When people inquire about your profession and you say you’re “working on a novel,” there’s a reason they roll their eyes. Most of the time “working on a novel” really means cleaning the apartment, checking Facebook, baking cookies, and, of course talking–and tweeting–about writing a novel.
Now, there’s a literary compendium of all this writing-about-writing and procrastination. In the book Working on My Novel, artist Cory Arcangel has collected 127 tweets featuring would-be novelists who swear that they are buckling down and banging out pages. The tweets were first assembled in a Twitter feed, and an actual small volume is due out July 31.
There’s plenty of wishful thinking (about the ability of red wine and margaritas to fuel a strong work ethic) desperate assurances (“For those wondering, I am still working on my novel. I put in 7 hours today and am planning a full day tomorrow”) and just plain funny moments (“Still working on my novel’s climax, a battle sequence. Tricky to get the pacing right…).
It all sounds a bit sad, but anyone who has actually completed a novel knows that the process actually includes all of this stuff–from procrastination, to self-doubt, to intense focus. And, obviously, wine and margaritas.