Monday, January 13, 2014

The Twenty Stages of Being a Writer

In 1969, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote a fun-filled book called “On Death and Dying.” In it she describes the seven stages people go through when they face death: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, guilt, depression and acceptance.

Writers also have a lifetime of stages to go through. It starts at infancy and continues past retirement (although sometimes writing starts with retirement). Here are the 20 stages of a writer's life:

Stage One: “Oh, this floppy thing has pictures in it. Nice!”

Stage Two: “A-B-C-D-E. . .E. . .E?”

Stage Three: “Letters make words!”

Stage Four: “Words make sentences. See Spot run.”

Stage Five: “Cursive? What the???? Why can't I just keep printing?”

Stage Six: “Where are the pictures in this book?”

Stage Seven: “I want to write my own book.”

Stage Eight: “Do I really need to study English to write a novel? Naw.”

Stage Nine: “REJECTED? You can't be serious.”

Stage Ten: “Okay, I'll get serious. I'll learn grammar and punctuation.”

Stage Eleven: “Note to self: Drinking doesn't improve writing.”

Stage Twelve: “I have no friends.”

Stage Thirteen: “I found a critique group!”

Stage Fourteen: “The critique group doesn't 'get' my writing.”

Stage Fifteen: “Agents and editors are idiots.”

Stage Sixteen: “I reject 'Big Publishing.' I can do this myself.

Stage Seventeen: “Okay, self-publishing is tougher than I thought.”

Stage Eighteen: “I've got a contract with a small publishing house!”

Stage Nineteen: “IT'S A BOOK!”

Stage Twenty: “I wasn't in it for the money anyway.”


Liane Spicer said...

LOL, Sunny. Painfully, wonderfully true for most writers, I imagine. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Lol. Very good. And true.

Theresa Varela said...

Yes, yes, and yes! I'm in my last stage. Please come up with another or is this it?

Melodie Campbell said...

Love it! So true. Especially 20.

Joyce A. said...

You and me too, Theresa. We need a step beyond 20, Sunny. Pretty please.

Anne Schroeder said...

My first step started with "LAURA INGALL WILDER!" What's she got that I don't have? It bothered me all the way through 5th grade. I'm still chasing her shadow. I agree that we need another list. Keep going.

Amy Reade said...

This was great, Sunny. Fun and a-little-too-true way to start my Tuesday!

Dac said...

Okay. We're at twenty. What are the next five steps?

Why don't my friends come to my book signing?

Amazon - that's all???

Lesley Diehl said...

So, so true and stage 21 is "I wasn't in it for the money so why do I have to do all this work to report my piddly earnings to the government?"

Sunny Frazier said...

You guys make ME laugh! And, Glad you could relate.

Eileen Obser said...

Great job, Sunny. I can relate -- we all can -- to this clever, perceptive list of yours. Very witty!

Gloria Ferris Mystery Writer said...

I know a lot of writers stuck on Stage 11. Not me, though! I've moved on.

Holli Castillo said...

Squeeze in a stage referencing Tequila and you have my life in a nutshell.

daytonward said...

I'm slowly learning to move my drinking to after the writing.

It's a process.

A slow one.


Jewel Amethyst said...

LOL! You're struck the nail on the head. I guess I'm stuck in the "I wasn't in it for the money anyway."

You forgot the stage where you tell yourself you'll get rich when you write your book :)

Joseph Chiba said...

Wonderfully witty, Sunny! And great comments from everyone. I hope to be at Eighteen in the very near future. There is a lot of catching up for me. And one day I too can worry about what comes after 20!