Everyone Hates Their Job Sometimes…

Here’s the truth. Sometimes I hate writing this fucking book.

I know this isn’t something most of you want to hear. You want to hear that it’s going well. (Which is it.) You also want to hear that I love every moment of writing it. It’s my baby, right? You have to love your baby…

Well, yes. But technically I’ve been working on this trilogy since 1994. The book is more like a teenager in some ways. You love a teenager too, but you can also be angry with a teenager. And sick of its endless shit.

The problem is this. People want to believe that being a published writer is a beautiful, happily-ever-after, candy mountain place where all your dreams come true.

Unfortunately, that’s bullshit.

This is a part of something I’ve come to think of as The Myth of the Author. I’m not going to get into the details right now. That’s a blog for a whole different day. But the gist of my theory is that, in general, people think of writers as a different sort of person. And by extension, writing is a different sort of work. It’s strange and wonderful. It’s a mystic process. It can’t be quantified. It’s not chemistry, it’s alchemy.

While some of that is true, this belief makes it really difficult for me to bitch about my job.

For example, if a doctor wrote a blog saying. “Fuck! sometimes I hate being a doctor…” People would read it and say, “Yeah man. I can see where you’re coming from. Long hours. Tons of responsibility. People expect a lot out of you. That’s a rough gig.”

On the other hand, if I come on here and bitch about my job. People will be disappointed. Irritated even.

Why would people be irritated? For several reasons.

Reason #1: It’s irritating when people complain about having a simple job.

Of course, writing a novel isn’t simple. Anyone that’s ever tried writing one knows this. The problem is, a lot of people haven’t tried. They assume writing is easy because, technically, anyone can do it.

To illustrate my point: Just as I was getting published, I met one of the big, A-list fantasy authors. (Who will remain nameless here.)

He told me the story of the time he’d met a doctor at a party. When the author mentioned that he wrote for a living, the doctor said: “Yeah, I was going to write a novel. But I just don’t seem to have the time.”

The author got a irritated just telling me this story. “When you say something like that,” he said. “It’s like saying being a writer doesn’t take any skill. It’s something anyone can do. But only a very slim percentage of the population can write well enough to make a living at it. It’s like going up to a doctor and saying, ‘yeah. My appendix was inflamed. I was going to take it out myself, but I didn’t really have the time.'”

Newbie writer that I was, I simply enjoyed the story, privately thinking that surely *my* readers would never be so foolish to assume that. And even if they did, I wouldn’t mind that much…

Fast forward to earlier this year, when I got the following e-mail:

Hi Patrick,

I’m a librarian, former teacher. I just read your book, very good. But, boy do you have a problem. Finishing tasks?? Why isn’t your editor doing a better job of guiding you? Here’s my quick recommendation: stop going to conventions. Your first book is a great hit, you don’t need any more marketing there. Sit down and decide where to END the second part. You don’t need to write any more. If book two is anything like book one, it is basically chronological. You’re done with book two!! Stop in a logical place, smooth out the transitions, and begin obsessing about book three. Good luck.

For those of you who have been reading the blog for a while, this is the letter I was thinking about mocking Waaaay back in May.

Re-reading it now, most of my irritation has faded. But my profound sensation of *What the Fuck* is still as strong as ever.

Let’s not even deal with the first half of the letter. Let’s ignore the fact that this woman isn’t a publicist, an editor, or my personal life-coach. Let’s jump straight to how she explains how I should write my book:

Oh. I need to sit down. I see. I need to know where to END it. I hadn’t thought of that.

And chronological order? Brilliant! Up until this point I’d been arranging all the chapters by length.

I mean seriously. You people do know that I have to make the entire book up, right? I’m not just cribbing it out of Kvothe’s biography, right?


And I lack the words to express my stupification at the offhand advice that I should just “smooth out the transitions.”

That’s not true. I do have the words. They go like this: “If this is the sort of advice you used to give your students when you were a teacher, thank you for not being a teacher any more.”

I counted yesterday. Do you know book two has eighteen fucking plotlines? Six entirely distinct settings, each with their own casts of characters? How exactly to I smooth that out? Do you think I just go down to the writing store, buy some fucking transition putty, and slather it on?

Okay. I lied. I guess I’m still irritated.

Truth is, I know that this letter comes from a place of love. This person is genuinely trying to help me. Deep in her heart of hearts, this woman believes she knows how to write a novel. The answers are so obvious. It seems simple to her…

This is why some folks will get irritated if I complain about my job. Because they think writing is simple.

But it isn’t. Nobody’s job is as simple as it looks from the outside.

Reason #2: It’s not cool to complain about your dream job.

I’m well aware of the fact that, I’m living the dream. A lot of people want to be published. They want it so bad they can taste it. They’d give anything…

I know this because that’s how I used to feel.

I’m lucky: I got published. What’s more, I’m one of the few writers that gets to write full time. Even better, I’ve gone international, and people all over the world are waiting for the next book.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t hate my job sometimes.

It doesn’t matter what you do for a living. Ron Jeremy probably calls in sick some days because he just can’t stand the thought of getting another blowjob. I don’t doubt that Mike and Jerry over at Penny Arcade occasionally wake up in the morning and think, “Fuck, I’ve got to play more fucking video games today.”

That’s just the way of the world. Everyone hates their own job sometimes. It’s an inalienable right, like life, liberty, and the pursuit of property.

Reason #3: The Myth of the Author.

People want to believe that the act of creation is a magical thing. When I write, I am like some beardy old-word god, hewing the book from some raw piece of literary firmament. When I write, the muse is like a lithe, naked woman, sitting on my lap with her tongue in my ear.

(This would make a great bookjacket photo.)

And you want to know the truth? Sometimes it’s exactly like that. Sometimes when I write, I’m so full of adrenaline that I could lift up a truck. I can feel my my tripartite soul burning in my chest like molten gold.

But sometimes it sucks. Just like any job. I get bored revising the same chapters over and over. My back hurts from hunching over the keyboard. I am so tired of fucking spellcheck. Do you know how long it takes to run spellcheck on 350,000 words?

I’m tired of trying to juggle everything: the plotlines, the character arcs, the realistic depiction of a fantastic world, the pacing, the word choice, the tension, the tone, the stories-within-stories. Half of it would be easy, but getting everything right at once? It’s like trying to play cat’s cradle in n-dimensional space.

The truth is, sometimes I’m so sick of sitting in front of this computer I could shit bile.

There. That’s all. I’m not quitting. I’m not even taking the night off. I just needed to vent.

Thanks for being here. Remember to tip your waitress. I’ll be here all week.


This entry was posted in BJ Hiorns Art, fanmail, Rage, the man behind the curtain, Things I didn't know about publishingBy Pat286 Responses


  1. Jason
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

    I had an easy job once; it gave me time to write a novel. Except that I keep getting stuck on the first page.

  2. marky
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

    I love it when you rant.

    If it helps, I hate my job too. Mostly, all of the time.

    The Ron Jeremy line was quality. I laughed my hairy arse off.

    Oh, and I’m guessing about six hours to run the spell check.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 12:57 PM | Permalink

    The word verification is douche today. ANYWAY… I know where you’re coming from, as a poet. You wouldnt believe how many really bad peoms have been thrown in my face by people who honestly think they’re good. I always want to scream THERE’S MORE TO IT THEN JUST RHMYMING CAT AND BAT! I DOESNT WORK LIKE THAT!

    hmmm…. Maybe im a little irritated too…. ;)

    luv ya pat, withstand the idiots, they’re the ones who make the world a fun and interesting place to live in.

  4. Chris
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

    Hey, at least when you’re finished we’ll have another book to curl up with, and then we can come on here and sing your praises. Well I won’t sing, that would be a punishment.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

    Yeah, that whole line about do something you love, and you’ll never “work” a day in your life? It’s all a lie, regardless of the line of work. On the other hand, I’m a personal believer that “work” is good for us, that it changes something in us for the better, so that’s still good.

    Not being an author, I can’t empathize, but I do sympathize. I follow several different author blogs, and they all feel the same – that the general population is very much clueless about what it’s like to be an author.

    So, Pat, you’re in good company. (I was about to say you’re normal, but well, I probably wouldn’t like your writing nearly so much if you were normal.) Anyhow, thanks for sticking with it, because you bring the rest of us a whole lotta happiness!

  6. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

    We love ya Pat
    Keep plugging away. If it makes you feel better my job sucks too!

  7. Jay
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    I have a great job too, and i have a hard time describing to people what it is I actually do. Even though it’s mostly fun, and creative, and to quote from “the devil wears Prada” “A Million girl would kill for my job”, and boys too. sort of. but I get so annoyed from it sometimes too, so I feel you.

    Also, the other day I saw someone post something like “Finish your book already dammit” on your facebook. while I sort of agree with the overall sentiment, that was so rude. I wrote you an email like that once, and i’m sorry about that now. go at your own pace. I just reread TNOTW (finished yesterday) so I’m very enthusiastic about the book, but not enough to want you to hate your life to finish it.

    So, in summary: sympathy, impatience, anticipation and support.


  8. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    wow what a horrible woman. why would you write to an author and say that?!
    i know how you feel to a degree, I’m an artist and animator so for some reason that must mean i just love designing people tattoos for free when ever they want, its just drawing, easy right?
    anyway, we the fans love you, thats all that matters :)

  9. Casseopia
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:19 PM | Permalink

    I’m one of the ones who dreams to be published, if I can actually finish the damned book! I’m sure I don’t feel your pain on the same level, but a bit of it I do.

    I wouldn’t have been so nice to the chick’s letter…I can be pretty touchy when it comes to people thinking they know when they don’t (on many subjects, not just writing).
    That and I’m pregnant so I get snippy fast.

    Best of luck with book and Oot. You’re doing great! (as evidence I present the fact that you’re not dangling your kid off a balcony or taking a mall hostage or anything)

  10. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat!

    Don’t worry about it, we all feel that way sometimes, even those of us who are doing our dream job. There is never a dream job with aspects of it that don’t suck ALOT of balls.

    Hopefully after this book is all done and it’s out, and everybody is e-mailing you and writing to you saying “god you kick ass” or something along the lines, all the crap parts of your job will fade in your memory and all you will remember is how great your job truly is…that is until you sit down to get to book 3 :)

    Keep plugging away! Ignore the nay sayers, and just think, a lot of teens grow up to become friends with your parents, hopefully book 2 turns out that way!

  11. Megan
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat,

    You have my utmost sympathy! Know that I can completely see where you’re coming from and you’re totally right, you’re allowed to hate your job sometimes..it’s very difficult! Imagine if every employee in the world had thousands of clients whining at them all the time. We’d all go insane!

    All I can say is, keep doing what you’re doing. Work, Vent, Do something fun, work, vent, fun. Try to enjoy life because it’ll come out in your book. :)

    We all have to remember you’re a person too and when the books ARE done, you’d probably like to have your sanity.

  12. Michael H. Tritter
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    What a long post … you could have been working on Wise Man’s Fear! Back to work, bitch! Okay, so Pat Rothfuss isn’t my bitch … he’s everyone’s bitch! Work! Work! Work!

    Seriously though, I don’t know how you did or how you do it. Of course, there was no pressure, no timetable for the first novel. You are still a young man, Pat … who says you can’t spend 14 years more crafting Wise Man’s Fear into the novel that you want it to be? Oh, you publishers and fans, that’s who…but maybe, just maybe, you know your novel better than they anyhow. All pressure, all deadlines, and all rules are illusions. Instead, be who Oot thinks you are.

  13. drey
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    Ahhh, Pat. That’s why they call it “work”. If it didn’t suck at times, it’d be “play”…

    I’m one of the legions waiting for TWMF. But I want it to be good, so take your time. And rant all you want, it’s a free country. =)

  14. Choatmajesty
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    As marky said i also love it when you rant. I can understand why you would get so pissed about peoples attitude towards writing. I’m still in school and most of the populus has trouble writing short stories, let alone a novel. People don’t understand what it takes to be a good writer. They will complain about other peoples writings, but they have never written more than 3 pages in there life. And even when they did write 3 pages it was just like they threw a bunch of words in a bowl and then dumped it out on paper and called it “good.” and while i am here i might as well say that you are doing a fantastic job and i look forward to your next book.

  15. Charli
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    I started writing my first attempt at a novel about 18 months ago and have barely reached the 30,000 work mark. Its been hard to get that far, and my storyline and backstory pales in significance compared to yours Pat. I can’t begin to imagine how difficult it gets after one book and 350,000 words in!

    At least you know when its finally done there will be a lot of people appreciating your work! Keep up the good work!

  16. Choatmajesty
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:36 PM | Permalink


  17. mybackstage
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

    First, I can’t believe you actually got/read that email.

    Second, I totally feel ya. I’m a new professor — the job I’ve been working at getting for the past oh… I don’t know, 15 years? My friends are still in grad school. To them, I’m living the dream. And, I thought I would be too. Turns out that I not so much like my job. In fact, many days I down right hate it. And the amount of work? Forget about it.

    Try explaining what a professor does to anyone off the street, and hey just don’t get it. I know you’ve taught at college before, so you may know what I’m saying.

    Worse thing is, the dissertation still isn’t done. So I get the same comments. “Just got to put your butt in the seat and write.” Yeah, it’s THAT easy. Just finding the time where my butt = seat for dissertation purposes is impossible.

    I want you to get your book done so I can take a break from my world (and it’s suckitude). But, I understand where you are coming from. And, honestly, I’d feel cheated if you rushed through it and published some crap rather than taking the time and really digging through the world.

    I’ll wait for you to get done. It’s not like there aren’t other books I can read while waiting.

  18. Debra L Martin
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

    Hi Pat,

    I never used to understand how authors felt, that is, until my co-author and I starting writing a SF trilogy. We have finished the first 2 books, but that first one was an absolute bear. We lost count the number of revisions that we did. We haven’t found a publisher yet, but when we do I can imagine that many more revisions will be waiting for us.

    Everyone needs to rant sometimes. Get it out of your system. Your fellow writers understand totally.

  19. Jabbs
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

    aah, I can sympathise if not emphathise (just yet). Maybe you need to do the ‘clamber out the window and scratch on your girlfriends window’ thing?

    Easy for us to say but keep it up, you are an honest inspiration to the rest of us :-)

  20. Michael Cummings
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    Granted, I first read “transition putty” as “transition jelly,” which already explains why I can’t find that crap near the KY or the strawberry jellies. And my novel could really use some of it, too, along with plot thickener and condoms.

  21. A. Grey
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

    I think I’m in love with you, just a little bit….

    I work on an estate where I take care of thirty-odd horses. I also write and some day I’ll be published, and god only knows how I’ll transition into writing more to deadlines and such, and doing horse things less.

    The point is, I’m 28 years old. I’ve been into horses for twenty years. I’ve been writing seriously for fifteen. I’ve had this job for ten years. And people still ask me when I’m going to ‘get a real job’. Are you fucking serious? I’ve had the same job for TEN YEARS and somehow it doesn’t qualify as ‘real’?

    I won’t even go into the fact that MY job requires tossing around hundreds of pounds in feed, hay, shit, and anything else that needs to be moved EVERY DAY. Horses don’t have holidays, they don’t take vacation. They’re like children in many ways. Once you have one in your care your life changes AROUND them, not the other way around. And when they get sick, they tend to thrash and get grumpy, and they weigh thousands of pounds. Oh and by the way, trying to get published is HARD.

    Going home every night, then taking care of my own animals, and then sitting down to try and create something that’s going to stick out successfully amid THOUSANDS of other people’s works, well, that’s daunting enough. And then YOU want to know when I’m going to get a REAL JOB??? Oh, and I wish people would stop telling me that ‘someday, you’ll get published and you can quit the horses and just write forever.’ I might write fantasy, but I exist in the REAL WORLD…

  22. Wolf
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    Wow, that letter is quite a gem. I am not an author, because I cant do what you do. I just lack the ability. Huge respect for being able to do it! And, of course, for spellchecking 320k words…

  23. Nanashi
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    Well, I hesitate to call myself an author, as I’ve not really finished writing all that much, but I really can sympathise.
    One week, I can do nothing but think of engaging plot lines, witty things for my characters to say and that perfect discription of a scene exactly how it looks in my head. Then the next week, I can’t think of anything beyond:
    “Oh hello,” she said.
    “Hello,” he said.
    “How are you?”
    “Okay, thanks. You?”

    I think it’s the fact that you know you can produce brilliance that annoys the most when you find yourself stuck.
    Sitting in front of a screen staring at a bunch of letters that used to make sense is not fun.
    Oh and then someone else proof-reads it, and the whole can of “That-doesn’t-quite-sound-right-” is opened and you want to hit something.

    Maybe one day I’ll get published, then we can be author buddies… Or maybe not. >.>
    *turns stalker mode off*

    Keep going, we’re all confident you can finish book 2, and that you’ll make it excellent.

  24. bryan.bischof
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    *Obligatory post to point out your math mistake*

    Cat’s Cradle wouldn’t really work in n-dimensional space(assuming n>3, otherwise your metaphor is pretty trite). I hope you won’t take offense to me pointing this out, but math is my dream job so I’m sure you understand my necessity for posting this.

    Cat’s Cradle is played with an ordinary piece of string and the basic idea of Cat’s Cradle is to form interesting knots with that string using strange manipulations of your fingers and hands. So in essence, we can think about the following question;
    “Can you make a knot in 4-dimensions using an ordinary piece of string?”

    The answer is no, and I will tell you why(of course). Imagine for a moment, two little segments of your ordinary string, not connected to anything. I am sure that you would agree with me that you can move them around one another without worry of entanglement. Well, in 4-dimensions, we have the freedom of movement to always make the strings act like these segments.

    Take a piece of paper, and draw two circles with the same center-point(different size circles). Now, assuming the circles must stay on that page, you cannot move the interior circle outside the exterior circle. This is because we have constrained the directions in which they can move. If instead, you cut those two circles out, you would be able to move the interior circle down and out of the exterior circle. This is the same idea with a knot in 4-dimensions.

    If a knot doesn’t work in 4, it definitely doesn’t work in more than 4. An entertaining book that talks about things such as this is E.A. Abbott’s “Flatland”.

    P.S. Loved NOTW, good luck on the other two!

  25. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

    “Arbeit macht frei”

    Fuck all that shit. If you need a break Mr Rothfuss, you take a break. Writing a novel is important an CAN NOT be rushed.

    If it takes you another year to finish book two, so be it. We will wait. If it takes another 10 years to finish book two, so be it. We will wait.

    If you rush to make people happy and write a bad book to follow up an instant classic that will no doubt have my children and their children after sitting up at night turning page after page to find out what happens next… well…

    You wouldn’t be able to live with yourself, but I don’t need to tell you that.

    From what I gather of you from your blogs, you will do the right thing and finish the book the way its suppose to be finished and not bow to blow hard “fans” and deadlines.

    You will give us another timeless classic, and we know it. And we love you for it. And we will wait for it untill YOU are ready to present it to us in all its glory.

    And we will wait as long as you need us to, because you are in controle of that reality, so we will wait for you to finish it your way.

  26. logankstewart
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    Press on, friend. Most of your fans are supportive anyway, and the ones that aren’t are probably complaining about GRRM, too. As far as I’m concerned, the wait for the next book just builds anticipation, which will make the book even greater. Plus, it gives me time to work down my TBR pile a wee bit.

    Best of luck, Pat.

  27. MAS
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:02 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat, if it makes you feel any better, it’s not just writers that people don’t get. After 4 years of undergraduate work, 2 more for the M.A., and another 7 for the Ph.D., I am finally a professional historian teaching at a small state school, researching, writing, and publishing. It took a long bloody time to get there. But still, I go to a party, tell people what I do, and they say, “yeah, I thought about writing history when I retire.” Apparently, my long involved education was utterly useless. All I needed to do was have some other career, then retire, and I’d be a qualified historian.

    Hmmmm, now I’m ranting! Anyway, you’re not alone. We know the book’s coming; we know it’s gonna be great. And we feel for ya, man.

    MAS (Ph.D.)

  28. funny
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

    great rant! i loved to read it from work :)

  29. Courtney Milan
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    Dude, I am nearing the end of one year working on this book (and God willing my editor will get it this weekend), and I thought I was sick of it. I can’t imagine 15 years.

    My explanation of why I write, despite the fact that writing is not kittens and blue horseshoes all the time is here.

    Good luck on that.

  30. gg
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    suck it up, that’s the price of success. its alright to rant, you gotta let that steam out somewhere right, if not you will just implode. but bottom line, you still gotta finish that book.

    alot of pple are depending on you! =)

  31. Taur' Ohtar Sereg Wethrin
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

    Huhhh…Well, I’m still washing dishes for a living, schoolig full time, and trying to write in between as much as I can without completely neglecting my familly. Kind of like what you did for years, I suppose.
    Best luck!

  32. Jason
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    Dead on as usual, Pat. It doesn’t matter what your job is – once it becomes your job, by definition, it ceases to be something you do when you feel the desire/need, and becomes something you have to do.

    The problem is that there are many, many people out there ignorant of the discipline required of professionals. They think that they can churn out a novel or a story in stolen moments, therefore your “job” must only take those same few moments – certainly it couldn’t be something that requires your attention full time! Surely you just throw words on a paper, as they do, but whatever magic you have just makes your product better. You can’t possibly have higher standards, can’t possibly require more of yourself and your work, can’t possibly agonize over your work in a way they never have. The idea that maybe that’s the difference between writing some little stories in your downtime and being a professional writer – this probably never occurs to them.

    Let’s face it – an ever-increasing number of adults have no idea how much work it actually is to be a teacher – a person in a career with which we have all had some interaction. How much can we expect them to grasp artistic careers with which they have no connection at all, in which you can’t even point to a pile of exams/labs/assignments and say “when do you think these were graded?” – where all you can point to is a draft and a draft and say “Where do you think those 500 words went? Where do you think those 500 words came from?”

  33. jcp
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    “…in general, people think of writers as a different sort of person. And by extension, writing is a different sort of work. It’s strange and wonderful. It’s a mystic process. It can’t be quantified. It’s not chemistry, it’s alchemy.”

    I understand the point you’re trying to make, but there are people who think chemistry is “strange and wonderful” and “a mystic process”.

    We’re called chemists. :)

  34. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    Bravo! That was a spectacular rant. I hope it was as cathartic for you to write as it was enjoyable for me to read. BTW – do you draw your comics as well?

  35. Ryan
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:27 PM | Permalink

    Pat, you are an exceptionally skilled author, and 99.99% of the population has no idea what it takes to do what you can do. I couldn’t imagine what it takes to develope a story and world with so many detailes and feelings all to its own.

    I can at least empathize of the hordes thinking you having it made and wanting to jump in and be what you are. I do mechanical special effects and pyrotechnics in the film industry, and pretty much every warm blooded male I meet has to respond with, “That’s cool, I’ve always wanted to do that, do you think you could get me in?”

    I can’t blame them for wanting to get into it, it was my dreamjob too once, and some I actually do help, but usually I answer there question with a checklist of questions. “Sure, I can get you in, if you have the right skills. Can you weld? Are you a good mechanic? Are you a good machinist / fabricator? Are you a good carpinter? Do you have any electrical, plumbing, or engineering skills? Can you pick up at a moments notice to go live on location for six plus months at any given time?”

    I usually get all “no’s” to this line of questioning followed by, “What does that have to do with blowing things up?”

    “Everything.” I reply followed by, “call me back when your are good at five of those skills, can work 80 hours a week, and have no problem with constantly being relocated and I’ll hire you.”

    People have no idea what it takes, they just see something cool and think they can do better. Amazingly, I’ve been doing this since 1994, and in all that time, only one kid has ever actually called me back, having gone to a vocational college and taken welding, machine tooling, auto body and auto mechanics. I was pretty surprised when he called me up a few years later, but I did hire him, and he is now in the business.

    Sorry I am now ranting myself. My point is people see something cool, and they instantly think, “I can do that,” or “I can do better.”

    Well Pat, I could never do what you do, and I realize that you have sacrificed a good part of your life to give the world the wonderful gift of your first book. You are doing so now to give the gift of your second book.

    I say do it all in your own time. Don’t loose sleep, sanity, or precious time with your family just because people demand to be entertained now instead of later.
    Don’t risk your happiness or sanity for the sake of demanding fans. When “The Wise Man’s Fear,” which my brother Dustin and I still say is of clowns, does come out, we will read it and be happy to do so, and no one will care how long it took to create yet another masterpiece.

  36. Cecrow
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    Actually I do sympathize with you, completely. In 1998 I started writing a novel myself. Wrote and wrote and wrote, and thought I’d never be finished. Twelve years later, finally, done! Then I started revising. Revising and revising and revising. Nine years later, finally, realized I’m never going to succeed at making this work. In other words, twenty-one years later, I’ve given up. Quit. Phooey. At least a fifth of my life gone and nothing to show for it.

    And I sympathize with you, because you don’t have that luxury. For me it’s a hobby. For you, it’s your job. I can’t imagine facing that monstrous mess for one day longer, so I don’t. You sir, on the other hand, are – well, you know.

    On the other hand … I’ve started a new one, doggedly determined to do one right this time. Because the will and love of doing it remains, even when it gets so cruddy that you want to just give up. I’m sure it’s the same for you. But what I’m lacking that you have in spades is no cheerleaders, the fans, no motivation other than stubborn will to persevere. You’ve an enormous fan base backing you up that wants nothing more than to see you succeed. And you can count me among them. Because even though I’ve never read your book (oh, I did buy it, for sure! Just haven’t read it yet. I was writing, you see), I’ve been following your blog since Day One. For the perspective like this entry offers.

    Sure, at the same time it’s pressure. You don’t want to let down those fans. But neither do I, even though I have to just imagine mine. I want people to LIKE what I write, even if it means setting aside 21 years of work and starting over. What I’m saying is, you’re not just real to readers of your book. You’re real to all of us who fight away at that blank piece of paper/screen right along with you. Thanks for an inspiring (yes, inspiring) blog entry that assures me the published are no more superhuman than the unpublished; and good luck to you, sir.

  37. PJ
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    Go give Oot a hug. That will make you feel a little better – Unless he pukes on you. Even then you just have to laugh.

  38. Josiah Cadicamo
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    Well, I’m only 16 but i have had 3 jobs already and loved every one of ’em, and i still get sick to death of them.

    I wouldn’t know how to start a novel if you hit me over the head with it.

    XD Not like that helps much but i thought I’d try.

  39. Chloroplast
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    I’m trying to write a novel…I think I have an idea of what you mean. Here’s a big hug and a sunrise – one of them you get now, the other one early tomorrow; overnight postage can only go so far.


  40. Cecrow
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

    Okay, so what I meant was, I started in 1988. I’m a writer, not a mathmetician!

  41. Ben
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

    Take a day off!

  42. Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

    Ok first of all, you are all a bunch of coddling kiss asses.

    Patrick, normally I enjoy reading your blog but this fucking whiney shit is too much.

    Take your time, don’t worry about what other people say it doesn’t matter. We’ll get the book when we get it Mr. Martin, I mean Rothfuss.

  43. Christina J
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    I fully respect the difficulty it takes to write. Especially when you have pressure on you. Your work is amazing and I really love the way you write. It’s not easy to create a story where the readers dont get that disconnected feeling and actually feel like they are “in” the book. Some people dont seem to realize that it’s not just what the story is about, but the way it was written. And that is the difficult and time consuming part. It’s a great feeling when you find a book that you really enjoy. And for me yours was one of them :)

  44. Mainjari
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    This is why I feel bad for George R. R. Martin when I hear people start talking about his A Song of Ice and Fire series, because not only are people with this attitude about him a dime a dozen, but they aren’t even the worst of them.

  45. LaurafromNY
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    I totally get what you mean. I started writing a book when I was 13 and I’m going to be 23! I’ve been writing parts in between classes, summers, etc but stopped because college and a part-time job demanded my time and now that I’ve graduated, a full-time job demands my time. I had started revising and trying to continue the story, but it’s so damn tough! It’s tough because the stuff I wrote back then was a child’s voice and is so different from what I’ve learned during JHS to HS to College! I must have revised the first two chapters 10+ times trying to put my voice in there and show, not tell, and I’m sick of going back to revise those chapters when the rest of the story needs to be worked on. I’ve stopped for 3 years now, but I will finish it! It’s a headache for sure and it’s NOT a simple task, and you know what, it’s ok to bitch about it because not a lot of people have tried it! But don’t give up! (I really should follow my own advice, but after staring at the computer screen in work all day, I find that I detest staring at it at home, and because college sucked the fun out of reading, I don’t want to see a book until next year. But I find that if you work out the story in your head, play it like a movie, then at least you know where you want to go).

  46. Mister Dressner
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

    Pat as someone who works front desk at a hotel and used to wait tables, I know a thing or two about a job that can be frustrating at times too. Also I know a thing or two about dealing with stupid people saying and doing stupid things, which a popular author who reads his email deals with as well.

    I think the best way to think of your readers is less than human. ;)

    The guests at my hotel aren’t people, they are things that I put in rooms and make happy if they are angry. That doesn’t mean I treat them rudely or bad in any way, but I for sure don’t take it personally if they are rude. It is actually usually funny if I get yelled at about something stupid (especially in the reenactments and parodies performed in the back).

    You deal with a large number of people Pat, and a large number of people in this world are stupid. Liking a cool book like The Name of the Wind doesn’t automatically make you an intelligent sympathetic observant person. At the next convention, ask any of your author friends who have had a public life for longer if they take to heart the comments of all their readers.

    This woman obviously just doesn’t understand. At all. So what she says does not matter. At all.

  47. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

    Pat-I’m pretty sure I know which author you’re talking about. Don’t be terribly concerned about maintaining his privacy, since he relays that anecdote in a forward to someone else’s book–check out the forward to _One_More_Sunday_ and see if you don’t consider find yourself agreeing with heartfelt profanities.

    I used to dream of “making it.” Seeing a good friend go through the process and watching her beloved pasttime, what she is compelled by her wiring to do, turn into some sort of lever that allows others to make demands of her… ugh. At least when I write, it’s because I WANT to. If I sit down and the word gods aren’t kind, I can get up without dreading the next phone call with the agent/editor/publisher/marketers/web site creators.

    I would guess it’s enough sometimes to make you consider picking up Oot and telling him seriously that he must never, never, never sell his soul to the publishing gods. : )

    The great writers are the ones whose craft shows in their word choice; I consider you among those, stylistically. Your prose is prose to savor. Thank you for fighting through to your vision of TWMF rather than throwing any old thing on a page. Misquoting, “Say Anything”: There are plenty of guys in the bookworld; be a MAN.

    Hang in there.

  48. Carmen P
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    great rant. I am appalled at the librarian. Sounds like another librarian who doesn’t really read. Just what we need. I remember reading a bio of Dickens where it described how he would have his bad days: he’d sit in his chair burned out and feeling he’d never write another word and so sick of it and deadlines he didnt care if he ever wrote again. He’d sit for eight hours and just stare out the window. I have a painting of him doing this and i can imagine whats in his mind: “Fuck you Pip.” Sorry if the Dickens reference seems uncool but I tend to think of him as the first professional novelist. I also think that resentment toward the characters is perhaps one reason why so many bad things happen to said characters in his novel.
    I think people who read understand that writing is a job and as jobs go its really one of the hardest.
    And I also think your rant made a lot of people out there who are trying to write feel a lot better about their frustrations.

  49. webmonkey
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

    Who does the little cartoons in your blog Pat? Or where do you get them from? They always make me laugh, almost as much as your words.

    Its good we can help you by being the board upon which you vent. Even if we are feeling a little dirty and covered in bile. lol.

  50. greg w
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

    Hi Patrick,

    I’m a Psychologist and former anger management councillor. I just read your rant, very good. But, boy do you have a problem. How do you kill a librarian and get away with it?? Why isn’t your evil villain mentor doing a better job of guiding you? Here’s my quick recommendation: blunt weapon. Your first book is a great hit, you don’t need any more insanity. Sit down and decide where to END the librarians of the world. You don’t need to write any more. If book two is anything like book one, it is basically chronological. You’re done with book two!! Stop in a logical place, figure out the method, and begin obsessing about evidence. Good luck.

  51. Melissa
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:11 PM | Permalink

    This is all good practice for when every idiot you know wants to tell you how to parent your kid.

  52. Ed Greaves
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

    My very first boss, at my very first job told me a “secret to life” I’ve carried with me to this day.

    He told me find a job that you love. Because no matter what you do for a living, there will be days you hate it. And it’s better to only hate what you do once in a while than to hate it every single day.

  53. Gwyn
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

    Transition putty? Oh that is brilliant! Where can I get me some of that? Or how about an automatic exposition machine — you put in the background info you need the reader to know, and it spits out a nice creative way to convey the information without sounding like you’re writing an essay. That would be useful too.

    I’m working on my first novel. I *don’t* get to write full time, as I certainly haven’t sold anything more than a handful of poems. I’ve been working on it for a little over a year, and I’ve only got about 9000 words of usable material. I feel your pain, man. It’s *hard* work.

  54. Julie Murphy
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

    I am a completely different librarian/former teacher, but reading that letter almost makes me ashamed to admit it! How ignorant.

  55. Vae
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

    i feel you Pat. It does suck sometimes. But you do it so well! Keep it up, I believe in you! And if you need to take a day off or even a week, then go right ahead. Play with Oot, take care of Sarah, play a video game… Don’t over work yourself… I am here for you Pat, we all are. If you want to rant, please do, and I am sure we will all enjoy it just as much as the rest of your writing. When it is finally ready, all the work and suffering and bitching and frustration will have been worth it.

  56. geminica
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

    I often feel this way about visual art. Friends, meaning well, will say: “you are so talented. I can’t draw at all.” But I’ve come to the table thinking “I can’t draw at all” every day of my life. The only difference between us is that I keep coming. Does that make me talented… or just stubborn? I’m happy to receive compliments, but would rather be recognized for my hard-headed determination to succeed no matter the cost and to keep going despite a thousand failures, than for something so nebulous and effortless-sounding as “talent”.

  57. wticknor
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

    Pat – What amazes me is that you let yourself get irritated by these kinds of emails. YOU know the kind of work and dedication and sacrifice and skill that it takes to do what you do. YOU know what your schedule is like and all the demands that your personal and professional life make on you. YOU have the love and respect of thousands of readers worldwide.

    BUT, the readers are just consumers at the end of the day, right? The literary world does not cater to the concepts of instant gratification. And, as you note, the vast majority of people have no idea what it takes to write a novel (even though they know how to plunck down a few duckets and enjoy one).

    AND, when you open yourself up to the readers as you do via your blog and email, in addition to love and respect you’ll undoubtedly get ignorance and greed and, well, snarkiness. Good with the bad, brother.

    Hate your job from day to day. Get frustrated with the creative process. Go bat shit crazy from time to time. In short, be a human being. But try not to let the fans get to you.

    Good luck!

    – Bill

  58. Martin Seeger
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    Hello Pat,

    what good is a job you cannot rant about? If you should ever happen to get one of those: quit immediately :-). You’re loosing a lot communicative capacity if you occupy one of those.

    When is a book finished? Having written one once i would say “Never”. We were working as a team and as the person with the lousiest nerves, shortest temper and lowest quality standards, i came close to strongarming the others into publishing it. Was it finished? No, but it was sufficent.

    When writing boooks, deadlines are not very useful. I think it was Andrew S. Tannenbaum who wrote once about deadlines: “I love the whooshing sound they make when passing by.” Deadlines ate for journalists, not writers :-).

    Sincerely yours, Martin

    P.S. Have you seen “Stranger Than Fiction”… Good movie about writing :-) and other things.

  59. Wilfred Berkhof
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    Actually I doubt the Penny Arcade guys ever get sick of playing games. :)

    And don’t forget to take some time off from time to time. It’s no good being brilliant and worshipped when you can’t even take the time to enjoy it. So less writing and more time spend with the wife and little Oot.

  60. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    I feel your pain, Patrick. It’s really annoying to get writing advice from people who either have never written anything or have taken Creative Writing 101 and have memorized their teacher’s trite advice on linear chapter structures: motive, action, consequence (or any other assinine advice). As if that’s how to write a book. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the misfortune to be stuck in Creative Writing in college–but if you have, were half the students in your class pharmacy students? What’s up with that?

  61. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    I work with mentally ill people in a 6-bed group home who have violent outbursts on a daily basis. So, sometimes I hate my job too! :D

  62. skyeywaw
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    i totally agree, writing is like having an affair with a capricious ,sexy magnificent lover with crazy mood swings. you love it yet you wanna kick it in the nuts.

  63. regina
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    I would seriously love to have tea with you. I mean, you have so much time. Writing isn’t hard. Duh.


  64. Captain Joe
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

    Ha-ha, transition putty.

    Sometimes you just gotta say ‘fuck it’, right, and hoist the damn black flag.

    Awesome stuff, Pat. You may not like your job sometimes, but we all know you’re damn good at it regardless.

    All the best.

  65. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    I thought all three books were finished at the outset.

  66. Horizon
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

    I hear you re: hating spellcheck. You should hire an intern! I’m certain you could find a fan who’d be willing to spellcheck the book for you for six cents an hour. Have them sign an NDA and you’re set. :P

  67. Melanie Bates
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

    Headlines like this don’t help writers (or the folks who read either). This little snippet irked me moments before I read your blog today: “Did you know Sunday is the official start of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? Now is the time to sit down and start that novel you’ve always talked about writing.” Oh, okay… so you just “sit down and start” because it’s “NaNoWriMo.” Really??? Ugh! If only I would have known about this nine years ago when I started my own novel on a random Thursday in May standing at the kitchen counter. Hang in there Pat, maybe tomorrow or the next day the love will resurface, or you could wait till Sunday and just “sit down.”

  68. Rick
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

    We love you Pat!

  69. MK
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for writing this! As I face another day destined to be spent in front of my computer, working on writing my dissertation, it’s great to hear all the frustrations of writing expressed so clearly. The letter you got was so typical of the advice I’ve been given by various well-meaning people that I can’t even muster a shred of indignation about it. You’re right, she meant well; she just didn’t have anything useful to say.

    Anyway, keep on keepin’ on.

  70. eric
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    “It’s like trying to play cat’s cradle in n-dimensional space.”

    I love this line — I know a few people who actually do this for a living. Literally. They’re called string theorists, and they sometimes hate their jobs too.

  71. AnDrew McMillen
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat,

    I think you have touched on something that everyone who makes a living by their creativity encounters at one time or another.

    It is that one jackass that thinks because you are a (writer, artist, musician, etc.) your job is easy and is nothing but fun and games.

    Or in my case you get the “all you do is make pretty graphics”…

    The truth is, like any career or job there are always aspects of it that are tedious or a general pain in the ass.

    Anyways just keep doing what you have been. Ultimately the book will be done when you think it is, not before.

    Oh, and feel free to rant some more, in my opinion it can be cathartic, and entertaining for the rest of us to read.

  72. Greg
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    Suck it evil librarian!

  73. Martin Seeger
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    P.S. I think i just found the formula for good writing. You take:

    – 10 hours of excruciating writing
    – 75 iterations
    – 92 advices for help, none helping
    – 12.000 hits on the backspace key and Ctrl-Z
    – 5 f*cking brilliant minutes

    and that per page. The problem lies within the sequence. Doesn’t work any other way round.

    Coffee, Coke and Cookies may have some catalyzing effect.

  74. Zenelly
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    All I have is a piece of advice:

    “Keep breathing. Everything’s easier with oxygen.”

    I used to have a lot of trouble writing English essays, so I can’t even imagine how tough it must be for writers such as yourself to keep all the plotlines and characters straight. There are times where I still think that George R.R. Martin has a room covered in writing all over the walls, just to keep it all in line. Just know that we’re behind you, and I, at least, would rather wait another ten years and have a piece of art that’s completely worth it than something you just bang out and it’s not as good as it could be.

    And conventions are part of a de-stressing. I go to some, and they always make me feel better about the quality of people in the world.

    Rooting for you!

  75. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    It sounds like you should take the night off from writing. Why not carve a pumpkin and put Ooot inside for cute baby pictures or somesuch nonsense instead?

  76. valerie
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

    One of the things that drew me deeply into your book was your impressive editing skills. You smoothed the perforated edges so masterfully that it appears organic. I’ve spent enough time editing in various mediums to absolutely love and be endlessly frustrated with it.

    If you had set out to write something along the vein of the “Twilight” books, they would likely all be finished by now. Well, great. But you’re not writing those books. And the fact that many people do not know how to make that distinction puzzles me, endlessly.

    A strange part of being famous, probably for any reason (and especially with access to your blog)is that your fans are allowed a glimpse into your life. But as much as they may like you as a person, they like you from the angle from which you’re providing them with something they want. Instead of being “Pat, this awesome guy who I allow to be human and have real, regular emotions like all my friends”, you’re “Pat, the book-producing machine!”. I suppose people see what it is convenient to see. Also, I’ve been over-generalizing. Not all your fans are this way, just the needy, rude ones :)

    I must say. The fact that you are working so hard on this book and when you take a moment to vent, it’s well-edited, well-written and eloquent further points to the credit you deserve. It seems to me rather than being ok with churning out “whatever” to keep us regularly fed, the editor in you is so deeply ingrained that you have standards you write by in even your blog. I admire that greatly.

  77. John
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    Do you not also hate it when people tell you “to relax”, claim that they understand/ can relate, and endlessly say say on comments to your blog?

  78. Peat
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    I feel you, brother.

    Well, except for the shitting bile part.


  79. Craig
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

    I challenge you to a game of n-dimensional cats cradle. That would be awesome.

  80. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

    Big fan. Unfortunately bitching about ones job is pre Madonna stuff. The fact that your a writer is irrelevant. Most people don’t like there jobs, even writers. Making a living and supporting your family without pointing out the trials and tribulations faced along the way is what make a person a man. Time to man up dood.

  81. allen mottard
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

    we love you pat

  82. wildtheories
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:39 PM | Permalink

    Ah – you are the best!
    I do have my dream job and I am happy about it.
    But I moan about it every single day – when I have no work even much louder than when I have too much work …
    Just visualizing your juggling with plotlines and rereading your own stuff the umpteenth time makes me glad that I can return to MY work.
    And I think you are really a hero to stick to the book and try to cook up the best book possible.

  83. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:40 PM | Permalink

    Not all librarians are women. By choosing to be a writer you have chosen to also deal with all the crap that comes along with it. Shut up and finish book 2.

  84. Nathan
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    Fuckin’ eh, Pat, fuckin’ eh.

  85. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

    Wow, how do people allow themselves to drip such venom ? You can candy coat a turd nugget and it’s still shit. Just because you say it nicely doesn’t mean it’s nice. Ignore them rant, work, and enjoy life.

  86. A. Grey
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

    I’m sorry, I have to snark. I was reading through the comments and one of the later anonymous ones is pinching my tit.

    1) It is prima donna, not pre Madonna. Pima donnas were around waaay before Madonna, and they’ll be around after her.

    2) Most people don’t dislike their jobs. At least not that I’m aware of. I must have missed the announcement when you polled the planet.

    3) There are men who just came back from Iraq paralyzed from the neck down, or burned beyond recognition etc. They will not be working to ‘support’ their families any time soon. That in no way makes them less of a ‘man’. I’m having trouble conceptualizing how you judge what a ‘man’ is.

    3) It’s dude, not dood. I don’t know if that was intentional or not, but it wasn’t cute in the slightest.

    If your comment is an inside joke, I take all that back. Joke on. If you were serious…. yeah, I’m going to stick with the polite ‘everyone sees things differently’ line.

  87. Ken
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    Dude, it is hard work.

    But don’t forget that doing something better than anyone else takes a shit-ton of hard work and sacrifice – and, as you point out, you’re doing it at a level that most people can’t.

    Here’s what else is hard – things carry baggage with them, especially when they’ve been worked on *ehem* for a long time.

    I write, have a top agent, he’s shopping one of my ms around – meanwhile, I’m rewriting the next one. I’ve rewritten it twice already, this is the third time. When I was doing the second draft, my mom died of cancer. Awful. Now this book has an extra bit of baggage on it.

    Here’s to slogging, and to the day we can finally see the fruits of that hard work in the rearview!


  88. Jennifer Brozek
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    Oh, sing it, brother. Sing it! I love my job but when I need to deliver 45,000 publishable words in 6 weeks, around weeks 2 and 3, I am in despair. (It’s week 3.) And I hate my job. And I wonder why I do it and then… and then it all works out. Eventually.

  89. Nathan P
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

    As I read this post I really had to grin a little. Rather than what you expected I was glad to hear you rant about your job. Misery loves company and all; it was refreshing to hear that a job I dream about regularly has its downside. Of course I know this deep down, but hearing it makes all the difference.

  90. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 6:17 PM | Permalink


  91. Vinny K
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat,

    I truly know where you’re coming from. I’ve been working on a novel for nearly 3 years and I’m not even a quarter of the way done (at least that’s how it seems to me). It’s a bitch. Writing, revising, re-writing, revising again, and again, and again. It never truly stops, does it? It pisses me off when I’m assailed by family and friends with demands to ‘finish the book, already.’ As if it’s that damn easy!
    Just know that there are some of us out there that totally understand how you can sometimes hate the job you chose. May fortune smile upon you.


  92. tjun
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

    I don’t know what it’s like to be an author but i do know what it’s like when people who have no idea of who you are and what exactly you are doing think that they need to give you advice…and i know that i’m going to love The Wise Man’s Fear, whenever it comes out.

  93. Jess
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 7:21 PM | Permalink

    Well, you could switch to writing crappy books, with, like, 2 pov characters and no subplots.

    Oh, wait, no you couldn’t, that would dissolve your soul, and make baby jesus cry for Kvothe.

    I’m sorry it’s a shitty writing day. You’ll hit the sweet spot again.

    Also, this: “Nobody’s job is as simple as it looks from the outside.” I’m going to tattoo that on my forehead so I can read it in the mirror. I have the patience of a toddler on speed, and sometimes I forget this.

    PS my word verification is “shunds.” This pleases me.

  94. Zafri Mollon
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 7:36 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat, thanks for venting! I always find it really interesting when I get to hear the frustrations of professional authors. It’s nice to have a reminder that authors are human. I don’t even have a publisher or editor or bills on my back pushing me to write, and at 90 000 I’m already sick of editing (despite the fact that I haven’t even done a full edit yet; I know, I know, amateurish and the rest, but so it goes).
    Keep the laughs coming :)

  95. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 7:38 PM | Permalink

    Hang in there Pat…I hate my job as well. Hate it more than my mother in law, and if you knew my mother in law, that’s a lot of hate. Keep venting!

  96. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    We’re all behind you Pat. And for the record, you couldn’t be more right, writing stories can be a pain in the ass.

  97. jhowlett66
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 7:56 PM | Permalink

    Don’t get yourself down, some people are absolutely incapable of empathy.
    Whether you are a Porn star or a Writing Star – you ARE Human. I would imagine being a creator (i.e. artist/writer/composer) may be more stressful due to the fact you often lack the structure and support many other jobs entail. Take you Doctor for an example, what is medicine other than just memorization?” If patient ‘A’ has this, this, and this; then give this and do this” (Yes, I am making light of this so doctors please lower the scalpels!)

    I have been waiting months for you to slam that particular “turd” in your cereal (to use your analogy). Oh there is so much you could do with the Librarian thing! Nothing is more therapeutic than a profanity strewn rant. I use you as an example every time my wife complains about my work related rants. “If Pat can do it, it must be acceptable!”

  98. pablohunny
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 7:58 PM | Permalink

    It’s a shame you can’t split the novel into several smaller files to spellcheck. Some intelligent programmer needs to write a piece of software that will do that.

    Also, I’m astonished you’re able to carry on in your job. I managed a couple of years in a job before the endless repetition got to me, and I can only imagine how irritating it must be to re-read a paragraph for the hundreth time this year, never mind all the previous years.

    On the bright side, you have a trilogy. After three your series is done. Imagine what Steph(v?)en Eriksson is going through right now :)

  99. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

    I wanted to make a comment about how someone once said something similarly obnoxious to me about being an illustrator. (ohh I wanted to go into something fun like that but I decided to do something more serious…) but then I couldnt even begin to figure out how to phrase the stupid story.

    So I can imagine that writing a large novel would be very difficult…

  100. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 8:05 PM | Permalink

    I laughed out loud

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