Thursday, November 15, 2012

God Will Give It To Prince – A NaNoWriMo Blog Post

By Tiffany Reisz, @tiffanyreisz

Hi Fiends and Fellow Writers!

I had planned another Star Wars-related craft post but decided since it was NaNoWriMo, I should pay homage to this wild month of writerly obsession by re-visiting my most popular blog post of all time. Last year during NaNoWriMo 2011, I had just finished writing The Angel (book two in my Original Sinners series) in September of that year and had to immediately start writing The Prince (book three) in October. My books run 105,000 to 120,000 words and my contract stated The Prince had to be in by December 1st. That’s right, I had two months to write a 110,000 word novel.

Cue nervous breakdown.

After recovering from my nervous breakdown brought on by the deadlines from Hell, I did what any writer would do—I wrote about it. It’s now NaNoWriMo 2012 and I’m at it again, working my ass off on The Mistress (The Original Sinners, book 4). No nervous breakdown so far, but the night is still young.

Dear Boyfriend,

I know you're probably thinking your new girlfriend has a screw loose. Right before you went upstairs to read in bed, I was downstairs at the kitchen table, tweeting and trying to make my daily writing goat (yes, goat--I have writing goats, not goals--goats are cuter and less intimidating). And a few minutes later, you heard the sound of sobs coming from the vicinity of my face. You came downstairs to check on me and seemed skeptical when I told you I was fine, just tired. You ordered me off to bed and didn't seem thrilled when I said, "I'm soon as I finish this part."

Let me explain. When I told you the other day that I have no talents, I meant it. I can't sing or play a musical instrument. I have no artistic ability whatsoever. I've never shown any sort of aptitude for sports. People say I'm good at Zumba but that's code for "You're good at making an ass of yourself and not caring." All I can do is write stories. That's all I got. And when you only have one egg in your basket, you guard that goddamn egg with your life.

Last night prior to my minor breakdown, I tweeted, "When you're on deadlines, every month is #NaNoWriMo. It loses some of its charm. #firstworldproblems." I regretted tweeting immediately. It sounded as if I was complaining about people paying me to write books for them. What I meant by that tweet is that when you get a book deal and you're contractually obligated to produce works of fiction, the concept of #NaNoWriMo becomes something of a moot point. Every month I have to produce around 50,000 words. It’s not a fun adventure. It’s a job.

Before all writers who were destined for public consumption are born, some God, some angel, some demon reached out and tapped us on the forehead and said, "You will write lies that people will pay money to read." We are without a doubt the most privileged people on the face of the earth. People pay us money to read our sentences. Can you wrap your mind around that? You. Me. Our sentences. Our words. Shit we pull out of brains and our asses--people pay us for that? Can you imagine a bum standing on a street corner offering sentences for spare change? Ludicrous, right? But that's what we are.

Last night in bed, you chided me for overworking myself. You said, "If I catch you crying at the kitchen table again, I'm going to take your computer away." I love you for caring that much about me. But I have to tell you a story about Michael Jackson so you'll understand…

Once upon a time a record producer friend of Michael Jackson's caught him in the studio in the wee hours of the morning. The producer said to Michael Jackson, "You can work on the song tomorrow. Get some sleep." And Michael Jackson responded, "I have to write this song now, or God will give it to Prince."

So despite exhaustion I write my books. If I don't, God will take them from me and give them to Anne Rice.

In conclusion…Yes, you’re right. I am exhausted. I am writing myself into the ground. I am trying to do too much in too little time. But I have been given opportunities unpublished writers would pluck out their own eye to have, and I know it.

I am a writer before anything else, and you can have my computer when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands.

Your Tiffany

Follow me on Twitter @tiffanyreisz for daily NaNoWriMo tweets and encouragements.

Tiffany Reisz's books inhabit a world where romance, erotica and literature meet and do immoral and possibly illegal things to each other. She describes her genre as "literary friction," a term she stole from her main character, who gets in trouble almost as often as the author herself. Reisz's debut novel, The Siren, was published by Mira on July 24, 2012. Reisz describes it as "not your momma's Thorn Birds." Reisz lives in Lexington, KY.


  1. That line will resonate with me forevah!

    Nothing worse than having an idea and not writing it down, only to loose it later.

    Great post.

  2. You cry with exhaustion as you write. We cry with exhaustion as we read what you write: exhaustion from the emotional intensity and honesty in your words. Yes you're a writer and it's hard and it's a job, but what emerges is wonderful. So type, damn you! Type your fingers to bloody stubs! And when the words are out you can then ask Andrew for a hand massage and for him to kiss you better (we love Andrew too!) ;) [Rosie]

  3. So relating to this right now. Only reason I got off the computer last night? Hubby had to turn off the power to fix the non-working-for-two-days furnace.

    "Oh, all right then," I grumbled.

    Priorities, right?

    And I didn't go to sleep, no! I huddled in bed reading three chapters by flashlight.

    OK, you can stamp crazy on my forehead now. :)

  4. You are definitley a great writer..knowing that you care that much and work that much harder has and will take you on a great journey..please keep writing so i can keep reading

  5. You are definitley a great writer..knowing that you care that much and work that much harder has and will take you on a great journey..please keep writing so i can keep reading

  6. LOL. You're awesome. And yes, I get that. My family doesn't understand. My mom suggested I just turn it off because I was getting stressed by what I was writing. I told her that it wasn't possible to turn off. I don't think she understood.

    Thanks for sharing, this is so profoundly true.

  7. That is the wackiest and most awesome line from Michael Jackson. I kind of love it. I've been there and I get it. I've had characters in my head prevent me from reading a book to the point I at least have to jot some notes down if I'm too tired to boot up the laptop. Fortunately for me, my husband is a musician and he gets artistic ambition. He encourages me to let dishes pile up and will fix me dinner if it means I'm making progress in my writing.

    Great post, as always. I bookmarked the Han Solo one, btw. It was my kind of inspiration.

  8. I remember the "Every month is NaNoWriMo" quote. And I remember your expression of guilt...

    The #FirstWorldProblems meme is a difficult one. Yes, many of us would LOVE to have the problem of being contractually obligated to produce words month after month. However the reality is much different from the dream; the anxiety of knowing that some authority is expecting something from you can greatly hamper the creative process that is necessary to fulfill that demand.

    Both #FirstWorldProblems and #SuccessfulWriterProblems are still very real problems.

  9. I love the image of a bum standing on a street corner offering sentences for spare change 8^). Pay him (or her, but it seems bums are usually men) and he recites a story for you.

  10. I remember reading that post last year, because it was everything I was feeling too! I'm at it again this year, where every day is Nanowrimo :) But thank G-d, right? :) *raises glass*

  11. So, so true! This post is brilliant in so many ways, and Michael Jackson's line is fantastic.

  12. Love that story about Michael Jackson. I'd never thought about God "taking away" my stories, but the Bible does mention taking away our "talents" if we don't exercise them like we should.

    You know, your #firstworldproblem reminds me of a line from Fiddler on the Roof: If riches are a curse, "may the Lord smite me with it! And may I never recover!"

    Good luck with perpetual NaNo, Tiffany!