Writers are a weird bunch.
For me, and I’m guessing that I’m not alone here, writing is addictive. The more you do, the more the urge to write builds, exactly like heroin. If I can’t chip a little here and there, I’ll start withdrawals, the shakes and hearing voices.
Unlike heroin, there is no chemical antagonist for treatment. The only way to push through writing withdrawal is more writing. It is a sick and twisted disease. We require the love and support of other writers and readers to get us on the path of recovery.
Writers are fragile creatures who like to act all tough and resilient when they are high on words. Deep down, every writer itches for that next score, that new bestselling storyline. The ultimate rush…
I propose a 12-Step group for recovering writers, based on the successful Alcoholics Anonymous program, with a few minor adaptations for our particular drug of choice.
The Writer’s Anonymous 12 Steps
1. We admit that we are powerless over our manuscript and that the story has become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that an Editor could restore us to sanity.
3. Make a decision to turn over our manuscript to the Editor, based upon assurances that this is the best thing they’ll ever read.
4. Make a deep and dark list of self loathing weaknesses in our writing. The Editor will find it anyway, so might as well fess up.
5. Admitted to our Editor, and readers that we shouldn’t be writing anything more complicated than fortune cookie inserts.
6. We are entirely ready to have the Editor burn the manuscript at sunset.
7. Humbly ask the Editor to allow me to revise and resubmit.
8. Make a list of all the Publishers and Agents who rejected the manuscript and vow never to submit a manuscript to them again – ever.
9. Make amends to those who read the early versions of your book, with gifts of chocolate and caffeine.
10. Continue to take a personal inventory of your manuscript and admit how crappy it really is.
11. Sought through prayer, mediation and bribery, a multi-book contract with the one of the Big 5.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these Steps, we carry this message to all writers, and practice these principles in our daily affairs.
Can I get an Amen?
I need to go find a W.A. meeting…