|Photo by Bethany Buchanan|
1. Novel writing is a fun and exciting way to spend a few years of your life. It will in no way make you feel like ripping out your own hair or clawing off your own face.
2. It's a good excuse to drink as much coffee as you want.
3. In your novel, the people will mostly do what you tell them to do, unlike in real life. Okay, sometimes people in your novel do things you don't want them to do, which is a bit more like real life. But still. The point is that you're more in control of the people in your novel than you are of the people in your life. At least in theory.
4. It's a good excuse for why you talk to yourself so much. "I'm trying out some new dialogue," you can say. "Now stop interrupting."
5. It helps account for why you are missing large swaths of time. You weren't napping or skimming the internet or zoning out. You must have been writing. Yes, that's it. You were writing.
6. Daydreaming is no longer considered a waste. If you're writing a novel, it's called "plotting."
7. It accounts for some of your more endearing quirks. Everyone expects creatives to be a bit kooky. Trailing around the house in a kimono, spitting sunflower seeds on the floor, only ever eating the top half of a banana, insisting that the smell of cut grass gives you writer's block, or dancing in the lawn by moonlight to Chopin's "Nocturne" are all perfectly acceptable behaviors if you're a novelist.
8. Novel-writing makes you mysterious and glamorous. (This isn't necessarily true, but based on the interactions I've had with a fair amount of writers, they seem to think it's true. And that's what counts.)
9. The good news is that you will never feel driven to rise from your bed in the middle of the night to wrestle with a particularly tricky bit of punctuation. You will not go back and forth between a period and an exclamation mark until you've practically lost your mind. That literally almost never happens.
10. If you can finish your novel and find an agent who can find you a publisher, then you may eventually get paid.