Writers are the Best Whingers

Just read and giggled all over this post by Diana Peterfreund in which she wittily whinges about all the work she has to do (and skewers Star Wars). It struck a chord cause I was just about to whinge about the pageproofs of Daughters of Earth which just landed in my life with a very heavy thunk.


Diana (I’m taking liberties referring to her by first name, I don’t actually know her, but I read her fabbie blog, so I feel like I know her) starts by referring to a harder working writer who has family on top of it all, whereas Diana just has her sailor boy and a full-time job. I’m going to lower the bar still further: I have neither children nor pets nor a job (other than writing).

And yet I feel my case is worse than either of theirs because I am suffering (horribly) from post-paradise-adjustment syndrome (or ppas). Just days ago I was in Mexico living an admin-free existence: no shopping, no housecleaning, no dishwashing, no cooking, no laundry, no paying bills, no nothing—except writing. Luz Barron did all that for me, not to mention telling me excellent stories, mending my clothes (!), and taking me out to all the best fun bars in San Miguel. Luz made me food like this:

Mushroom-stuffed chillies on tomatoes & onions served with plantain & pomegranate & garlic rice.

Now I’m back in reality, but where is the counselling and social services team to help me through my ppas? No where! How am I supposed to cope without Luz? How am I supposed to live in the real world where I have to finish Magic! Magic! Magic! Oi! Oi! Oi, the third Magic or Madness book, go through the staggeringly long Daughters proofs, finish the great Australian mangosteen cricket Elvis fairy book, write the proposal for this jaw-droppingly brilliant idea I just had and do all that adminy stuff!? How is that possible?!

You know I used to have no sympathy for rich folk like Paris Hilton et al, what with their silver spoons wedged firmly down their throats. Rich bastards, I used to think, but now I know the truth: without their staff they’re helpless. Look what happens when someone like Paris takes dressing into her own hands. Not pretty, is it? Imagine her trying to get it together to make her own coffee. Or figure out how a washing machine works. Wow. Her life is really, really hard. Not quite as hard as mine given that she’s still in paradise and not in the land of ppas. But how much worse will it be for poor old Paris when her fall comes? How hideous will her ppas be?

Makes ya think, don’t it?


  1. Roger on #

    I am all tears. PPAS, indeed.

  2. marrije on #

    It do, it certainly do.

    and i love the new title for the third magic book. it has that certain je-ne-sais-quoi 🙂

    what’s a mangosteen?

  3. janet on #

    years ago, when I was canvassing for an environmental group, a woman told me that she couldn’t talk to me because she was busy and under a lot of stress at the moment. “We’re building a gazebo for our hot tub,” she explained.

  4. Justine on #

    Roger: thanks for the sympathy!

    Marrije: I shall answer that question shortly.

    Janet: What a touching story. I hope that woman was able to get past her traumatic time. I think we’ve all suffered the horrors of gazebo building, which, as we all know, is only worsened when a hot tub is involved. Poor, poor soul.

  5. Charlotte May on #

    Congratulations on achieving the quintessential potlatch!

  6. Justine on #

    Charlotte May: Potlatch? Me? The very idea!

  7. Rachel S on #

    Do you (or anyone else) know of someone who is blogging that is as sharp as Miss Snark or Agent 007. Somneone who can reveal more about the industry.
    I am learning so much with Miss Snark bt have already read EVERYTHING


  8. toni on #

    I don’t know 🙂 To me, your life seems like paradise too, albeit maybe a little less financially stable. Still, no kids, no day job, travelling… yeah, I’d take this version 🙂

  9. Justine on #

    Rachel S: I read those two. Cool, aren’t they? Have you looked at bookangst 101 (link’s in the sidebar)? It’s defunct now but the archives are well worth going through.

    While not a blog, Ian Irvine’s “Truth About Publishing” is an excellent guide through the various stages of having your book published. You’ll find it on his website: http://www.ian-irvine.com.

    I’ve written a few essays about the industry;

    How to get an agent
    First novel advances
    On how trilogies are published

    If you have any specific questions I’d be more than happy to answer them for you.

  10. Justine on #

    Toni: Try a lot less financially stable, and you’ve clearly forgotten all about the horrors of international air travel and its nasty little lapdog: jetlag. Paradise? I think not.

  11. Daria on #

    Hey, I like international air travel! I’m that pervert who enjoys the air pockets and when the plane bounces real hard *g*

  12. Justine on #

    Daria: I got nothing against turbulence. It can be fun. It’s cattle class I can’t stand. So cramped. Such bad food. So smelly. I’m sure if I could afford first class I’d have a whole different perspective on international air travel.

  13. Daria on #

    I must be undemanding 🙂 The food is bad all right, but the rest… wouldn’t say it’s that bad. (Unless there is a drunkard or a small child seated nearby) Not worse than a city bus during rush hour 🙂 But the thrill of traveling, new people, new places. No roots, no sitting at home knowing you are gonna pay for the place for the rest of your life just to come here after your tedious job every evening to rot in front of a TV…

  14. Justine on #

    When was the last time you were on a city bus during rush hour for fourteen hours straight? I’m just saying . . .

    Give me a transmat beam!

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