Writer’s life: the heights and the depths

Let me introduce you to the THE HEIGHTS

An almost literal conversation (well, okay, monologue) I had with (okay, fired at) my husband last night:

“I mean, my book is good, right? Yeah.” {chews gigantic piece of zucchini} “Oh yeah, it’s so good. It’s got it all. Seriously, think about it. Like the part where she realizes her vanity deceived her–I love that. Don’t you love that? And then there’s, like, science. Races. Chases. Sequins. Gambling. Really rich people. Super high stakes. Evening gowns. Betrayal and secrets and capers. I mean, like, capers?” {pauses to chew sweet potato fry dunked in ketchup} “Everyone loves capers. They’re just so fun. My book is super fun, I mean, like, I wrote a super fun book.” {sip of wine; thoughtful expression} “I just wonder, like, what do you even wear on the red carpet? Do you just go to Macy’s and buy a dress?”

{mind races ahead of ‘conversation’: do you do your own make-up? Hair? Do you hire someone to do it for you? How much does this cost, and how do you find the right person, especially if you’re flying in from out of town? Does your publisher pay for any of this–or the producers maybe? Are you paying your own way there, I mean, that doesn’t seem fair? Or maybe it’s tax deductible, but does it matter, because you’re probably making millions? And if you wear something from Macy’s, will people think that you’re a total cheapo?}

And then there are THE DEPTHS

An almost literal* conversation (okay, monologue) I had with my husband the other week, and the other night . . . and the other one too.

*some artistic liberties were taken, none of which exaggerate or inflate IN ANY WAY the sentiment at hand. The drama is real, people.

Self: “It’s like, I don’t feel motivated at all. I’m trying to write this stupid fantasy book and I don’t even know how to write fantasy. How the heck do you even write politics? I don’t even know! I don’t know how to do intrigue! It’s like, there’s all these motivations, everyone wants different things, I don’t even know what they’re supposed to want . . . it gets so . . . confusing.” {casts self on bed in despair} “Honestly babes, I don’t know if I’ll ever write a book again. I don’t think I have it in me.” {looks at ceiling and emits mournful sigh} “Like, this is the end. I’ll never feel inspired again. I can’t even work out what my heroine is feeling. It’s, like, so confusing. I mean, what do you even feel when you kill your own brother-in-law and leave him for the wolves to eat and then disguise yourself as a boy in a traveling caravan?” {flops arms upwards in gesture of complete resignation before this insurmountable challenge} “I mean, I don’t even know who she is, now that I think about it.” {sits up in bed} “OH MY GOSH. I don’t know who my heroine is! I never did! No wonder I can’t write this stupid book! I’ll never be a real writer!” {expression of horror due to profound and disturbing revelation washes over face} “Baby, I think I actually have no imagination!”

Husband: “Um, you’ll write again.”

Self: {plummets into depths of pillow} “I think I need to go to sleep now.”

Husband: “Hey, wanna do something fun?”

Self: {grunts} {by grunt, husband is meant to interpret: “Fun is dead. My book is dead. Life is dead.”}

8 thoughts on “Writer’s life: the heights and the depths

  1. Eve Zurakowski

    Oh…. I miss you Jenna. Let’s chat about the all kind of depths!!!! And I want to read your book!👀

      1. Eve Zurakowski

        I am not sure… but I want to see your new place!:) make Chicago a national park then Ryan will take us there!😜 His goal is taking us to one national park every year!:)

  2. Erica Huffman

    Hahahahahaha!!!!! I love you spankypants.
    Let’s get together so your biggest fan can encourage you!!!!!

  3. Rowenna

    Jenna, we need to hang out more often and commiserate. Today was “I love writing! Writing is better than chocolate, than wine, than sweet life itself! Oh beautiful singing words, conveying not mere plot but blissful heights and wretched woes of human experience!” Yesterday was: “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Glarfarblepffffffth.”

    1. Jenna Post author

      I agree! So glad you had an amazing writing day. They’re so incredible, aren’t they? Those days make the whole thing worth it.

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