“Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean it isn’t true,” or so the saying goes. As an editor, writing coach and paranoid scribe myself, I can wholeheartedly attest to the fact that writers are more prone to paranoia than plumbers, architects and zookeepers. It’s part of the biz. Below are the Top 5 Inner Monologues most frequently found inside the spinning and suffering brain of the average writer.
- HE DIDN’T GET BACK TO ME BECAUSE HE HATES MY WRITING
Every time a writer presses “Send” and submits a piece of her work to an agent, an editor, a friend, an enemy—whomever, this thought immediately crosses her mind. What she forgets is that everyone is multitasking 25 hours a day and no one reads any more. Don’t worry about being hated, writer friend of mine – worry about being ignored or even worse – SKIMMED!
- SHE THINKS THAT CHARACTER IN MY STORY IS BASED ON HER – AND WILL HATE ME THE REST OF MY LIFE FOR IT
Characters are created from imagination and from the people we know, just like the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz. But every writer is so sure that his close peeps will recognize themselves in his prose that he avoids that person’s phone calls and emails out of fear that that person hates him. See #1. You’ll be lucky if your pal in question even reads your work!
- NO ONE WILL BUY THE BOOK I’VE YET TO FINISH
Before a writer even gets a hundred pages completed she is already convinced of the terrible fate that will befall the book she has such high expectations for.
- EVERYONE IS THINKING ABOUT WHAT A LOSER I AM FOR WORKING ON MY SCRIPT FOR SO MANY YEARS
We writers are a lot like junior high school kids. We are sure that every thought every person around us is having is about us. We can’t imagine that people might actually have their own lives and spend their time thinking and worrying about them…even more than they think about us and what screw-ups we are.
- MY DENTIST (BEST FRIEND, ACCOUNTANT, HAIRDRESSER, CONCUBINE…) STOLE MY IDEA FOR A GREAT BOOK!
Does this story sound familiar? You go out for lunch with your Aunt Louise’s second cousin and she offhandedly mentions a book she’s always wanted to write about ___ (You fill in the blank: A) her unhappy childhood B) Her love of green beans C) Her belief in life on Mars D) A cheating politician.) You immediately see how all along, for years, she has plotted to beat you to the bestseller list!
Have I missed anything?