The Six Stages of Being a Failed Novelist During a Pandemic
August 2019, Stage 1: Hope You’ve done it. After a lifetime of trying, of having your friends roll their eyes behind your back when you call yourself an author, you’ve done it: some sucker agreed to publish your book. “Kiss my published ass,” you want to taunt your friends, but you don’t, because you’re relying […] The post The Six Stages of Being a Failed Novelist During a Pandemic appeared first on Robot Butt.
August 2019, Stage 1: Hope
You’ve done it. After a lifetime of trying, of having your friends roll their eyes behind your back when you call yourself an author, you’ve done it: some sucker agreed to publish your book. “Kiss my published ass,” you want to taunt your friends, but you don’t, because you’re relying on them to buy copies, read it, and leave glowing reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. The taunts will have to come later.
February 2020, Stage 2: Acceptance
It’s still happening. You can’t believe it, but your publisher never came to his senses, so your book is going ahead! It’s been edited, proofed, designed, and over a hundred – that’s right, motherfucker, over one hundred – of your Facebook friends commented and liked your post about it. They’ll spread the word, buy copies, and you’re going to be a literary star. It’s happening!
March 2020, Stage 3: Denial
This is just a phase. Sure, the official book launch has been cancelled, the few journalists that still have jobs are covering COVID rather than your book, and no one has bought a book even though it’s now for sale – as you have repeatedly reminded all your friends, Facebook and otherwise. But it’s early days. The pandemic will pass, your book will sell, people will recognize your brilliance. People other than your parents.
April 2020, Stage 4: Acknowledgement Mixed with
Ok, maybe this isn’t a phase – and maybe, considering there is a pandemic, your friends are justified in not immediately buying, reading and reviewing your book. After all, they have toilet paper to buy. But they’ll get around to it… right? Of course, especially after you pleaded, telling them how much this means to you. If only out of guilt, they will come through – and if not, the glowing reviews from critics will no doubt tempt them.
June 2020, Stage 5: Confusion and Horror
You don’t know what’s weirder: people who believe COVID is a conspiracy or that no one has read your book. No one. Not the critics. Not even your musician friend, even though you’ve schlepped to every single snoozer of a show of his over the past decade. Sure, you didn’t expect all your friends to give your masterpiece glowing reviews, but surely at least some could have read it – after all, it’s not like you wrote War and Peace. No, you wrote a short comedy that’s little more than a novella. It takes four hours to read, five tops. You start leaving passive-aggressive text messages to your closest friends to remind them for the fiftieth time that you wrote a book. Okay, there’s nothing passive about those messages.
September 2020, Stage 6: Broiling, Roiling Anger
Five months have gone by. Nothing has changed, except that some stranger who you’ve now dubbed The Nutlicker rated your book two out of five stars on Goodreads. You’ve done the math: your so-called friends only had to spend two minutes a day on your bust of a book and they would have finished it – but no. This is the stage where you delete numbers from your phone, write mental lists about who has disappointed you the most, and write an abusive article badmouthing your now-ex friends in the hope it’ll be published so you can then share it on Facebook as a final “fuck you” before unfriending them with the tarnished but better-than-nothing taunt: kiss my failed but published ass.
The post The Six Stages of Being a Failed Novelist During a Pandemic appeared first on Robot Butt.