1. The Idealistic Beginning
You’ve just begun and you feel great. What could go wrong? It will be easy to write, won’t take over your life and will be instantly met with awards and accolades. You imagine the interviews you will give on Newsnight, and what you will wear to the Man Booker Prize party. You eat another custard cream. Life is good.
2. The Difficult Second Album (/Second Half of the Novel)
You’ve got all the intrigue all set up, but how to effect that snazzy denouement? Why is finishing so much harder than starting? WHY CAN’T I WORK OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT I HAVE WRITTEN THIS SCENE FIVE DIFFERENT TIMES WHY WHY WHYYYY
3. Contacting an Agent/Publisher
“Come on, it would be great for you to publish this novel. Think of how much money we’ll BOTH make. I know you greedy publishing types LOOOOOOVE money.”*
4. Opening Rejection Mail
“What do you mean you don’t see the unique genius of my revolutionary novel about an intergalactic robot rabbit in a forbidden romance with a toaster? Oh whyyyyyyyy??”
4.5 BONUS STAGE: Your novel got accepted for publication! HOORAY!
Life is AMAZING! Momentarily return to stage 1, eat more custard creams, imagine lifestyle as fabulous celebrity.
5. Novel is finally published!
Ok, so you’re not an overnight success, but life is pretty damn good. Although, wait, isn’t your aunt going to read that dirty sex scene you wrote? And what if someone from school who used to make fun of you thinks it’s silly? And – wait – is that a comma where there should be a semicolon? What if someone notices?? OH GAAAAAHD
(Repeat emotionally volatile cycle indefinitely. Always continue writing)
*Obviously I am not seriously recommending that you ever contact anyone professionally in this manner.