And so self publishing becomes self loathing… I hate this book. I hate me for ever starting it. I hate every word. All 128,000 stupid, fucking, misspelled, incorrectly punctuated, echoed, passive words.
I hate editing. I’ve read this nightmare 12 times. No one should have to do that – ever.
I hate Frankie, I hate his friends. Somedays I want to rewrite it just so everyone dies. Maybe end it with a nuclear war so that no one is left except the cockroaches, but then a cockroach would say, “Great job, but there is a typo on page four.” I hate the cockroaches.
I decide the problem is my friends. I have horrible friends. I hate my friends, I’ve always hated my friends. Since starting this book I hate them more than I used to. I’ve always had really horrible friends. They are just getting worse. And they are overly critical. I’m an artist for gods sake. Did Steinbeck spell every word correctly, was is every sentence perfectly structured? Well, yeah, he kind of did. I hate Steinbeck now too.
I decide I need newer, more literate friends. My friend, Rob, mentioned previously, went all ‘voice of reason’ on me, making sound suggestions. I immediately ignored his advice, again.
Craigslist – the source for legitimate editorial help, used bicycles, hookers and parts for my Mustang.
So I post an ad. Something like, “Beta readers needed for an unknown, uneducated, unwashed, author. Imagine the thrill of being one of the first to read the great American novel.”
Within minutes I begin to get responses. Sadly they are all for hookers and Mustang parts. Even a few hookers willing to sell Mustang parts, naked, I assume. I’m more than a little interested, but decide I have to focus.
I spend about an hour trying to figure out how I can retrieve every draft copy I’ve emailed out to various people, delete them and finally, gloriously set fire to the remaining paper copies. I’m finding myself wanting to set this thing on fire way, way too often now.
I’m going all scorched earth on what was once my perfect novel.
I think about seeing a shrink, but suddenly I imagine him saying, “the root of your problem is you make typos all over the place, Jesus, have you seen page four?”
Desperate and nearly out of my mind I call Rob. He suggests printing it out – all 418 pages – and reading it!!! I protest loudly, “I wrote this godawful piece of crap, you expect me to read it too?”
He says, yes he does… I complain I’m out of paper. He says, “go to Staples”… I say it’s too far and besides my Mustang is out of gas. He says, “get some gas and go to Staples.” Rob is really starting to drive me crazy, with all of his sound advice.
I kill a small tree.
I carry the 500 pound book out to my Mustang.
I drive home.
I sit down on my sunny deck and I begin to read.
God, this is great!!! This is the great American novel!! I’m thinking Pulitzer, easy. Probably screen play. I look around the yard for a good place to bury all the money.
Fuck this mess. It’s just one long typo…