The 75 Steps to writing a book: By S.J. Willing

Fellow Samhellion author, S.J. Willing posted this hilarious mail at the Samhain cafe today. Can’t resist sharing it with you all, with special thanx to S.J.

How to write a book

1. Drink beer, brandy, lsd, psychadelic drug.
2. Enjoy the hallucinations… get a book idea.
3. Drink beer, discuss idea with friends.
4. Decide (with friends) that the four purple-armed, six probulated alien hero would be much too weird for human/alien sex.
5. Change alien’s probules to three.
6. Write idea down.
7. Scrap Idea.
8. New idea! An alien heroine!
9. Keep the three probules.
10. Plot out rough series of scenes. Five to a chapter.
11. Plot out chapters using plotted scenes.
12. Decide a one chapter novel isn’t long enough. Drink beer.
13. Plot out five chapters, one plotted scene in each. Drink beer.
14. Drunken revelation of great ending scene!
15. Replot five chapters using male alien hero with seven probules.
16. Friends say ending sucks.
17. Redo steps 7. to 12. Drink beer.
18. Sit down to write.
19. (One page later) Pace the house moaning about writers block.
20. Empty trash, mop floors, vaccuum, cook, do laundry, watch tv and complain about writer’s block.
21. Spend all week moaning about writers block, go to bar friday night with the boys complaining about writers block.
22. Get drunk.
23. Stagger home and write 150 perfect pages of prose.
24. Collapse in a drunken stupor.
25. Wake up, look at book, throw up.
26. Tear up 149 pages. Drink beer.
27. Sit down, write six pages a day, ignoring everything else.
28. Many weeks (and beers) later finish book.
29. Show to friends.
30. After laughter dies down, decide where to hide the bodies after widespread slaughter.
31. Send to Editor.
32. Editor sends back.
33. Stomp around house, wail, scream, threaten suicide/murder.
34. Send to another Editor.
35. Another editor sends back.
36. Repeat 33.
37. Repeat 34. to 36. until no new editors left.
38. Tear out hair, tear up book.
39. Drink all beer in fridge.
40. Go buy more beer.
41. Drink beer.
42. Go back to novel, self edit, lose 40 pages.
43. Drink beer, promise dog to come to bed soon.
44. Send novel to writer friends to critique. Send them beer.
45. Novel comes back minus 40 pages.
46. Drink beer, kick dog, threaten to anhilate all humanity.
47. Change to brandy.
48. Dog looks even more attractive.
49. Get new brandy bottle.
50. Feel happy. Book looks great.
51. Send book to editor.
52. Editor sends back book, asks for changes.
53. Repeat 33.
54. Drink brandy, does cautious dance with dog.
55. Change book.
56. Repeat 51.
57. Editor accepts book. Sends contract.
58. Punch boss, quit job. Drink brandy, dog is looking very attractive.
59. Editor sends back book minus 40 pages.
60. Repeat 33. and kick dog.
61. Drink brandy.
62. Reluctantly make editorial changes, return book.
63. Bite fingernails, wait. Drink brandy.
64. Wait. Drink.
65. Wait even more.
66. Drink more brandy, start to starve. Fight off ravenous dog.
67. Drink a double. Beg boss for job back. Drink another double.
68. Now working as janitor for old boss. Drink a double. Still waiting.
69. Cover art comes through.
70. Sing, dance, boast, drink many doubles, think about punching boss until hungry dog gnaws at ankle.
71. Repeat 63 to 65 and Drink more doubles.
72. Book is published. Yay!
73. Spend the next (most important promo months) in detox…
74. Come out of Detox, Drink a beer.
75. Rejoice! You are a writer!

You can visit S.J. at his website at:



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