires to be– NO JOKE– a jazz flutist, an ambassador, a karate master, and the ultimate authority on Tales of Symphonia would be such a douchewad.

    Okay, yes, you would.

    And by the way, I just have to say this: if I hear another goddam prick mention NaNoWriMo, I am going to shove a pen in their eye.

    Buuuuut now that that’s out of my system, OMG AWESOME about your book. I don’t think you’re a douchewad.

    • saturdayjane

      July 10, 2009 at 10:30 am

      Oh, NaNoWriMo. The funniest thing about it is the quality of the writing that comes out of it. I mean, I really endorse people writing, as long as they ACTUALLY WRITE. I think it’s an absolutely wonderful thing to get anyone to put their thoughts on paper, and NaNoWriMo is an effective means of getting people to do that. But the pretention surrounding it isn’t necessary.



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