Book, we need to talk



Source: Death to the Stock Photo

Hey Book,

How’s it going? I realize we haven’t been spending much time together and I keep sending bits and pieces of you to strangers to analyse and mull over. Even though I swear it’s good for both of us, I realize that doesn’t make it any less uncomfortable, and I won’t pretend that one of these things negates the other. They are equally important.

But it’s because that it’s uncomfortable that we need to sit down today and talk. No, don’t go. Sit back down. How long have we known each other? Four years? Four and a half, from that first germ of an idea to the last query email I sent, to that desperate plea to my betas to tell me what I’m doing wrong, we’ve had a bit of a history, haven’t we?  Haven’t we passed the point where we plug our ears and hum show tunes whenever a difficult conversation comes up?

Here’s the thing, Book. At this point in time, I cannot make you any better than you are now. And you, for all your merits, cannot seem to attract the attention for people who might help me make you better. We’re at an impasse, you and me. I can keep sending you off to agents and keep my fingers crossed, or pay somebody for an editorial service. I can’t afford the latter. My fingers are starting to become crooked from the former.

So what do you want to do now?

Oh, please don’t look at me like that! The first time I rewrote you, after that big writer’s block, I promised I would do right by you, Book. And it’s because I promised to do right by you that I need to stop for now.

I need to stop.

See, culture tells us that when life brings you down, you get right back up again. Hop on that horse and ride it until it submits. Tame nature, tame it to our liking, make it civilized and real and clean and hospitable to our frail and fleshy bodies. And if hubris drags you under the hooves of that horse, well, it’s your own damn fault.

To keep fighting after you’re burned out never did anybody any good. It didn’t do me any good when I was fighting in the dojo, or when I was running, and it sure won’t do me good in writing. Not in the long run.

So I’ll stop. Please forgive me if it takes me some time to return. Please forgive me if, once I do, we don’t even like each other anymore. It’s nobody’s fault.

It just happened this way.

Yours faithfully,



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