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Reason #458 Why I could Never Be A Writer

November 18, 2011

So reason number 1 is that I hate writing.

I mean, I love to read, but I hate to write.

But there are about a gazillion other reasons why I couldn’t be a writer, most of them having to do with how unbelievably crazy hard it is to put out an amazing book (and let’s face it, if I were going to write, I’d want to write a Holy Krakatoa awesome book).

Sometimes I feel like my job as a literary agent is like having a box seat at a Broadway show while I watch an artist create. But the best part is, the show is never the same. Every author is different, and even the same author sometimes works differently on different books. You know, it’s different sometimes. I mean it can be different. (Reason #459 is that I think you need to use a lot of different words)

So anyway, you should expect to read about many of these reasons over time, assuming you come back to the blog–and according to yesterday’s survey monkey, 100% of respondents love my new blog, with 81% responding, “Duh, of course I do,” and the other 19% saying simply “yes.”

That survey monkey was so cool! But I thought you’d be able to see the results in the blog. And I made a sample pie chart, but in order to show you, they want me to upgrade. I know what that means. I’m no sucker. So that’s why I just told you the results. Take THAT, survey monkey!!! Mwah ha ha ha ha.

What was I saying?

Oh right, why I could never be an author. Well clearly reason #460 is that I get sidetracked too easily.

But back to reason #458 and that is that I get way too attached to things. This should probably not come as a surprise considering I live in clutter central. But still, I get way too attached to things. And therefore, I could never edit properly.

I received an email this morning from an author who said, oh I think I know what I’m going to do to fix this… And I was like what?? But what about that?? Do you mean we won’t be able to do that??? (By “we” of course I meant her)

So she emails back and is all casual and cheery like yeah, that won’t work anymore.

So now I’m practically hyperventilating. And I’m like WAIT!! But what if you do this??  sent from my iphone please excuse typos

Then I emailed right away and I’m like no that won’t work.  sent from my iphone please excuse typos

Then I emailed again and I’m like what aboat if you do this???  sent from my iphone please excuse typos

Then I emailed again and i’m like wait, that won’t work  sent from my iphone please excuse typos

Then I emailed again and I’m like wati, what if you do this and that???  sent from my iphone please excuse typos

And my computer was frozen and I was trying to restart it and I was all bug-eyed and frantic and then I finally got it running and there were all these responses and she was like oh, yeah that could work.

It’s like she has no clue that I was having a panic attack about this one little piece.

The crazy part is I don’t usually do that. I see some of you shaking your heads. But there have definitely been a few times–a few times where having that glimpse into the editorial process, where having the chance to give my input turns me into a whiny, crazy, scheming lunatic.

Oh but also, this is all just about what I want to happen. Let’s add reason #461, and this is probably repeated in many of the reasons before and after, which of course, is that I have absolutely no clue how to make it happen. So again, I could never be a writer.

But let me take a moment and bow down to the authors-my clients-and all of you writers who write (and then successfully edit!!) the books I so love to read. Thank you thank you for bringing so much joy to my life through books.

Tell me what your top 3 book recs are in the comments. Because I am always looking for good books to read.

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41 Comments
  1. I’m not very current, but three favorite books that I’ve read over and over are Peace Like a River, Ahab’s Wife, and Cold Mountain.

  2. Awesome post!!! It had me smiling.
    As for books.
    I’d say recently I’ve liked these:
    Soul Reborn, by Jean Murray
    The Goblin King, by Shona Husk
    Hush, Hush, by Becca Fitzpatrick

    Have a super weekend, and I hope you get a bunch of time to read. 🙂

  3. Ha! You always make me laugh!! 😀
    I’m reading SHATTER ME, and I think it’s so freaking AWESOME so far!! Have you read it yet?

  4. Crystal permalink

    This is an awesome post! I’m now thinking of adding to my iPhone email tagline “please excuse typos” Hehe.

    Some of my favs are:
    The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
    The Hunger Games Trilogy
    Shadows of the Wind
    Devil in the White City

    Ok that’s more than 3. Sorry! Oh and by the way, way to put it to survey monkey! Withholding graphs should be a crime. Lol

  5. Top 3? How is that even possible?

    The three that I’m buying for my people this year are:

    The Beauty and the Sorrow by Peter Englund
    The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry
    Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry

  6. I suggest Memory Lapse. It’s AWESOME!! 😉

  7. I’ve always wondered why literary agents are not writers. I thought they just don’t like the spotlight on them. 🙂

    I love that you’re blogging now. I always enjoy reading your tweets. Your little stories on twitter make me smile and/or chuckle, so I look for them first thing in the morning to start my day on a positive note. If something makes me smile in the morning, the whole day usually turns out good. I’m glad I live on the west coast because by the time I wake up, I already have three hours worth of wolfsonliterary tweets 🙂

    Book recommendations? I know you’ve already read what I lOved reading this year (THG trilogy). I love YA, so anything by Sarah Dessen.

    Sent from phone please excuse typos. 😀

  8. Hilarious!!!! Hmmm may have to make up some fake stuff to cut to see what you do. LOL!

  9. actually, it’s refreshing to hear that it’s not just the writers who can get neurotic. 🙂 Super-funny post. Thanks!

  10. What an adorable post. 🙂 It made me laugh! For guilty pleasure reads (which are the best), I love anything by Sarah Dessen, Meg Cabot, or Sophia Kinsella (and, shhhhh, Twilight’s pretty addicting 😉 ). I bet you have the best book recs, though, considering your job!

  11. This cheery writer of yours I suspect is brilliant. I also suspect you will be even more in love with the new incarnation, especially if there is more dog in it.

  12. Books – Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman (best obsessive love story ever), Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida (amazing, spare writing) and French Lessons by Ellen Sussan (yummy delish!)

  13. Ellen Sussman. Sorry. Not Sussan.

  14. This cheery writer IS brilliant and her dog sends emails from her iphone with fewer typos than I send from mine. As for being in love with the new incarnation, that was never in doubt.

  15. I’ve been cyber stalking you on Twitter and am so happy I can now do it on a blog, because you make me laugh.

    As far as book recommendations, you can’t go wrong with Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. My favorite is SOULLESS–the first one–but after meeting unique and feisty Alexia and falling in love with Carriger’s clever and funny voice, I had to read the rest of the series.

    • I keep trying to reply and my own blog is turning against me. I’m very upset about that. I have to say this though because I feel like blogs can be sneaky like this–apparently even my own, and I suspect at some point maybe 7 replies (the 4 I tried plus some new ones it came up with on its own) will show up, and then you’ll feel like I’m stalking you in return. Which , who knows, maybe I am.

  16. Thank you so much!

  17. Not being a writer has to be so much better than not being an acrobat.

  18. Oh. My. Gawd. You are so funny! Thanks for brightening up an otherwise dark and lonely NaNoWriMo struggle day.

  19. Awesome post. You had me grinning/chuckling (I am a writer), but I understand your reasons, truly, I do. The irony is, a lot of authors DO suffer from the very reasons you say you can’t write–so in some ways, you’d fit right in. 🙂

    I’ve found I’m pretty easy-going about having to take some things out during the editing process. Sometimes you just have to in order to improve the novel (or whatever you’re writing).

    In terms of your blog/twitter–I like your style of communicating wtih your clients…it makes me feel like you’re easy to talk to.

    Top 3 books? I don’t know how particular you are about what you’ll read, but I’ll give you my 3 of my favorites (although there’s many other books I really love):

    1. NOCTURNE by Syrie James (beautiful novel, tear-jerker, but oh so awesome–Romantic Fiction, but not strictly a romance novel).

    2. STARCROSSED by Josephine Angelini (deals with Helen Of Troy Myth–YA)

    3. ENCHANTED INC. by Shanna Swendson (Fantasy Chick-Lit series of 4 books, ENCHANTED INC. is the first in the series).

  20. You are such a dork. In a good way. Though I’ll let you in on a secret: your spazzing isn’t that much different from my editorial process. Which. Um. Probably isn’t a good thing for the authors I work with. And I don’t think mine is half as entertaining.

    Seriously, though, too cute, and I bet you made your author smile like hell.

    Book recs. Crap. Just three? Um. Well. ~swears under his breath~ Three. Three. Only three.

    1. C.S. Friedman’s BLACK SUN RISING
    2. Emma Donoghue’s ROOM
    3. Ally Condie’s MATCHED

    …you sure I can’t rec…you know…thirty? ~puppy eyes~

  21. You say you’re not a writer, but really you are. Or maybe an entertainer. Because your posts are definitely entertaining! 🙂

  22. Copernicus! I almost squirted hot tea out my nose, that made me laugh.

    Three recs, Hmmm… Well, that’s really pretty much impossible, so I’ll just go with what I’m reading right now:

    Cordelia’s Honor by Lois Bujould

    I’ve read it before, and it’s wonderful.

  23. Love your post!

    3 book recs…
    Too Loud a Solitude by Bhumil Hrabal
    Not Yet by Wayson Choy
    A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews

  24. First and foremost, I am quite often entertained by your tweets and your blog posts (so far). There’s your “big picture” feedback.

    Second, here are the three most recent reads I’ve LOVED:

    1. I just finished GOTH GIRL RISING by Barry Lyga after devouring its predacessor, THE ASTONISHING ADVENTURES OF FANBOY AND GOTH GIRL, also by Lyga. Since it’s one big long story, I’m sure it still counts as one. However, I must say it’s brilliant to write one book from Fanboy’s POV and the sequel from Goth Girl’s POV. Very enlightening all around!

    2. THE RIVALS by Daisy Whitney (I was blessed to receive an ARC), an amazing deconstruction of everything set up in THE MOCKINGBIRDS. If you suspect a theme here, of willfully sneaking in extra recommendations, just conclude it’s because I love reading, especially YA. Both books were amazing, and I love how Daisy alluded to classic literature, which could help current students to bridge the gap between classic lit taught in school vs. YA lit, which may feel more current/relevant to teens.

    3. Okay, I have a tie for third (See how I keep doing that?) SUMMER ON FIRE by Kevin Craig (a great product of NaNoWriMo which I’ve read you really love), a great male POV YA shorter novel, similar to Stand By Me or The Outsiders and HUNTED by Cheryl Rainfield, the first of a dystopian series about a girl with paranormal powers hunted by the gov’t.

    Looking forward to more blog posts, greater blog features, and tweets from the always enjoyable, Michelle Wolfson! (of course that punctuation was absolutely necessary, just like that adverb).

  25. I have at least a thousand reasons why I could never be an agent. Starting with, ‘I have to talk to who about what and know what about who?’ Yeah, I could *never* be an agent. Ever. So I’m glad we’ve found our respective careers because you are AWESOME at what you do.

  26. I loved this! You ramble in such an amusing way – it’s different, ya know? Hahaha! I hope someday when I have an agent she is as down to Earth as you are! I’ll definitely be checking out your blogs from now on!

    Oh yeah – 3 book recommendations…not sure what you usually read, but recently I really liked Hourglass by Myra McEntire, and 2 books that I recommend to everyone are both memoirs – one is Waiting For Snow In Havana by Carlos Eire and the other is Left To Tell by Imaculee Illibagiza (I may have spelled her last name wrong)

  27. Jim permalink

    I really enjoy your blogging/writing. It feels comfy and is worth a good chuckle. But now you’ve got me thinking maybe I shouldn’t write (being a lexical hoarder with ADD) but I have to write in order to fill up all the time I have not being a cowboy or a movie star. Thanks.

    As far as good reads: Every five years, Shogun, every two years, Of Mice and Men, and every third night, Where the Wild Things Are.

    • Thanks, Jim. I like that–comfy writing. See, that’s why you’re the writer! And Shogun! Going old school. Nice. I read that a gazillion years ago. Feels like that was a totally different generation of books I used to read like Michener, Leon Uris,and for some reason I always associate Trevanian too but mostly because of Shibumi which I think also took place in Japan but I think I read half because I loved saying Shibumi.
      OMG!! I think that should be my signature phrase!!!! Shibumi!!!

  28. Roxanne permalink

    I love giving book recommendations.

    1. “The Magicians” and “The Magician King” by Lev Grossman. Like Harry Potter in the “real” world. I never hear about these books, and they were both amazing.

    2. “Battle Royale” (book and movie). Japanese “Hunger Games,” (but Battle Royale actually came out many years before HG and never seemed to reach American audiences.) Random class of Japanese middle schoolers put on an island to kill each other. There can be only one winner. Dark. Awesome.

    3. I’ll tie with this with “Geek Love” by Katherine Dunn and “Weetzie Bat” by Francesca Lia Block if you haven’t read either. First an insane circus carnies story, cult classic. Second…well…you probably already know Weetzie Batm, but I love the magical realism. It was one of the first YA books I ever read. I guess these are both sort of cult classics.

    I also read “The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore” somewhat recently and thought it was awesome.

    AND….I just finished reading Supernaturally and really loved it. I was sorry there would just be three books. Maybe there will be more? I wonder if the books could follow Evie as she gets older. The books remind me in many ways of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, and I always like to follow up on Sookie’s latest adventures.

  29. Jim permalink

    Isn’t Shibumi the girl that’s hard to get ? Shibumi Krakatoa, now there’s a good character name. .

  30. Kevin permalink

    Three books:

    1. Heaven’s My Destination, by Thornton Wilder;
    2. Gone, Baby, Gone, by Dennis Lehane; and
    3. The Lonely Polygamist, by Brady Udall.

    But it would probably be a different list tomorrow.

    I’m afraid your Procrastinators’ Day would be overloaded with lawyers – it seems like we can’t do anything without the pressure of an immediate deadline.

  31. Top three book recs! You are so fortunate to ask me this after I have just read 3 good books!
    1) Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
    2) Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu (yes, for MG – but so good!)
    3) A Drowned Maiden’s Hair, a Melodrama by Laura Amy Schlitz (yes, also an MG, but how can you resist a book that says melodrama right in the title – also so, so good!)

  32. That was funny and a nice insight into life on the other side of the computer. (I’m a YA writer currently in the submission process). I like your passion for what you do! I, too, am trying to figure out the blog thing: http://drtorikelley.blogspot.com/. The Psychology of Writing and the Writing of Psychology.
    Top three recently read books I’d recommend:
    FAT KID RULES THE WORLD by K.L. Going
    BURNED (and SMOKE, the sequel) by Ellen Hopkins
    THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by Jon Green

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