KR BlogBlog

Literary Nightmares

Dropbox limit has been reached

Laptop battery dies

Internet goes down

House somehow already clean so nothing to distract from writing

People who ask how’s the novel coming along

People who ask “Have I read anything you wrote?” when they find out you’re a writer

People who say, “Oh, I have a book inside me” when they find out you’re a writer

People who offer to split the money 50-50 if they come up with the idea and you write the book

Submitting something without realizing you left Track Changes on

Receiving a cold form rejection from the journal that last sent a personal and encouraging rejection

Coffee shortage

Wine shortage

Cat shortage

Any pants that aren’t yoga pants

Library doesn’t have the book you want

Library is closed

Library is haunted

Being 500th person on hold for the library book you really want to read and yet are unwilling to just buy

The price of hardcover books

Running into owner of favorite independent bookstore while carrying a shopping bag from Books-a-Million

Writing in public, where anyone can see your pained facial expressions as you come to terms with your shitty draft

Shitty drafts

Shitty completed manuscript

Angering the barista by nursing a single cup of tea for eight hours as you write

Trying to locate someone in the café with a kind face so you can ask them to watch your laptop while you run to the bathroom

A stranger reading what you’re writing over your shoulder

All AWP hotels sold out; have to stay ten miles away in a crappy Airbnb

Getting lost in the AWP bookfair

Having panic attack in the AWP bookfair

Working a booth at the AWP bookfair

Being in the AWP bookfair in any capacity for longer than 20-minute stretches

Going to a panel at AWP only to find the author you most wanted to hear canceled last minute but you’re already there and feel bad about leaving and then the panel is terrible

Every Q&A session after every reading ever

A stranger asking for a referral to your agent

Accidentally sending that whiny, anxiety-ridden email to your agent instead of your writing friends

Unable to convincingly lie when asked, “Have you read [important book/classic piece of literature you should have read years ago/acquaintance’s book]”?

Saying something clueless in an author interview

Too obviously trying to sound clever in an interview

Platforms—building them, having them, talking about them as if they are a tangible thing


Building your brand 


The cover art for your forthcoming book makes you weep, and not in the good way

Publisher changes your novel’s title to something that “pops”

A novel way too similar to yours debuts on the bestseller list

Asking for blurbs

Asking for blurbs and no one says yes

Asking for blurbs and the author says yes and now you have to actually turn over your book to this brilliant person

Receive a publishing offer but no advance

Tiny advance

Huge advance, but then the book doesn’t come close to selling out and career is ruined

Bad reviews

No reviews

Good reviews on Goodreads, but they’re all transparently from your family

Family assumes your novel is autobiographical

Being destined to become a midlist author

Realizing the midlist doesn’t really exist anymore so the options are either massive overnight success superstar or nothing

Agent leaves industry

Editor leaves industry

Your publisher consolidates/closes/vanishes and your book is canceled/orphaned/erased

Sea levels rise earlier than predicted, covering New York in water just before your book launches

Take a comma out during revision, then put it back in, then take it out again. Repeat into infinity.