How to spin a silk cocoon around pupating words.


For a long time now I’ve been telling people around me how much I hate writing. How I’d rather do anything else, and that the only good feeling I get from writing is when I’m done with a project.

I’ve said it so many times that I have ended up believing it. Until I figured, since I don’t actually give a shit about what I’m writing any more, who cares if I just churn out some commercial crap. Let’s have hawt guys and girls who can. . .I dunno, do kung fu or something. Let’s have everything spelled out, linear, let’s not play with language or write anything that doesn’t conform to the moral majority. It’s not like I care any more.

So I set to work on that book. And dear god it was like peeling off the skin on my fingers with a potato-peeler and then salting the raw flesh.

So, like, not all that much fun.

I hated every second of it, but I carried on grimly, because I’d convinced myself that this would be the only way I ever sell another book. And occasionally, I wrote pieces I liked. And those little pieces made me happy. Happy enough to continue peeling my fingers.

Then I figured, fuck this shit. I’m not going to sell another book. I’m not going to do this stupid crap any more. So I bought a sewing machine. And I stopped working on that fucking book. And I’m much happier. I went back to play with/revise the book no-one wants. And it made me happy. And now I’m playing with/revising the other book no-one wants, and that’s making me happy too.

Dunno what that says about me other than selling my book was a fluke, and I should stop worrying about publishing and just do my thing that makes me happy.

And, yanno, learn to sew.

So. . .yeah. That was a fun post.

(And yes, I do know the unwritten rule of publishing – especially if you write YA – is be fucking Miss Mary Sunshine ALL THE TIME or no-one will ever want to work with you but as you can see, I don’t feel particularly inclined to give a shit any more.)


(Also, yes, I’ve been in a very black place for the last year or so. I’ve lost all faith in my work, and in myself as a writer. I should shut up and suck it up, I know. But today’s different. Today I’m not sad because I suck. Today I’m sad because I let the world convince me I suck.

Hence this post.)

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6 Replies to “How to spin a silk cocoon around pupating words.”

  1. You are one of the finest writers I’ve had the chance to read–ever. Don’t listen to the world. Not everyone will get what you do because it is different, and that’s okay, because the rest of us love your work for it. Write what you love and what you want to read, and while you may not find a home for all of it, at least you’ll enjoy what you’re doing. And for the stories you do find a home for, there are a lot of us who will love to read them.

  2. the world can suck it. honestly, if people like reading straight forward, cliche, absolute drivel novels, then they are idiots. They are idiots for not knowing what a good story is when it smacks them in the face.

    I’m not going to say write what makes you happy, don’t let the world convince you that you suck, because you already know this. but I will leave you with this quote:

    “A fluke is one of the most common fish in the sea, so if you go fishing for a fluke, chances are you just might catch one.” (Kevin, The Office.)

    Take that as you will.


    1. Thanks, darling. *takes all the hugs and curls up with them* I imagine internet hugs are fluffy and kitten-shaped, but bigger, so you can drape them around you.

  3. I hate that there’s pressure to be Miss Mary Sunshine, and I hate that the world manages to convince non-sucky people that they suck. Hoping things look brighter to you soon….

    1. I wonder if the Miss Mary Sunshine thing isn’t just a product of the vast majority of the YA writing community being female? There’s always an underlying social pressure on women to be nice and happy all the time because the moment you slip in any way, you get labelled an emotional bitch. Or…I could be wrong.

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