3 In Writing

10 thoughts writers have while writing proposals

I’ve spent the last two weeks writing my proposal document. When I say I’ve spent two weeks it’s more accurate to say I’ve worked on it for about five hours at night time, under great duress, over the course of a fortnight.

I hate writing about my books. I’m weirdly private about them. If someone asks me what I write about, I go bright red and run away.

I have an inherent fear  that people close to me will think my writing is crap. I don’t mean my blog; much of this is brain-farted onto the page. Largely, it’s impersonally personal or written quickly. In the last three years, I’ve worked on two books–one’s taken the bulk of those three years, and the other is in early draft mode and was written in January.

They’re good, I think, but my opinion changes on every read through.

the creative process funny

The creative process, by me.

Seriously, this is how drafting goes for me. I’ll often read my drafts on my Kindle app on my phone on the train and I’ll often come away thinking it’s pretty decent–especially if there is distance between reads. But then like a week later I’ll entirely change my mind.

Creation is a funny thing. Someone on TV once described writing like stripping naked in public and running around in circles.

That simile is legit.

So, anyway, the aforementioned three-years-in-progress-novel is essentially done. I didn’t know what the story I wanted to tell was when I first started writing it, which is part of the reason it’s taken so long.

But whatever: it’s mostly finished now and with my agent for (hopefully) final edits, which means it’ll be going out on submission soon. Being on submission is super boring. Mostly your life carries on exactly as normal while you hope some editor somewhere in America reads and likes it enough to pay cash monies to put it into the world.

A veritable book baby.

Part of that process is writing a marketing document/proposal where you lay out the synopsis, your bio, the market for your book, and how you’d help to promote it. All pretty tame stuff, but when you’re someone who effing HATES talking about their book, it gets tough.

So instead of finishing my proposal, I’ve pulled together 10 thoughts most writers will have while they write theirs. On y va!


10 thoughts writers have while writing their proposal

1. Do I have to?

Why can’t I just pay someone some chocolate and, like, €50 to do it for me? *Types ‘book proposals’ into Fiverr*

2. No but really, do I have to?

3. Can I copy and paste my other one?

4. I need a new author/professional pic

Like Amy Poehler, with a captain hat or some shit. Seriously, I’ve been using the same photo for about two and a half years now, but I took it with proper lighting in a studio so I’m not changing it anytime soon.


6. What do you mean ‘who is my market’?

Everyone. Everyone ever.

7. Does tweeting count as promotion?

8. Yes, but am I *really* going to do readings and events?


9. Can I go to cons?

All of the cons. BEA, I’m coming for you.

(Be my bae, BEA?)


Creativity is hard. Ain’t that the truth? That’s rhetorical. The answer is ‘yes’, it’s so damn hard. But hey, if I didn’t write books how else would I figure the world out? Maybe this proposal will land on a publisher’s desk somewhere and they’ll decide I’m worth listening to.

Which’d be pretty cool, like.

Follow me on Twitter for more whining. It’ll be fun.

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  • Reply
    Beth Aman
    August 21, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Yes. Yes to all. I, too, hate talking about my books. How on earth am I supposed to sum up an 80,000-word story into a few sentences? Arg.

    • Reply
      September 12, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      Word. Like, it is never ever gonna sound good unless it’s super high concept!

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