Book = Teh Devil

Libba Bray likens writing a book to a love affair complete with the foul ending where everything goes pear shaped.1

Libba’s analogy does not work for me. It is too kind. It also implies that the author is some how at fault when the affair sours and ends. Au contraire.

The truth is that books are Satan. Or at least devils of some particularly nasty kind. Mine keep demanding bits of my body. And those demands escalate.

Initially they just want some hair, the odd fingernail, dead skin cells. That’s cool. I have a lot of hair. Fingernails grow back. I don’t even mind when it steps up to wanting all my fingernails down to the quick.

But right now it’s after my muscles. As in, it seems much happier when every muscle in my back and shoulders and neck is locked in place and I cannot move anything but my typing fingers and the muscles that make my eyes move. See? It has everything it needs to continue to be written but I’m incapable of doing anything else.

Cunning, eh?

This happens every single time with every single book. When my neck stopped moving on Monday, Scott sighed, looked at his watch and said, “It’s that week, isn’t it? I’ll be getting you a massage appointment then, won’t I?”

The devil books Maureen writes also freeze her muscles though the current one added a new variation when it threw in a dread skin disease. Sometimes the devil books we write visit even nastier afflictions upon us: like Scott‘s and Cassie‘s shingles. I have even heard of some writers being struck with leprosy and bubonic plague.

I am not complaining, and require no sympathy, think of this instead as a gentle warning to anyone foolish enough to want to make a career out of dealing with the devil writing books.

Gotta dash, book’s demanding blood.

  1. Yes, I’m doing it again, linking to someone what just linked to me. But, see, Libba and me are gunna get married and engaged people can do the mutual linky thing to their heart’s content. It’ll even be in our wedding vows. []


  1. Brent on #

    Thanks for the warning! Pity I didn’t know this back when people told me: “You should be a writer!” Little did I know that they secretly hated me and were plotting my downfall with those fateful five words.

    On the plus side, you should all your book-writing whinging, combine it with your “How to write a book” posts, and add a dash of structure. You’d get a wonderfully humorous story, perhaps even a book’s worth! 🙂

  2. hillary! on #

    Hmm, didn’t John Green’s eyeball threaten to explode when he was writing Paper Towns?
    What kind fo skin disease does MJ have!!?

  3. Patrick on #

    Have you considered getting a massage?


  4. Cat Sparks on #

    Very interesting. I completely feel like I’m having a filthy little affair with novel # 2, whereas #1 was just this big horrid slog. And still is.

  5. Ellen Klages on #

    Oh, yeah. Shingles, so far, twice per book. Massages — as necessary, once a month at first, then shading towards weekly (and more) near the end, when my neck and shoulders refuse to move even after hot showers and a bit of Balvenie 12-year-old Doublewood.

    And we won’t get into the intestinal (ahem, fortitude) needed to finish a novel on deadline….

  6. Serafina Zane on #

    It’s times like these that make me fear for my natural immunity to chicken pox.

    Also, writing pivotal scenes makes me nauseous.

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