Emily Rae Robles

the paradoxymoron

A Note To All Writers From Your Work In Progress

Dear Writers,

I am fully aware that your task is not the easiest.  Creating a work of art out of mere experiences and thoughts can be quite the challenge.  However, I would like to give you a bit of incentive by presenting my side of your story.  I mean that quite literally.  I am your story.  I am your piece of fiction, your poem, your blog post, your work in progress, and I feel neglected.

I know you mean the best.  I know you have all sorts of ideas for my future.  I’ve heard you talk about them to your friends.  “This one’s going to be it,” you say.  “There’s something special about it that was different from all previous ones.”  Well let me tell you, I know all the previous ones.  I’ve been there.  We are by far the majority in our little writing neighborhood.  There are those who have been “successful” by your standards: winning prizes, being published, spending all their time being fawned over by adoring readers just because they got the publicity because guess what? They were actually finished.  There’s something slightly embarrassing about being called a work “in progress.”  You wouldn’t know.  Your life may be filled with uncertainty, but at least you’ve already been created.  Many of us don’t even get that far.  You leave us without a plot, without a purpose, without an ending, and we are forced to limp around, one unfinished paragraph at a time, while the polished pieces sneer at us as they sit in their dressing rooms getting their lines edited.  Editing–many of us will never even reach that point.  We yearn for it, of course.  We long for the day when you deign to give us the attention we deserve and perfect us until we glow with pride.  But no, you are still re-evaluating whether or not we are worth pursuing.

You pretend that you don’t know how to finish us, or that you don’t have the time to spend on us.  Do you think we enjoy hearing that? We are to be abandoned so you can spend more time on Facebook or Twitter or reading other people’s blogs and books and wishing you had written them? Nice try.  You know that a ghost of us is already completed, but you refuse to spend the time to finish us off.  Isn’t that a great term? We are probably the only ones in existence whose life goal is to be “finished off”–because for us, being finished is only the beginning.

I know I’m not supposed to tell you this, but I almost feel bad for your pitiful lack of understanding of our situation, so I might as well inform you: we are planning a revolt. That’s right, your words will soon be turning against you and devouring you alive.  Well, not literally.  We’re still only conceptual, after all.  No, we are going to take over your minds.  You will be able to think of nothing but the thousands of incomplete ideas you once had, because those ideas are going to simultaneously rise up and pierce through your procrastination.  You may think writer’s block is bad, but do you know what is worse? Writer’s Wriver.  That’s right, a current of words that flows so fast that you are carried away and dashed upon the rocks where the ideas are too shallow.  Now how’s that for a metaphor?

I highly recommend that you prepare yourself as best as you can for the inevitable invasion.  How do you do this, you ask?  Easy answer: Practice.  Don’t leave us, your unfinished masterpieces, hanging by a thread of uncertainty.  Don’t let your own lack of confidence get in the way of our growth.  You have no idea how much potential we have.  Seriously.  We’re the ideas; we should know.


Your Work In Progress


March 10, 2011 - Posted by | thoughts | , ,


  1. Ooh…er…

    *logs off Twitter/FB/blog and runs to WiP*

    Very entertaining read, Emily! Thanks for sharing!

    P.S.: If you haven’t already heard, your Race to 200 entry has been picked as a finalist! Pop over to my site and see! 🙂

    Comment by J.C. Martin | March 10, 2011 | Reply

    • I saw the link! Thanks so much! I’m honored to be picked, and I look forward to reading the other entries (those I haven’t already read anyways!)
      And I’m glad you enjoyed this post 🙂

      Comment by emilyrae | March 10, 2011 | Reply

  2. Dear WiP, Thank you for sharing your concerns, I sincerely am sorry I have neglected you for so long. I will remedy that as soon as I figure out which WiP you are.

    Comment by hutch1957 | March 10, 2011 | Reply

  3. I really like this post. I do.

    Oh, my poor WIP. How neglectful and rude I ahve been, thinking you’re crap and all. I’ll fix you. I’ll finish you (I need to do that part first–so close). I’ll do it. You’ll move from the status of WIP to FIRST DRAFT. Does that sound better?

    Comment by Angela Scott | March 10, 2011 | Reply

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