Friday, October 30, 2009
Everyone Hates Their Job Sometimes...

Here's the truth. Sometimes I hate writing this fucking book.

I know this isn't something most of you want to hear. You want to hear that it's going well. (Which is it.) You also want to hear that I love every moment of writing it. It's my baby, right? You have to love your baby...

Well, yes. But technically I've been working on this trilogy since 1994. The book is more like a teenager in some ways. You love a teenager too, but you can also be angry with a teenager. And sick of its endless shit.

The problem is this. People want to believe that being a published writer is a beautiful, happily-ever-after, candy mountain place where all your dreams come true.

Unfortunately, that's bullshit.

This is a part of something I've come to think of as The Myth of the Author. I'm not going to get into the details right now. That's a blog for a whole different day. But the gist of my theory is that, in general, people think of writers as a different sort of person. And by extension, writing is a different sort of work. It's strange and wonderful. It's a mystic process. It can't be quantified. It's not chemistry, it's alchemy.

While some of that is true, this belief makes it really difficult for me to bitch about my job.

For example, if a doctor wrote a blog saying. "Fuck! sometimes I hate being a doctor…" People would read it and say, "Yeah man. I can see where you're coming from. Long hours. Tons of responsibility. People expect a lot out of you. That's a rough gig."

On the other hand, if I come on here and bitch about my job. People will be disappointed. Irritated even.

Why would people be irritated? For several reasons.

Reason #1: It's irritating when people complain about having a simple job.

Of course, writing a novel isn't simple. Anyone that's ever tried writing one knows this. The problem is, a lot of people haven't tried. They assume writing is easy because, technically, anyone can do it.

To illustrate my point: Just as I was getting published, I met one of the big, A-list fantasy authors. (Who will remain nameless here.)

He told me the story of the time he'd met a doctor at a party. When the author mentioned that he wrote for a living, the doctor said: "Yeah, I was going to write a novel. But I just don't seem to have the time."

The author got a irritated just telling me this story. "When you say something like that," he said. "It's like saying being a writer doesn't take any skill. It's something anyone can do. But only a very slim percentage of the population can write well enough to make a living at it. It's like going up to a doctor and saying, 'yeah. My appendix was inflamed. I was going to take it out myself, but I didn't really have the time.'"

Newbie writer that I was, I simply enjoyed the story, privately thinking that surely *my* readers would never be so foolish to assume that. And even if they did, I wouldn't mind that much…

Fast forward to earlier this year, when I got the following e-mail:

Hi Patrick,

I'm a librarian, former teacher. I just read your book, very good. But, boy do you have a problem. Finishing tasks?? Why isn't your editor doing a better job of guiding you? Here's my quick recommendation: stop going to conventions. Your first book is a great hit, you don't need any more marketing there. Sit down and decide where to END the second part. You don't need to write any more. If book two is anything like book one, it is basically chronological. You're done with book two!! Stop in a logical place, smooth out the transitions, and begin obsessing about book three. Good luck.

For those of you who have been reading the blog for a while, this is the letter I was thinking about mocking Waaaay back in May.

Re-reading it now, most of my irritation has faded. But my profound sensation of *What the Fuck* is still as strong as ever.

Let's not even deal with the first half of the letter. Let's ignore the fact that this woman isn't a publicist, an editor, or my personal life-coach. Let's jump straight to how she explains how I should write my book:

Oh. I need to sit down. I see. I need to know where to END it. I hadn't thought of that.

And chronological order? Brilliant! Up until this point I'd been arranging all the chapters by length.

I mean seriously. You people do know that I have to make the entire book up, right? I'm not just cribbing it out of Kvothe's biography, right?


And I lack the words to express my stupification at the offhand advice that I should just "smooth out the transitions."

That's not true. I do have the words. They go like this: "If this is the sort of advice you used to give your students when you were a teacher, thank you for not being a teacher any more."

I counted yesterday. Do you know book two has eighteen fucking plotlines? Six entirely distinct settings, each with their own casts of characters? How exactly to I smooth that out? Do you think I just go down to the writing store, buy some fucking transition putty, and slather it on?

Okay. I lied. I guess I'm still irritated.

Truth is, I know that this letter comes from a place of love. This person is genuinely trying to help me. Deep in her heart of hearts, this woman believes she knows how to write a novel. The answers are so obvious. It seems simple to her…

This is why some folks will get irritated if I complain about my job. Because they think writing is simple.

But it isn't. Nobody's job is as simple as it looks from the outside.

Reason #2: It's not cool to complain about your dream job.

I'm well aware of the fact that, I'm living the dream. A lot of people want to be published. They want it so bad they can taste it. They'd give anything…

I know this because that's how I used to feel.

I'm lucky: I got published. What's more, I'm one of the few writers that gets to write full time. Even better, I've gone international, and people all over the world are waiting for the next book.

But that doesn't mean I don't hate my job sometimes.

It doesn't matter what you do for a living. Ron Jeremy probably calls in sick some days because he just can't stand the thought of getting another blowjob. I don't doubt that Mike and Jerry over at Penny Arcade occasionally wake up in the morning and think, "Fuck, I've got to play more fucking video games today."

That's just the way of the world. Everyone hates their own job sometimes. It's an inalienable right, like life, liberty, and the pursuit of property.

Reason #3: The Myth of the Author.

People want to believe that the act of creation is a magical thing. When I write, I am like some beardy old-word god, hewing the book from some raw piece of literary firmament. When I write, the muse is like a lithe, naked woman, sitting on my lap with her tongue in my ear.

(This would make a great bookjacket photo.)

And you want to know the truth? Sometimes it's exactly like that. Sometimes when I write, I'm so full of adrenaline that I could lift up a truck. I can feel my my tripartite soul burning in my chest like molten gold.

But sometimes it sucks. Just like any job. I get bored revising the same chapters over and over. My back hurts from hunching over the keyboard. I am so tired of fucking spellcheck. Do you know how long it takes to run spellcheck on 350,000 words?

I'm tired of trying to juggle everything: the plotlines, the character arcs, the realistic depiction of a fantastic world, the pacing, the word choice, the tension, the tone, the stories-within-stories. Half of it would be easy, but getting everything right at once? It's like trying to play cat's cradle in n-dimensional space.

The truth is, sometimes I'm so sick of sitting in front of this computer I could shit bile.

There. That's all. I'm not quitting. I'm not even taking the night off. I just needed to vent.

Thanks for being here. Remember to tip your waitress. I'll be here all week.


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posted by Pat at


Blogger Jason said...

I had an easy job once; it gave me time to write a novel. Except that I keep getting stuck on the first page.

October 30, 2009 6:53 AM  
Blogger marky said...

I love it when you rant.

If it helps, I hate my job too. Mostly, all of the time.

The Ron Jeremy line was quality. I laughed my hairy arse off.

Oh, and I'm guessing about six hours to run the spell check.

October 30, 2009 6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The word verification is douche today. ANYWAY... I know where you're coming from, as a poet. You wouldnt believe how many really bad peoms have been thrown in my face by people who honestly think they're good. I always want to scream THERE'S MORE TO IT THEN JUST RHMYMING CAT AND BAT! I DOESNT WORK LIKE THAT!

hmmm.... Maybe im a little irritated too.... ;)

luv ya pat, withstand the idiots, they're the ones who make the world a fun and interesting place to live in.

October 30, 2009 6:57 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Hey, at least when you're finished we'll have another book to curl up with, and then we can come on here and sing your praises. Well I won't sing, that would be a punishment.

October 30, 2009 6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, that whole line about do something you love, and you'll never "work" a day in your life? It's all a lie, regardless of the line of work. On the other hand, I'm a personal believer that "work" is good for us, that it changes something in us for the better, so that's still good.

Not being an author, I can't empathize, but I do sympathize. I follow several different author blogs, and they all feel the same - that the general population is very much clueless about what it's like to be an author.

So, Pat, you're in good company. (I was about to say you're normal, but well, I probably wouldn't like your writing nearly so much if you were normal.) Anyhow, thanks for sticking with it, because you bring the rest of us a whole lotta happiness!

October 30, 2009 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We love ya Pat
Keep plugging away. If it makes you feel better my job sucks too!

October 30, 2009 7:16 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

I have a great job too, and i have a hard time describing to people what it is I actually do. Even though it's mostly fun, and creative, and to quote from "the devil wears Prada" "A Million girl would kill for my job", and boys too. sort of. but I get so annoyed from it sometimes too, so I feel you.

Also, the other day I saw someone post something like "Finish your book already dammit" on your facebook. while I sort of agree with the overall sentiment, that was so rude. I wrote you an email like that once, and i'm sorry about that now. go at your own pace. I just reread TNOTW (finished yesterday) so I'm very enthusiastic about the book, but not enough to want you to hate your life to finish it.

So, in summary: sympathy, impatience, anticipation and support.


October 30, 2009 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow what a horrible woman. why would you write to an author and say that?!
i know how you feel to a degree, I'm an artist and animator so for some reason that must mean i just love designing people tattoos for free when ever they want, its just drawing, easy right?
anyway, we the fans love you, thats all that matters :)

October 30, 2009 7:18 AM  
Blogger Casseopia said...

I'm one of the ones who dreams to be published, if I can actually finish the damned book! I'm sure I don't feel your pain on the same level, but a bit of it I do.

I wouldn't have been so nice to the chick's letter...I can be pretty touchy when it comes to people thinking they know when they don't (on many subjects, not just writing).
That and I'm pregnant so I get snippy fast.

Best of luck with book and Oot. You're doing great! (as evidence I present the fact that you're not dangling your kid off a balcony or taking a mall hostage or anything)

October 30, 2009 7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Pat!

Don't worry about it, we all feel that way sometimes, even those of us who are doing our dream job. There is never a dream job with aspects of it that don't suck ALOT of balls.

Hopefully after this book is all done and it's out, and everybody is e-mailing you and writing to you saying "god you kick ass" or something along the lines, all the crap parts of your job will fade in your memory and all you will remember is how great your job truly is...that is until you sit down to get to book 3 :)

Keep plugging away! Ignore the nay sayers, and just think, a lot of teens grow up to become friends with your parents, hopefully book 2 turns out that way!

October 30, 2009 7:27 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Hey Pat,

You have my utmost sympathy! Know that I can completely see where you're coming from and you're totally right, you're allowed to hate your job's very difficult! Imagine if every employee in the world had thousands of clients whining at them all the time. We'd all go insane!

All I can say is, keep doing what you're doing. Work, Vent, Do something fun, work, vent, fun. Try to enjoy life because it'll come out in your book. :)

We all have to remember you're a person too and when the books ARE done, you'd probably like to have your sanity.

October 30, 2009 7:32 AM  
Blogger Michael H. Tritter said...

What a long post ... you could have been working on Wise Man's Fear! Back to work, bitch! Okay, so Pat Rothfuss isn't my bitch ... he's everyone's bitch! Work! Work! Work!

Seriously though, I don't know how you did or how you do it. Of course, there was no pressure, no timetable for the first novel. You are still a young man, Pat ... who says you can't spend 14 years more crafting Wise Man's Fear into the novel that you want it to be? Oh, you publishers and fans, that's who...but maybe, just maybe, you know your novel better than they anyhow. All pressure, all deadlines, and all rules are illusions. Instead, be who Oot thinks you are.

October 30, 2009 7:33 AM  
Blogger drey said...

Ahhh, Pat. That's why they call it "work". If it didn't suck at times, it'd be "play"...

I'm one of the legions waiting for TWMF. But I want it to be good, so take your time. And rant all you want, it's a free country. =)

October 30, 2009 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Choatmajesty said...

As marky said i also love it when you rant. I can understand why you would get so pissed about peoples attitude towards writing. I'm still in school and most of the populus has trouble writing short stories, let alone a novel. People don't understand what it takes to be a good writer. They will complain about other peoples writings, but they have never written more than 3 pages in there life. And even when they did write 3 pages it was just like they threw a bunch of words in a bowl and then dumped it out on paper and called it "good." and while i am here i might as well say that you are doing a fantastic job and i look forward to your next book.

October 30, 2009 7:35 AM  
Blogger Charli said...

I started writing my first attempt at a novel about 18 months ago and have barely reached the 30,000 work mark. Its been hard to get that far, and my storyline and backstory pales in significance compared to yours Pat. I can't begin to imagine how difficult it gets after one book and 350,000 words in!

At least you know when its finally done there will be a lot of people appreciating your work! Keep up the good work!

October 30, 2009 7:36 AM  
Anonymous Choatmajesty said...


October 30, 2009 7:36 AM  
OpenID mybackstage said...

First, I can't believe you actually got/read that email.

Second, I totally feel ya. I'm a new professor -- the job I've been working at getting for the past oh... I don't know, 15 years? My friends are still in grad school. To them, I'm living the dream. And, I thought I would be too. Turns out that I not so much like my job. In fact, many days I down right hate it. And the amount of work? Forget about it.

Try explaining what a professor does to anyone off the street, and hey just don't get it. I know you've taught at college before, so you may know what I'm saying.

Worse thing is, the dissertation still isn't done. So I get the same comments. "Just got to put your butt in the seat and write." Yeah, it's THAT easy. Just finding the time where my butt = seat for dissertation purposes is impossible.

I want you to get your book done so I can take a break from my world (and it's suckitude). But, I understand where you are coming from. And, honestly, I'd feel cheated if you rushed through it and published some crap rather than taking the time and really digging through the world.

I'll wait for you to get done. It's not like there aren't other books I can read while waiting.

October 30, 2009 7:40 AM  
Blogger Debra L Martin said...

Hi Pat,

I never used to understand how authors felt, that is, until my co-author and I starting writing a SF trilogy. We have finished the first 2 books, but that first one was an absolute bear. We lost count the number of revisions that we did. We haven't found a publisher yet, but when we do I can imagine that many more revisions will be waiting for us.

Everyone needs to rant sometimes. Get it out of your system. Your fellow writers understand totally.

October 30, 2009 7:43 AM  
Blogger Jabbs said...

aah, I can sympathise if not emphathise (just yet). Maybe you need to do the 'clamber out the window and scratch on your girlfriends window' thing?

Easy for us to say but keep it up, you are an honest inspiration to the rest of us :-)

October 30, 2009 7:43 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Granted, I first read "transition putty" as "transition jelly," which already explains why I can't find that crap near the KY or the strawberry jellies. And my novel could really use some of it, too, along with plot thickener and condoms.

October 30, 2009 7:46 AM  
Blogger A. Grey said...

I think I'm in love with you, just a little bit....

I work on an estate where I take care of thirty-odd horses. I also write and some day I'll be published, and god only knows how I'll transition into writing more to deadlines and such, and doing horse things less.

The point is, I'm 28 years old. I've been into horses for twenty years. I've been writing seriously for fifteen. I've had this job for ten years. And people still ask me when I'm going to 'get a real job'. Are you fucking serious? I've had the same job for TEN YEARS and somehow it doesn't qualify as 'real'?

I won't even go into the fact that MY job requires tossing around hundreds of pounds in feed, hay, shit, and anything else that needs to be moved EVERY DAY. Horses don't have holidays, they don't take vacation. They're like children in many ways. Once you have one in your care your life changes AROUND them, not the other way around. And when they get sick, they tend to thrash and get grumpy, and they weigh thousands of pounds. Oh and by the way, trying to get published is HARD.

Going home every night, then taking care of my own animals, and then sitting down to try and create something that's going to stick out successfully amid THOUSANDS of other people's works, well, that's daunting enough. And then YOU want to know when I'm going to get a REAL JOB??? Oh, and I wish people would stop telling me that 'someday, you'll get published and you can quit the horses and just write forever.' I might write fantasy, but I exist in the REAL WORLD...

October 30, 2009 7:49 AM  
Anonymous Wolf said...

Wow, that letter is quite a gem. I am not an author, because I cant do what you do. I just lack the ability. Huge respect for being able to do it! And, of course, for spellchecking 320k words...

October 30, 2009 7:51 AM  
Blogger Nanashi said...

Well, I hesitate to call myself an author, as I've not really finished writing all that much, but I really can sympathise.
One week, I can do nothing but think of engaging plot lines, witty things for my characters to say and that perfect discription of a scene exactly how it looks in my head. Then the next week, I can't think of anything beyond:
"Oh hello," she said.
"Hello," he said.
"How are you?"
"Okay, thanks. You?"

I think it's the fact that you know you can produce brilliance that annoys the most when you find yourself stuck.
Sitting in front of a screen staring at a bunch of letters that used to make sense is not fun.
Oh and then someone else proof-reads it, and the whole can of "That-doesn't-quite-sound-right-" is opened and you want to hit something.

Maybe one day I'll get published, then we can be author buddies... Or maybe not. >.>
*turns stalker mode off*

Keep going, we're all confident you can finish book 2, and that you'll make it excellent.

October 30, 2009 7:52 AM  
Blogger bryan.bischof said...

*Obligatory post to point out your math mistake*

Cat's Cradle wouldn't really work in n-dimensional space(assuming n>3, otherwise your metaphor is pretty trite). I hope you won't take offense to me pointing this out, but math is my dream job so I'm sure you understand my necessity for posting this.

Cat's Cradle is played with an ordinary piece of string and the basic idea of Cat's Cradle is to form interesting knots with that string using strange manipulations of your fingers and hands. So in essence, we can think about the following question;
"Can you make a knot in 4-dimensions using an ordinary piece of string?"

The answer is no, and I will tell you why(of course). Imagine for a moment, two little segments of your ordinary string, not connected to anything. I am sure that you would agree with me that you can move them around one another without worry of entanglement. Well, in 4-dimensions, we have the freedom of movement to always make the strings act like these segments.

Take a piece of paper, and draw two circles with the same center-point(different size circles). Now, assuming the circles must stay on that page, you cannot move the interior circle outside the exterior circle. This is because we have constrained the directions in which they can move. If instead, you cut those two circles out, you would be able to move the interior circle down and out of the exterior circle. This is the same idea with a knot in 4-dimensions.

If a knot doesn't work in 4, it definitely doesn't work in more than 4. An entertaining book that talks about things such as this is E.A. Abbott's "Flatland".

P.S. Loved NOTW, good luck on the other two!

October 30, 2009 7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Arbeit macht frei"

Fuck all that shit. If you need a break Mr Rothfuss, you take a break. Writing a novel is important an CAN NOT be rushed.

If it takes you another year to finish book two, so be it. We will wait. If it takes another 10 years to finish book two, so be it. We will wait.

If you rush to make people happy and write a bad book to follow up an instant classic that will no doubt have my children and their children after sitting up at night turning page after page to find out what happens next... well...

You wouldn't be able to live with yourself, but I don't need to tell you that.

From what I gather of you from your blogs, you will do the right thing and finish the book the way its suppose to be finished and not bow to blow hard "fans" and deadlines.

You will give us another timeless classic, and we know it. And we love you for it. And we will wait for it untill YOU are ready to present it to us in all its glory.

And we will wait as long as you need us to, because you are in controle of that reality, so we will wait for you to finish it your way.

October 30, 2009 7:55 AM  
Blogger logankstewart said...

Press on, friend. Most of your fans are supportive anyway, and the ones that aren't are probably complaining about GRRM, too. As far as I'm concerned, the wait for the next book just builds anticipation, which will make the book even greater. Plus, it gives me time to work down my TBR pile a wee bit.

Best of luck, Pat.

October 30, 2009 7:56 AM  
Anonymous MAS said...

Hey Pat, if it makes you feel any better, it's not just writers that people don't get. After 4 years of undergraduate work, 2 more for the M.A., and another 7 for the Ph.D., I am finally a professional historian teaching at a small state school, researching, writing, and publishing. It took a long bloody time to get there. But still, I go to a party, tell people what I do, and they say, "yeah, I thought about writing history when I retire." Apparently, my long involved education was utterly useless. All I needed to do was have some other career, then retire, and I'd be a qualified historian.

Hmmmm, now I'm ranting! Anyway, you're not alone. We know the book's coming; we know it's gonna be great. And we feel for ya, man.

MAS (Ph.D.)

October 30, 2009 8:02 AM  
Anonymous funny said...

great rant! i loved to read it from work :)

October 30, 2009 8:06 AM  
Blogger Courtney Milan said...

Dude, I am nearing the end of one year working on this book (and God willing my editor will get it this weekend), and I thought I was sick of it. I can't imagine 15 years.

My explanation of why I write, despite the fact that writing is not kittens and blue horseshoes all the time is here.

Good luck on that.

October 30, 2009 8:09 AM  
Blogger Tommy said...

suck it up, that's the price of success. its alright to rant, you gotta let that steam out somewhere right, if not you will just implode. but bottom line, you still gotta finish that book.

alot of pple are depending on you! =)

October 30, 2009 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Taur' Ohtar Sereg Wethrin said...

Huhhh...Well, I'm still washing dishes for a living, schoolig full time, and trying to write in between as much as I can without completely neglecting my familly. Kind of like what you did for years, I suppose.
Best luck!

October 30, 2009 8:15 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

Dead on as usual, Pat. It doesn't matter what your job is - once it becomes your job, by definition, it ceases to be something you do when you feel the desire/need, and becomes something you have to do.

The problem is that there are many, many people out there ignorant of the discipline required of professionals. They think that they can churn out a novel or a story in stolen moments, therefore your "job" must only take those same few moments - certainly it couldn't be something that requires your attention full time! Surely you just throw words on a paper, as they do, but whatever magic you have just makes your product better. You can't possibly have higher standards, can't possibly require more of yourself and your work, can't possibly agonize over your work in a way they never have. The idea that maybe that's the difference between writing some little stories in your downtime and being a professional writer - this probably never occurs to them.

Let's face it - an ever-increasing number of adults have no idea how much work it actually is to be a teacher - a person in a career with which we have all had some interaction. How much can we expect them to grasp artistic careers with which they have no connection at all, in which you can't even point to a pile of exams/labs/assignments and say "when do you think these were graded?" - where all you can point to is a draft and a draft and say "Where do you think those 500 words went? Where do you think those 500 words came from?"

October 30, 2009 8:16 AM  
Blogger jcp said...

" general, people think of writers as a different sort of person. And by extension, writing is a different sort of work. It's strange and wonderful. It's a mystic process. It can't be quantified. It's not chemistry, it's alchemy."

I understand the point you're trying to make, but there are people who think chemistry is "strange and wonderful" and "a mystic process".

We're called chemists. :)

October 30, 2009 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo! That was a spectacular rant. I hope it was as cathartic for you to write as it was enjoyable for me to read. BTW - do you draw your comics as well?

October 30, 2009 8:26 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Pat, you are an exceptionally skilled author, and 99.99% of the population has no idea what it takes to do what you can do. I couldn't imagine what it takes to develope a story and world with so many detailes and feelings all to its own.

I can at least empathize of the hordes thinking you having it made and wanting to jump in and be what you are. I do mechanical special effects and pyrotechnics in the film industry, and pretty much every warm blooded male I meet has to respond with, "That's cool, I've always wanted to do that, do you think you could get me in?"

I can't blame them for wanting to get into it, it was my dreamjob too once, and some I actually do help, but usually I answer there question with a checklist of questions. "Sure, I can get you in, if you have the right skills. Can you weld? Are you a good mechanic? Are you a good machinist / fabricator? Are you a good carpinter? Do you have any electrical, plumbing, or engineering skills? Can you pick up at a moments notice to go live on location for six plus months at any given time?"

I usually get all "no's" to this line of questioning followed by, "What does that have to do with blowing things up?"

"Everything." I reply followed by, "call me back when your are good at five of those skills, can work 80 hours a week, and have no problem with constantly being relocated and I'll hire you."

People have no idea what it takes, they just see something cool and think they can do better. Amazingly, I've been doing this since 1994, and in all that time, only one kid has ever actually called me back, having gone to a vocational college and taken welding, machine tooling, auto body and auto mechanics. I was pretty surprised when he called me up a few years later, but I did hire him, and he is now in the business.

Sorry I am now ranting myself. My point is people see something cool, and they instantly think, "I can do that," or "I can do better."

Well Pat, I could never do what you do, and I realize that you have sacrificed a good part of your life to give the world the wonderful gift of your first book. You are doing so now to give the gift of your second book.

I say do it all in your own time. Don't loose sleep, sanity, or precious time with your family just because people demand to be entertained now instead of later.
Don't risk your happiness or sanity for the sake of demanding fans. When "The Wise Man's Fear," which my brother Dustin and I still say is of clowns, does come out, we will read it and be happy to do so, and no one will care how long it took to create yet another masterpiece.

October 30, 2009 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Cecrow said...

Actually I do sympathize with you, completely. In 1998 I started writing a novel myself. Wrote and wrote and wrote, and thought I'd never be finished. Twelve years later, finally, done! Then I started revising. Revising and revising and revising. Nine years later, finally, realized I'm never going to succeed at making this work. In other words, twenty-one years later, I've given up. Quit. Phooey. At least a fifth of my life gone and nothing to show for it.

And I sympathize with you, because you don't have that luxury. For me it's a hobby. For you, it's your job. I can't imagine facing that monstrous mess for one day longer, so I don't. You sir, on the other hand, are - well, you know.

On the other hand ... I've started a new one, doggedly determined to do one right this time. Because the will and love of doing it remains, even when it gets so cruddy that you want to just give up. I'm sure it's the same for you. But what I'm lacking that you have in spades is no cheerleaders, the fans, no motivation other than stubborn will to persevere. You've an enormous fan base backing you up that wants nothing more than to see you succeed. And you can count me among them. Because even though I've never read your book (oh, I did buy it, for sure! Just haven't read it yet. I was writing, you see), I've been following your blog since Day One. For the perspective like this entry offers.

Sure, at the same time it's pressure. You don't want to let down those fans. But neither do I, even though I have to just imagine mine. I want people to LIKE what I write, even if it means setting aside 21 years of work and starting over. What I'm saying is, you're not just real to readers of your book. You're real to all of us who fight away at that blank piece of paper/screen right along with you. Thanks for an inspiring (yes, inspiring) blog entry that assures me the published are no more superhuman than the unpublished; and good luck to you, sir.

October 30, 2009 8:28 AM  
Blogger PJ said...

Go give Oot a hug. That will make you feel a little better - Unless he pukes on you. Even then you just have to laugh.

October 30, 2009 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Josiah Cadicamo said...

Well, I'm only 16 but i have had 3 jobs already and loved every one of 'em, and i still get sick to death of them.

I wouldn't know how to start a novel if you hit me over the head with it.

XD Not like that helps much but i thought I'd try.

October 30, 2009 8:29 AM  
Blogger Chloroplast said...

I'm trying to write a novel...I think I have an idea of what you mean. Here's a big hug and a sunrise - one of them you get now, the other one early tomorrow; overnight postage can only go so far.


October 30, 2009 8:32 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

Take a day off!

October 30, 2009 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Cecrow said...

Okay, so what I meant was, I started in 1988. I'm a writer, not a mathmetician!

October 30, 2009 8:33 AM  
Anonymous [email protected] said...

Ok first of all, you are all a bunch of coddling kiss asses.

Patrick, normally I enjoy reading your blog but this fucking whiney shit is too much.

Take your time, don't worry about what other people say it doesn't matter. We'll get the book when we get it Mr. Martin, I mean Rothfuss.

October 30, 2009 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Christina J said...

I fully respect the difficulty it takes to write. Especially when you have pressure on you. Your work is amazing and I really love the way you write. It's not easy to create a story where the readers dont get that disconnected feeling and actually feel like they are "in" the book. Some people dont seem to realize that it's not just what the story is about, but the way it was written. And that is the difficult and time consuming part. It's a great feeling when you find a book that you really enjoy. And for me yours was one of them :)

October 30, 2009 8:49 AM  
Blogger Mainjari said...

This is why I feel bad for George R. R. Martin when I hear people start talking about his A Song of Ice and Fire series, because not only are people with this attitude about him a dime a dozen, but they aren't even the worst of them.

October 30, 2009 8:49 AM  
Anonymous LaurafromNY said...

I totally get what you mean. I started writing a book when I was 13 and I’m going to be 23! I’ve been writing parts in between classes, summers, etc but stopped because college and a part-time job demanded my time and now that I’ve graduated, a full-time job demands my time. I had started revising and trying to continue the story, but it’s so damn tough! It’s tough because the stuff I wrote back then was a child’s voice and is so different from what I’ve learned during JHS to HS to College! I must have revised the first two chapters 10+ times trying to put my voice in there and show, not tell, and I’m sick of going back to revise those chapters when the rest of the story needs to be worked on. I’ve stopped for 3 years now, but I will finish it! It’s a headache for sure and it’s NOT a simple task, and you know what, it’s ok to bitch about it because not a lot of people have tried it! But don’t give up! (I really should follow my own advice, but after staring at the computer screen in work all day, I find that I detest staring at it at home, and because college sucked the fun out of reading, I don't want to see a book until next year. But I find that if you work out the story in your head, play it like a movie, then at least you know where you want to go).

October 30, 2009 8:50 AM  
Blogger Chris Dressner said...

Pat as someone who works front desk at a hotel and used to wait tables, I know a thing or two about a job that can be frustrating at times too. Also I know a thing or two about dealing with stupid people saying and doing stupid things, which a popular author who reads his email deals with as well.

I think the best way to think of your readers is less than human. ;)

The guests at my hotel aren't people, they are things that I put in rooms and make happy if they are angry. That doesn't mean I treat them rudely or bad in any way, but I for sure don't take it personally if they are rude. It is actually usually funny if I get yelled at about something stupid (especially in the reenactments and parodies performed in the back).

You deal with a large number of people Pat, and a large number of people in this world are stupid. Liking a cool book like The Name of the Wind doesn't automatically make you an intelligent sympathetic observant person. At the next convention, ask any of your author friends who have had a public life for longer if they take to heart the comments of all their readers.

This woman obviously just doesn't understand. At all. So what she says does not matter. At all.

October 30, 2009 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat-I'm pretty sure I know which author you're talking about. Don't be terribly concerned about maintaining his privacy, since he relays that anecdote in a forward to someone else's book--check out the forward to _One_More_Sunday_ and see if you don't consider find yourself agreeing with heartfelt profanities.

I used to dream of "making it." Seeing a good friend go through the process and watching her beloved pasttime, what she is compelled by her wiring to do, turn into some sort of lever that allows others to make demands of her... ugh. At least when I write, it's because I WANT to. If I sit down and the word gods aren't kind, I can get up without dreading the next phone call with the agent/editor/publisher/marketers/web site creators.

I would guess it's enough sometimes to make you consider picking up Oot and telling him seriously that he must never, never, never sell his soul to the publishing gods. : )

The great writers are the ones whose craft shows in their word choice; I consider you among those, stylistically. Your prose is prose to savor. Thank you for fighting through to your vision of TWMF rather than throwing any old thing on a page. Misquoting, "Say Anything": There are plenty of guys in the bookworld; be a MAN.

Hang in there.

October 30, 2009 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Carmen P said...

great rant. I am appalled at the librarian. Sounds like another librarian who doesn't really read. Just what we need. I remember reading a bio of Dickens where it described how he would have his bad days: he'd sit in his chair burned out and feeling he'd never write another word and so sick of it and deadlines he didnt care if he ever wrote again. He'd sit for eight hours and just stare out the window. I have a painting of him doing this and i can imagine whats in his mind: "Fuck you Pip." Sorry if the Dickens reference seems uncool but I tend to think of him as the first professional novelist. I also think that resentment toward the characters is perhaps one reason why so many bad things happen to said characters in his novel.
I think people who read understand that writing is a job and as jobs go its really one of the hardest.
And I also think your rant made a lot of people out there who are trying to write feel a lot better about their frustrations.

October 30, 2009 8:53 AM  
Blogger SJWeb said...

Who does the little cartoons in your blog Pat? Or where do you get them from? They always make me laugh, almost as much as your words.

Its good we can help you by being the board upon which you vent. Even if we are feeling a little dirty and covered in bile. lol.

October 30, 2009 8:58 AM  
Anonymous greg w said...

Hi Patrick,

I'm a Psychologist and former anger management councillor. I just read your rant, very good. But, boy do you have a problem. How do you kill a librarian and get away with it?? Why isn't your evil villain mentor doing a better job of guiding you? Here's my quick recommendation: blunt weapon. Your first book is a great hit, you don't need any more insanity. Sit down and decide where to END the librarians of the world. You don't need to write any more. If book two is anything like book one, it is basically chronological. You're done with book two!! Stop in a logical place, figure out the method, and begin obsessing about evidence. Good luck.

October 30, 2009 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

This is all good practice for when every idiot you know wants to tell you how to parent your kid.

October 30, 2009 9:11 AM  
Blogger Ed Greaves said...

My very first boss, at my very first job told me a "secret to life" I've carried with me to this day.

He told me find a job that you love. Because no matter what you do for a living, there will be days you hate it. And it's better to only hate what you do once in a while than to hate it every single day.

October 30, 2009 9:12 AM  
Blogger Gwyn said...

Transition putty? Oh that is brilliant! Where can I get me some of that? Or how about an automatic exposition machine -- you put in the background info you need the reader to know, and it spits out a nice creative way to convey the information without sounding like you're writing an essay. That would be useful too.

I'm working on my first novel. I *don't* get to write full time, as I certainly haven't sold anything more than a handful of poems. I've been working on it for a little over a year, and I've only got about 9000 words of usable material. I feel your pain, man. It's *hard* work.

October 30, 2009 9:14 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I am a completely different librarian/former teacher, but reading that letter almost makes me ashamed to admit it! How ignorant.

October 30, 2009 9:20 AM  
Blogger Vae said...

i feel you Pat. It does suck sometimes. But you do it so well! Keep it up, I believe in you! And if you need to take a day off or even a week, then go right ahead. Play with Oot, take care of Sarah, play a video game... Don't over work yourself... I am here for you Pat, we all are. If you want to rant, please do, and I am sure we will all enjoy it just as much as the rest of your writing. When it is finally ready, all the work and suffering and bitching and frustration will have been worth it.

October 30, 2009 9:29 AM  
Blogger geminica said...

I often feel this way about visual art. Friends, meaning well, will say: "you are so talented. I can't draw at all." But I've come to the table thinking "I can't draw at all" every day of my life. The only difference between us is that I keep coming. Does that make me talented... or just stubborn? I'm happy to receive compliments, but would rather be recognized for my hard-headed determination to succeed no matter the cost and to keep going despite a thousand failures, than for something so nebulous and effortless-sounding as "talent".

October 30, 2009 9:40 AM  
Blogger wticknor said...

Pat - What amazes me is that you let yourself get irritated by these kinds of emails. YOU know the kind of work and dedication and sacrifice and skill that it takes to do what you do. YOU know what your schedule is like and all the demands that your personal and professional life make on you. YOU have the love and respect of thousands of readers worldwide.

BUT, the readers are just consumers at the end of the day, right? The literary world does not cater to the concepts of instant gratification. And, as you note, the vast majority of people have no idea what it takes to write a novel (even though they know how to plunck down a few duckets and enjoy one).

AND, when you open yourself up to the readers as you do via your blog and email, in addition to love and respect you'll undoubtedly get ignorance and greed and, well, snarkiness. Good with the bad, brother.

Hate your job from day to day. Get frustrated with the creative process. Go bat shit crazy from time to time. In short, be a human being. But try not to let the fans get to you.

Good luck!

- Bill

October 30, 2009 9:44 AM  
Blogger Martin Seeger said...

Hello Pat,

what good is a job you cannot rant about? If you should ever happen to get one of those: quit immediately :-). You're loosing a lot communicative capacity if you occupy one of those.

When is a book finished? Having written one once i would say "Never". We were working as a team and as the person with the lousiest nerves, shortest temper and lowest quality standards, i came close to strongarming the others into publishing it. Was it finished? No, but it was sufficent.

When writing boooks, deadlines are not very useful. I think it was Andrew S. Tannenbaum who wrote once about deadlines: "I love the whooshing sound they make when passing by." Deadlines ate for journalists, not writers :-).

Sincerely yours, Martin

P.S. Have you seen "Stranger Than Fiction"... Good movie about writing :-) and other things.

October 30, 2009 9:53 AM  
Blogger Wilfred Berkhof said...

Actually I doubt the Penny Arcade guys ever get sick of playing games. :)

And don't forget to take some time off from time to time. It's no good being brilliant and worshipped when you can't even take the time to enjoy it. So less writing and more time spend with the wife and little Oot.

October 30, 2009 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel your pain, Patrick. It's really annoying to get writing advice from people who either have never written anything or have taken Creative Writing 101 and have memorized their teacher's trite advice on linear chapter structures: motive, action, consequence (or any other assinine advice). As if that's how to write a book. I don't know if you've ever had the misfortune to be stuck in Creative Writing in college--but if you have, were half the students in your class pharmacy students? What's up with that?

October 30, 2009 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work with mentally ill people in a 6-bed group home who have violent outbursts on a daily basis. So, sometimes I hate my job too! :D

October 30, 2009 9:54 AM  
Anonymous skyeywaw said...

i totally agree, writing is like having an affair with a capricious ,sexy magnificent lover with crazy mood swings. you love it yet you wanna kick it in the nuts.

October 30, 2009 9:54 AM  
Blogger regina said...

I would seriously love to have tea with you. I mean, you have so much time. Writing isn't hard. Duh.


October 30, 2009 9:58 AM  
Blogger Captain Joe said...

Ha-ha, transition putty.

Sometimes you just gotta say 'fuck it', right, and hoist the damn black flag.

Awesome stuff, Pat. You may not like your job sometimes, but we all know you're damn good at it regardless.

All the best.

October 30, 2009 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought all three books were finished at the outset.

October 30, 2009 10:18 AM  
Blogger Horizon said...

I hear you re: hating spellcheck. You should hire an intern! I'm certain you could find a fan who'd be willing to spellcheck the book for you for six cents an hour. Have them sign an NDA and you're set. :P

October 30, 2009 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Melanie Bates said...

Headlines like this don't help writers (or the folks who read either). This little snippet irked me moments before I read your blog today: "Did you know Sunday is the official start of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? Now is the time to sit down and start that novel you've always talked about writing." Oh, okay... so you just "sit down and start" because it's "NaNoWriMo." Really??? Ugh! If only I would have known about this nine years ago when I started my own novel on a random Thursday in May standing at the kitchen counter. Hang in there Pat, maybe tomorrow or the next day the love will resurface, or you could wait till Sunday and just "sit down."

October 30, 2009 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Rick said...

We love you Pat!

October 30, 2009 10:30 AM  
Anonymous MK said...

Thank you for writing this! As I face another day destined to be spent in front of my computer, working on writing my dissertation, it's great to hear all the frustrations of writing expressed so clearly. The letter you got was so typical of the advice I've been given by various well-meaning people that I can't even muster a shred of indignation about it. You're right, she meant well; she just didn't have anything useful to say.

Anyway, keep on keepin' on.

October 30, 2009 10:31 AM  
Blogger eric said...

"It's like trying to play cat's cradle in n-dimensional space."

I love this line -- I know a few people who actually do this for a living. Literally. They're called string theorists, and they sometimes hate their jobs too.

October 30, 2009 10:34 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Hey Pat,

I think you have touched on something that everyone who makes a living by their creativity encounters at one time or another.

It is that one jackass that thinks because you are a (writer, artist, musician, etc.) your job is easy and is nothing but fun and games.

Or in my case you get the "all you do is make pretty graphics"...

The truth is, like any career or job there are always aspects of it that are tedious or a general pain in the ass.

Anyways just keep doing what you have been. Ultimately the book will be done when you think it is, not before.

Oh, and feel free to rant some more, in my opinion it can be cathartic, and entertaining for the rest of us to read.

October 30, 2009 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Greg said...

Suck it evil librarian!

October 30, 2009 10:39 AM  
Blogger Martin Seeger said...

P.S. I think i just found the formula for good writing. You take:

- 10 hours of excruciating writing
- 75 iterations
- 92 advices for help, none helping
- 12.000 hits on the backspace key and Ctrl-Z
- 5 f*cking brilliant minutes

and that per page. The problem lies within the sequence. Doesn't work any other way round.

Coffee, Coke and Cookies may have some catalyzing effect.

October 30, 2009 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Zenelly said...

All I have is a piece of advice:

"Keep breathing. Everything's easier with oxygen."

I used to have a lot of trouble writing English essays, so I can't even imagine how tough it must be for writers such as yourself to keep all the plotlines and characters straight. There are times where I still think that George R.R. Martin has a room covered in writing all over the walls, just to keep it all in line. Just know that we're behind you, and I, at least, would rather wait another ten years and have a piece of art that's completely worth it than something you just bang out and it's not as good as it could be.

And conventions are part of a de-stressing. I go to some, and they always make me feel better about the quality of people in the world.

Rooting for you!

October 30, 2009 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like you should take the night off from writing. Why not carve a pumpkin and put Ooot inside for cute baby pictures or somesuch nonsense instead?

October 30, 2009 10:43 AM  
Blogger valerie said...

One of the things that drew me deeply into your book was your impressive editing skills. You smoothed the perforated edges so masterfully that it appears organic. I've spent enough time editing in various mediums to absolutely love and be endlessly frustrated with it.

If you had set out to write something along the vein of the "Twilight" books, they would likely all be finished by now. Well, great. But you're not writing those books. And the fact that many people do not know how to make that distinction puzzles me, endlessly.

A strange part of being famous, probably for any reason (and especially with access to your blog)is that your fans are allowed a glimpse into your life. But as much as they may like you as a person, they like you from the angle from which you're providing them with something they want. Instead of being "Pat, this awesome guy who I allow to be human and have real, regular emotions like all my friends", you're "Pat, the book-producing machine!". I suppose people see what it is convenient to see. Also, I've been over-generalizing. Not all your fans are this way, just the needy, rude ones :)

I must say. The fact that you are working so hard on this book and when you take a moment to vent, it's well-edited, well-written and eloquent further points to the credit you deserve. It seems to me rather than being ok with churning out "whatever" to keep us regularly fed, the editor in you is so deeply ingrained that you have standards you write by in even your blog. I admire that greatly.

October 30, 2009 11:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Do you not also hate it when people tell you "to relax", claim that they understand/ can relate, and endlessly say say on comments to your blog?

October 30, 2009 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Peat said...

I feel you, brother.

Well, except for the shitting bile part.


October 30, 2009 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Craig said...

I challenge you to a game of n-dimensional cats cradle. That would be awesome.

October 30, 2009 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big fan. Unfortunately bitching about ones job is pre Madonna stuff. The fact that your a writer is irrelevant. Most people don't like there jobs, even writers. Making a living and supporting your family without pointing out the trials and tribulations faced along the way is what make a person a man. Time to man up dood.

October 30, 2009 11:18 AM  
Anonymous allen mottard said...

we love you pat

October 30, 2009 11:26 AM  
OpenID wildtheories said...

Ah - you are the best!
I do have my dream job and I am happy about it.
But I moan about it every single day - when I have no work even much louder than when I have too much work ...
Just visualizing your juggling with plotlines and rereading your own stuff the umpteenth time makes me glad that I can return to MY work.
And I think you are really a hero to stick to the book and try to cook up the best book possible.

October 30, 2009 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not all librarians are women. By choosing to be a writer you have chosen to also deal with all the crap that comes along with it. Shut up and finish book 2.

October 30, 2009 11:40 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Fuckin' eh, Pat, fuckin' eh.

October 30, 2009 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, how do people allow themselves to drip such venom ? You can candy coat a turd nugget and it's still shit. Just because you say it nicely doesn't mean it's nice. Ignore them rant, work, and enjoy life.

October 30, 2009 11:50 AM  
Blogger A. Grey said...

I'm sorry, I have to snark. I was reading through the comments and one of the later anonymous ones is pinching my tit.

1) It is prima donna, not pre Madonna. Pima donnas were around waaay before Madonna, and they'll be around after her.

2) Most people don't dislike their jobs. At least not that I'm aware of. I must have missed the announcement when you polled the planet.

3) There are men who just came back from Iraq paralyzed from the neck down, or burned beyond recognition etc. They will not be working to 'support' their families any time soon. That in no way makes them less of a 'man'. I'm having trouble conceptualizing how you judge what a 'man' is.

3) It's dude, not dood. I don't know if that was intentional or not, but it wasn't cute in the slightest.

If your comment is an inside joke, I take all that back. Joke on. If you were serious.... yeah, I'm going to stick with the polite 'everyone sees things differently' line.

October 30, 2009 11:51 AM  
Blogger Ken said...

Dude, it is hard work.

But don't forget that doing something better than anyone else takes a shit-ton of hard work and sacrifice - and, as you point out, you're doing it at a level that most people can't.

Here's what else is hard - things carry baggage with them, especially when they've been worked on *ehem* for a long time.

I write, have a top agent, he's shopping one of my ms around - meanwhile, I'm rewriting the next one. I've rewritten it twice already, this is the third time. When I was doing the second draft, my mom died of cancer. Awful. Now this book has an extra bit of baggage on it.

Here's to slogging, and to the day we can finally see the fruits of that hard work in the rearview!


October 30, 2009 11:55 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Brozek said...

Oh, sing it, brother. Sing it! I love my job but when I need to deliver 45,000 publishable words in 6 weeks, around weeks 2 and 3, I am in despair. (It's week 3.) And I hate my job. And I wonder why I do it and then... and then it all works out. Eventually.

October 30, 2009 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Nathan P said...

As I read this post I really had to grin a little. Rather than what you expected I was glad to hear you rant about your job. Misery loves company and all; it was refreshing to hear that a job I dream about regularly has its downside. Of course I know this deep down, but hearing it makes all the difference.

October 30, 2009 12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


October 30, 2009 12:17 PM  
Blogger Vinny K said...

Dear Pat,

I truly know where you're coming from. I've been working on a novel for nearly 3 years and I'm not even a quarter of the way done (at least that's how it seems to me). It's a bitch. Writing, revising, re-writing, revising again, and again, and again. It never truly stops, does it? It pisses me off when I'm assailed by family and friends with demands to 'finish the book, already.' As if it's that damn easy!
Just know that there are some of us out there that totally understand how you can sometimes hate the job you chose. May fortune smile upon you.


October 30, 2009 12:42 PM  
Anonymous tjun said...

I don't know what it's like to be an author but i do know what it's like when people who have no idea of who you are and what exactly you are doing think that they need to give you advice...and i know that i'm going to love The Wise Man's Fear, whenever it comes out.

October 30, 2009 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Well, you could switch to writing crappy books, with, like, 2 pov characters and no subplots.

Oh, wait, no you couldn't, that would dissolve your soul, and make baby jesus cry for Kvothe.

I'm sorry it's a shitty writing day. You'll hit the sweet spot again.

Also, this: "Nobody's job is as simple as it looks from the outside." I'm going to tattoo that on my forehead so I can read it in the mirror. I have the patience of a toddler on speed, and sometimes I forget this.

PS my word verification is "shunds." This pleases me.

October 30, 2009 1:21 PM  
Blogger Z Mollon said...

Hey Pat, thanks for venting! I always find it really interesting when I get to hear the frustrations of professional authors. It's nice to have a reminder that authors are human. I don't even have a publisher or editor or bills on my back pushing me to write, and at 90 000 I'm already sick of editing (despite the fact that I haven't even done a full edit yet; I know, I know, amateurish and the rest, but so it goes).
Keep the laughs coming :)

October 30, 2009 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there Pat...I hate my job as well. Hate it more than my mother in law, and if you knew my mother in law, that's a lot of hate. Keep venting!

October 30, 2009 1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're all behind you Pat. And for the record, you couldn't be more right, writing stories can be a pain in the ass.

October 30, 2009 1:51 PM  
Blogger jhowlett66 said...

Don't get yourself down, some people are absolutely incapable of empathy.
Whether you are a Porn star or a Writing Star - you ARE Human. I would imagine being a creator (i.e. artist/writer/composer) may be more stressful due to the fact you often lack the structure and support many other jobs entail. Take you Doctor for an example, what is medicine other than just memorization?” If patient ‘A’ has this, this, and this; then give this and do this” (Yes, I am making light of this so doctors please lower the scalpels!)

I have been waiting months for you to slam that particular “turd” in your cereal (to use your analogy). Oh there is so much you could do with the Librarian thing! Nothing is more therapeutic than a profanity strewn rant. I use you as an example every time my wife complains about my work related rants. “If Pat can do it, it must be acceptable!”

October 30, 2009 1:56 PM  
Blogger pablohunny said...

It's a shame you can't split the novel into several smaller files to spellcheck. Some intelligent programmer needs to write a piece of software that will do that.

Also, I'm astonished you're able to carry on in your job. I managed a couple of years in a job before the endless repetition got to me, and I can only imagine how irritating it must be to re-read a paragraph for the hundreth time this year, never mind all the previous years.

On the bright side, you have a trilogy. After three your series is done. Imagine what Steph(v?)en Eriksson is going through right now :)

October 30, 2009 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to make a comment about how someone once said something similarly obnoxious to me about being an illustrator. (ohh I wanted to go into something fun like that but I decided to do something more serious...) but then I couldnt even begin to figure out how to phrase the stupid story.

So I can imagine that writing a large novel would be very difficult...

October 30, 2009 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud

October 30, 2009 2:05 PM  
Blogger Trickster said...

XD Should use your aching back as an excuse to get a massage...

^^ then in the middle you say you have other places aching also.. *wink* WORKS EVERYTIME!!!

or so it would if i ever have an opportunity to use it.. -desperately lonely-

October 30, 2009 2:09 PM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

I've been told by others wiser than myself that things worth doing are rarely easy and rarely painless. But those who truly appreciate the art of what has been done will shine through at the end and all of the pain will be worth it.

Not to mention there are plenty of people who belittle the worthy pursuits of theres...I'm a grad student in the natural sciences so I know that feeling all too well.

hopefully you can have a drink, hold your baby, get a good night's sleep, and momentarily forget all the stupid people before going back at it the next time.


October 30, 2009 2:27 PM  
Blogger h28koala said...

You mean you aren't just paraphrasing Kvothe's autobiography...

October 30, 2009 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Methalos said...

"I mean seriously. You people do know that I have to make the entire book up, right? I'm not just cribbing it out of Kvothe's biography, right?


Take it as a compliment. Your writing is so convincing that we're all out here utterly sure that this Kvothe guy already exists.

BTW Great book. I don't mind the wait for book 2 because whenever I feel impatient I just go and reread book 1.

October 30, 2009 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a fantastic rant, clearly heartfelt and a pleasure to read. Go Pat!

October 30, 2009 2:36 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

**Jackie bows**

You are freaking awesome.

October 30, 2009 2:53 PM  
Blogger Laura Mir said...

I' m spanish and I spend 30 min trying to write in english what i think about your post.

I press the wrong botton. It's cleared.


ME CAGO EN DIOS!!! (this is like i shit in god.. spanish are very foul-mouthed...)

Some ideas;
- I like you book
- I comprise your hate
- Be happy and do whatever you want.

October 30, 2009 2:53 PM  
Blogger Andrew Rodriguez said...

Dear Pat -

I really liked your blog about how ‘Everyone hates their job sometimes’. It's true for me, I hate my job a lot nowadays, and most of the jobs I had, even when I was a barista and LOVED it every single day, there would even be those days, where I would say "Man, do I have to make another 'cappuccino' for some dumb fucking broad who's definition of 'cappuccino' is 'as much sugar as humanly possible without an mmg (micro-milligram) of calorie that doesn't taste anything like coffee' I'm going to smile politely, brew 16,000 shots and apologize for the wait, use heavy fucking whipping cream, steam it to 250 degrees, then throw it on her face! I love coffee that much, every day.

I'm not a writer, or I should say, I don't write every day. Writing in the sense that I write for publication purposes. Sure, I blog, send emails, post of Facebook, and submit homework, but I don't write for a mass audience or publicist or anyone else. I mostly write for myself with the occasional intention of writing something for others to view. I do write from time to time for my English short-story class, but it's for a grade and I can get away without angry people who paid to read my tripe yelling at me for how awful it is, or even worse, having the smallest amount of expectation that someone would buy one copy, preferably not a used, missing cover copy.

Man when I write, sometimes I can churn out the pages like nothing else, especially when it's due at midnight and I'm starting at 11pm. But, what would matter more to me is if, say, I was writing a story and you were waiting on the other end for it. I would sit there probably staring at the blinking cursor, running ideas through my vapid mind discounting all of them as too 'juvenile' or whatever. And then, to imagine sitting there staring at the blinking cursor when there are millions of you waiting for the story, I can't even pretend to comprehend the enormity of what that room looks like.

My muse used to visit me a lot, but I over watered, or under fed, and she's pretty mad and withered now. I'm slowly breathing some life into her with this simple writing class, but I doubt she'll ever be the same as she was once before when I pondered for a moment about considering an opportunity there was a chance I could conceivably write as a career. I had to seek therapy after that.

I can honestly say that I doubt that even if I had no bills, no responsibilities, no worries, no ennui, no psyche, no ego, super-ego, or id, if I was complacent as vanilla, I could never, ever produce anything as drop-jaw utterly amazing as The Name of the Wind.

So let me be the only one or the one of many that says I could give a care less if it takes another 35 years for 'Day 2' to come out, and 60 years after that for 'Day 3' to be release, even if it's finished by your son, I would still read it. And every day before that will be that much sweeter, knowing I have simply one piece of this fantastic story. I couldn't do it, so who am I to hold you accountable for when the next one comes out. Because I know that if you brew a shot of espresso for longer than 25 seconds and less than 30, it's just ok. Longer than 30 seconds and its bitter, nasty, burnt, atrocious. I don't want that espresso, nor would I want that story. I'll wait in line.

Thanks for your thoughts

October 30, 2009 2:59 PM  
Blogger Andrew Rodriguez said...

This post has been removed by the author.

October 30, 2009 3:13 PM  
Blogger Acorn said...

I have faith in you, Pat. Anyone who can write The Name of the Wind is capable of eventually untangling all of the plot threads in AWMF and mixing them together in an ideal formation. Breathe, meditate, go to a dojo and kick someone's ass; do whatever you have to do to find your creamy center of creativity and focus. Time doesn't matter. You have the ability, you just have to find the right way to tap it.

About the comparisons in the comments between Pat and GRRM, though-- I don't think the two situations are necessarily the same. Pat is clearly working on AWMF and putting his energy into it, regardless of how it may seem to the people outside of his head. In GRRM's case-- well, in the time since Feast of Souls came out, he's written a novel, a novella, co-authored two more novels, and been the editor for four anthologies. It's hard not to feel like GRRM may have just given up on trying to figure out how to complete the SoIaF series and decided to move on to stories he knows how to finish. I don't know; maybe the other books are simply his way of trying to work the cobwebs out of his head. Either way, though, it's kind of discouraging.

October 30, 2009 3:15 PM  
Blogger Norusey said...

I understand what you're saying at least by half. I've almost cracked 200k words and I'm likely going to have to throw half of it out. Some days writing makes me want to vomit. Yet at the same time it feels like the only thing worth anything in my life. Creating your own worlds, your own cultures, your own languages, is really really fucking hard. People think this stuff comes out of nowhere as you said but it comes from deep within us pulled, ripped, and dragged screaming from our veins by Herculean willpower.
From the outside just about any job looks easy. I remember when I was younger I wanted to try my hand at philosophy, another time I wanted to try my hand at being a geneticist. But of course at my back and in my heart I knew my gift was spinning tales. I'm not published yet and I might never will be. But at the very least I'll finish what I'm doing as I know that you'll finish what you're doing. Then once your finished you'll send off your work to the publisher like a proud parent sends a child off to college or the workforce; while once I'm finished I'll stare at my work proud knowing that even if what I've made with my own hands is insignificant in the greater scheme, I have molded my blood, sweat, and tears into something worthwhile.

Look at this, I haven't even read your first book yet and I wrote this big ol thing. Hah, look forward to picking it up next time I'm in a bookstore which will likely be soon.

Excuse my cruelty to the comma. I've always been clumsy with commas and semicolons.

October 30, 2009 3:17 PM  
Blogger Andrew Rodriguez said...

Arliden is rolling in his grave. He knows what it's like to not want to release something before it's ready.

We don't want Pat to be killed before Day 2 is released do we? If he goes on telling us stories about Chandrain before it's finished, they'll swoop down and slay him before we even know the fire is blue!

Tehlu spare him.

October 30, 2009 3:27 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Well Pat, if it helps at all, I'd just like to say that there are only three fantasy books/series I actually re-read every year: Tolkien, Martin, and now your books. Tolkien set an impossibly high bar, and even now it seems that so many fantasy novels are just Tolkien wremakes. Yours, however, are definitely something new and, to be collegiate, awesome.

In any case, if Wise Man's Fear happens to get published while I'm still studying abroad in London, and it gets out in the US before the UK, you can bet I'll have a copy ordered to arrive on release day, shipping be damned.

October 30, 2009 3:31 PM  
Blogger m said...

Even though you probably don't have the time or motivation reading this I think I can relate a bit. A tiny bit.

I write music; not professionally but most people I show my creation still praise me.

BUT there are always those people who have no idea. Sometimes I get asked "Where are the lyrics?" "Why is there no singing". And then I think "I fucking wrote a multiple layer piece of music with half a dozen to a dozen of instruments and you ask where the lyrics are? Do you even know one tiny bit about music?". It just seems to be easy to most people because actually they have no idea how hard it is; But knowing nothing about one thing makes you presume that it can't be that hard.

Well that's life.

Btw. that letter is hilarious.

October 30, 2009 4:44 PM  
Blogger Tyson said...

You're awesome, amigo. Vent all you want. We'll be here to listen.

This is also encouraging for writers just starting out. Always good to know that there isn't some secret that we're just missing as we struggle along.

October 30, 2009 5:14 PM  
Blogger Aerron said...

I'll add my voice to the keep-up-the-good-work choir.

It'll be done when you're done with it.

Go rock with Oot for 15 minutes then kiss Sarah.

Go see a movie and eat too much popcorn.

We'll wait.

October 30, 2009 5:17 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Talk about making things hard on yourself, Pat.

No transition putty? None whatsoever?!?!

Jesus Christ, man. Please tell me you at least know where the fucking character shellac and plot spackle are located. Next thing you'll have no idea where the emotional caulk is located.

October 30, 2009 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was suddenly reminded of the idiocy of movie writers (not screenwriters): you know, the characters in films that type away at the computer (or typewriter)while the audience hears every inane sentence and you realize by the end of the movie, a month has gone by in film-time and the writer is done with manuscript and has sent it to the publisher. No editing. No proofreading. No spellcheck. Just write the worst first draft possible, send it in, get published, and become famous. Perhaps this is one small source of confusion for most non-writers. Maybe in the future there can be a movie made in which you hear the writer's interior monologue not writing but rewriting. Then people can get a glimpse into how tedious real writing can be sometimes.

October 30, 2009 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love reading artist's angst. It's so different from the normal schlop you get at work. It's more passionate, more nebulous, and unless you realize that an artist's angst is truly different than a non-artist's angst, you may not get what the actual problem is.

A mighty venting, indeed. Here's a quick poem:

When the book is too smart
for your wandering mind
sit yourself down
to transition the time
where Kvothe kills a demon
and speaks in a rhyme
wood, rowan, ash, and two
by ten, and believe it's true
until the time he loses his love,
to something from below or above
a cursing feline or starving rat
dropped by a blacksmith with an iron bat
For the story of Kvothe is well and fine
but it's dreams of Fela that pass my time.
Focus on her swaying hair
her cloaking arms, enticing stare
forget the drama, put her on cue
and for the love of god
just END book two.

October 30, 2009 5:44 PM  
Blogger opsomath said...

Your advisor has a brother who, while watching college football on Saturday, was composing a letter to Tim Tebow suggesting that he just throw the ball to a receiver.

Keep up the good work. Have you ever read Stephen King's "On Writing"?

October 30, 2009 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm not going to offer up my sympathy, or share a personal story. I'm not going to try to relate to you. Not this time.

I just wanted to say thanks.
Today, my dog had to be put down.
And, through the tears, I laughed.
I had a notion in my head that I would never have a favorite author.
But I do. A few months ago, when I was introduced to The Name of the Wind and Kvothe... I didn't think it was possible.

But it is.
I'm going to crack open that curled paperback and relax somewhere, reorder my thoughts and enjoy the world you've created.

There isn't a point to this at all.
Just that your books are amazing. That your products are amazing, through all the stress and success and aggravation. That TNW is a good friend of mine. One that I can run to, no matter what the situation, and not be judged.
Silly, right?

October 30, 2009 5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it looks like about 50 million people have already beat me to it.....
but pat, we've got ur back buddy!

(and dont feel bad the next time u and ron jeremy call in sick and go out for tea and biscuits to talk 'shop'... u deserve it!)

also thanks for keeping us posted with the blog. pritty soon ull b able to roll up $100 bills stuff them in ur ears and relax with nothing but that lovly naked woman in ur lap to distract u, then u can wave to sarah and oot and sail away into the sun set....well maybe im geting carried away. point is, we love u man

October 30, 2009 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you please tell me where I can buy some transition puddy? I can't seem to find any here in San Diego.

Thank you in advance.

Kind Regards,


October 30, 2009 6:50 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Hi Pat
So, I'm a librarian too and I am pretty sure this asshat comes in my library and tells me how to run it, probably tells his doctor's office how to run their office, and the police how to better stop crime.
People are so annoying.
Everyone can hate his or her job at least once a day. That's a right of humanity - like air and water.
Take care,

October 30, 2009 6:55 PM  
Anonymous Zacchaeus said...

I don't post comments over here, although I read these blogs pretty often. Just thought I would this time for some reason.

The funny thing is that I was contemplating what it would be like to actually be a full time author a week or so back. You see, I have been writing at a book for a while now. Just a little here, a little there. Whenever I get some alone time. I took a smoke break while writing and while sitting out back I was thinking about the story. As I sat there at thought about it I thought to myself, "This little project I started so long ago is starting to actually read good." I shook my head and laughed at the thought of singing my own praises while puffing on a marlboro. Then the thought entered my mind. "What if this book actually turns out to be good? If I write something good enough to get published and take on even a moderate fan base how would I respond? Not publicly so much, but could I respond by delivering another good story? I must say the thought of that kind of pressure coming out of a personal hobby kind of worried me. Of course I could just sit on whatever I write and never try to get it published, but the thought of what could be was quite startling to me at the time.

Pat, you have touched a lot of people with your mind and the weight on your shoulders must be taxing. I wish I could convince the world to be patient and allow you to perfect your story at your own pace, but unfortunately that isn't possible. The best I can do is assure you that there are those of us that wish for you to enjoy what you have. Those of us that are fine with waiting. Keep smiling, Pat.

October 30, 2009 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Brent said...

Best blog in a while from you. RANT ON. If everyone did this, the world would be a safer, more entertaining place.

October 30, 2009 7:27 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

My Grandmother taught me a very valuable lesson while I was growing up -

"Easy doesn't do it."

Anything that's worth doing probably isn't going to be easy, and most things that are easy won't pay off half as well as the things that are challenging.

You can do it. You will. Just take 5 minutes and breathe.

October 30, 2009 7:29 PM  
Blogger Eklen said...

Fucking right! I'm hoping to set myself apart from those people you mentioned in your first problem with NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH WOOOO party right? not really

October 30, 2009 8:39 PM  
Blogger Alice O said...

Love ya' Pat! :)

Just like I'm glad there are doctors, I'm glad there's you.
Thanks for the hard work!


October 30, 2009 8:41 PM  
Blogger Eklen said...

And YES it is that easy! 50k words in one month, and no it will not be good at all, but thats not the point, the point is to write. It helps setting a goal, and the goal of nanowrimo is quantity, not quality. woooo

October 30, 2009 8:43 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

The other day, I was working on my own 150,000 page behemoth and Word 2007 had the AUDACITY to tell me that I had too many errors, and that spellcheck could no longer keep counting them.

I knew that it was just because I'd neglected to set my character's name's to 'ignore' but I swear to almighty god, I was THIS close to throwing my laptop against the wall.

I feel you.

October 30, 2009 8:43 PM  
Anonymous Theo said...

That was an amazing yet amusing entry....

October 30, 2009 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Diana said...

I love my job except when I hate it. Once I had a dream about my boss, and lava, molten lava, was coming up through the floor. It turned out I had some unresolved anger issues.

I write too, I've written a book, and you are so right, it's damn hard. I think about "living the dream," being a full-time author, and it scares the crap out of me.

SO keep on plugging away, dear Pat. We appreciate it, and will love you and the next books all that much more for the time it took to make it right.

Don't let silly wannabe ex teachers mess with you.
<3 Diana

October 30, 2009 9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ehh... take your time. Your blog has me well entertained until the next book! ^_^

October 30, 2009 9:57 PM  
Blogger Zaphod said...

Hi Pat,

This would be a whole lot easier if you didn't care, so from the bottom of my heart, thanks for taking the time to make it right. The fact that it is hard just means it is that much more worth doing.

The late Douglas Adams had this to say about writing:

“Writing is easy. You only need to stare at a piece of blank paper until your forehead bleeds”

His ability to blow past deadlines makes your delay seem like stopping for coffee on the way to the publisher.

Have a good one. Hell, have two, they're small!


October 30, 2009 11:22 PM  
Blogger Gazza said...

I'm guessing it would bug Ron Jeremy too if everyone kept asking him: How long until you'll come Ron? WIll you be getting another blow job today? Why haven't you come yet? Don't come too soon, spend less time w4nking and concentrate on being blown Ron!

Dude - you have every right to hate your job sometimes. If I had this many people judging what I do, I'd hate it all the time.

October 31, 2009 1:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shavron said...

The problem with trying to narrow it down to even something as vague as quarter is that writing doesn't always go as smooth as intended.

Just look at George RR Martin.
This year and last year he stated he should be done with A Dance With Dragons around the month of June. The month comes and goes and his fans get pissed because he missed another self-imposed deadline.

With Pat never giving us a time frame we can all be slightly annoyed that its taking long but at least he has never "promised" it by any sort of specific date.

This is an argument against time frames, but not against a progress meter which was my suggestion. A progress meter would just show that Pats 10% through the revision process, 25%, 50% etc...

Its not a promise of when anything will be completed but rather more accurate information to how things are progressing. I'm not even asking for daily updates, every few weeks would be fine and satisfy the majority of people.

October 31, 2009 3:40 AM  
Anonymous Ella said...

Damn, that woman is a bitch.
Your rant makes me want to give you huggles, but I don't know you, so that may be awkward. Huggles anyway. I'm looking forward to a month of getting told how to write by my father. Sure, I don't know any better than he does, but I don't need a million books on writing to worry about.

October 31, 2009 3:57 AM  
Anonymous [email protected] said...

A lot of people understand how hard it is to write a book. They are astonished of the fact that you succeed at writing so many pages in the first place, and if they read the final page so they actually want to hug the book and never let go of it - of course they do not admit that this story broke through their iron shell which had gradually build up during the survival in life - they really understand that this beauty is godlike.

October 31, 2009 4:01 AM  
Blogger Nathaniel said...

Thank you for keeping it real.

This post and your original post on finishing book 2 have been my favorites posts thus far.

October 31, 2009 5:59 AM  
Blogger Juhan said...

The story about the doctor seems like something Neil Gaiman would share... am I right?

October 31, 2009 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Mariano M said...

Dude, feel your pain, hope writing the blog helped!! I still love your work and get what you mean! Hope the super-man writing spirit becomes more frequent and makes life easier! : )

October 31, 2009 8:13 AM  
Blogger Caitlin said...

Can I just say that your venting is classic. Like your College Life rantings in The Pointer. Man I miss those.

I started writing out character bios and plot lines for a possible book, and realized that it really takes a special person to do it and be successful. Please continue on and take as much time to make a truly amazing book.

October 31, 2009 8:33 AM  
Blogger Hannah said...

There probably are people who will never believe that there is anything more to writing than sitting at a computer and typing, but a lot of people who read your blog (and other blogs like it) probably know by now that there's a lot more to it.

I would much rather have a book that you've taken your time on and are happy with, than the other alternatives. If you put out a book because of a deadline, I don't want to see how rough the edges could get. I'm sure what you have now is good, but if you're not satisfied then I'm going to leave the judgement call up to you. The series is your child, and I know most parents don't take well to other people telling them the proper way to raise their child.

Sure, I wish it was released soon, but I'd rather have a great book and a longer wait, than an OK book tomorrow.

October 31, 2009 8:42 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

"Yeah, I was going to write a novel, but I'm too busy. I'll get to it one day though."

It has to be one of the most annoying things in the world to ever hear as an author, or even a writer just trying to get published. As if somehow, the book they will one day unleash on the world will be pure gold, no, better than that, pure frikkin gold pressed latinum, that will be so wonderful, so amazing, so unlike anything ever written before, EVAH, the publishers will be literally queuing around the block to beg for a chance to print it. Gah! It drives me utterly nuts.

I can slightly relate. I just signed a contract for my first graphic novel with a publisher. Yay for me etc. However, shortly after, on a fiction writing website I frequent, I was contacted by someone saying, so, how do you write a graphic novel? Did you just send them in your idea or something? Can I send them my novel or this other idea I had? The person then went on to tell me how they had this great novel (almost finished) that they thought would make a really great graphic novel (just because, as obviously novels and graphic novels are the same but one has pictures!) and they wanted to know if they could just send the novel in and the publisher would somehow do the rest and then pay them for it. Basically he wanted a shortcut. He didn't want to work for it. He wanted money and fame and to see his name in print, based on a flimy half baked idea. I had to walk away from my keyboard for half an hour before I could reply.

So feel free, I don't mind the odd rant. Very few people are actually working in their ideal job, but at the end of the day, it is still work, it's not sitting on your arse all day watching TV and sleeping.

October 31, 2009 9:16 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

If people want a quality book they will have to wait for it! Writing is building a story. It's like building a house - sometimes the project takes a little longer than you anticipate. Sometimes the plumbing doesn't go as smoothly as you thought. Sometimes the tile is on backorder and you can't install the cabinets until the tile is laid.

I am a stay at home mom of the most precious baby and even I have days where I wish my job was something different. Shouldn't I feel bad saying that? No, it is natural. It is a rewarding and satisfying job, as I'm sure yours is. At the end of the day, I am happy with it. But still, I understand!

October 31, 2009 9:29 AM  
Anonymous ChrisZ (girl) said...

Nice, Pat! That was awesome.

I tried writing for a couple years... Now I'm a doctor. Seriously. Fuck that writing shit. It's hard. Odd to say, but it's simpler to take abuse from crazy patients, get hit in the face with amniotic fluid from time to time, hold someone's hand while they die, stress every night and every day about something I could know more about or do better, etc, than finish a fucking novel and get it published (even just one!).

Kudos, man. You write a tight story. Let the idiots stick to reading it and alphabetizing it on a shelf.

October 31, 2009 10:28 AM  
Blogger Steven said...


As an aspiring writer, I believe I am at least somewhat aware of the difficulty of writing a book, (I have yet to do more than start mine...) But I wanted to let you know that reading 'The Name of the Wind' really raised the bar for me. I used to want aspire to write like Tamora Pierce does, or something of that level.
And then I read the name of the wind, and realized what Real writing was.
The book blew me away. I found myself marveling at how great first person narrative is for revealing a world, and pondering the applications of sympathy with my friends. I marveled at how engaging the book was, despite its lack of the fights, battles and explosions so common in the fantasy genre.
So I wanted to tell you that you've set the bar high, and I and anyone else who's ever attempted to sit down and write a good story knows it isn't easy; so writing as you do, is definitely a heck of a lot harder.
We're behind you all the way

October 31, 2009 10:51 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

*distributes smiles and sunshine*

Conversation with my husband:
Me: You know I love writing, right?
Husband: "No, I didn't know because all I ever hear you do is complain about how you can't string the events together and how you wish the characters would stop changing."
Me: "Fair enough."

October 31, 2009 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I predict we'll see Wise Man's Fear by January 30th... 2020.

October 31, 2009 11:37 AM  
Blogger Sabrina said...

First, Thank you for writing.

Second, as someone who has attempted NaNoWriMo for three years, I have the smallest of small inklings about the life of a writer, and it truly is hard.

So third, Thank you for writing.

October 31, 2009 12:45 PM  
Anonymous ML Burt said...

I'm not an author, I'm a university student who casually writes in his spare time with a vague dream of becoming published. I know that doing what you do must take phenomenal effort and strength of will. The thought of producing solid writing of the calibre that you've come up with is frankly a little scary to me. I don't know how you do it. Also, I am of the opinion that the best remedy for rage is a hug.

*Internet hug*

October 31, 2009 1:29 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

We all love you. Even those douche bags who are inevitably in these 150+ comments (which I won't read for once).
"If this is the sort of advice you used to give your students when you were a teacher, thank you for not being a teacher any more."
I wish I could say things like this to people all the time.
We are all here for you. Anything, anything that we can do to make your life easier in any way, you or Sarah or Oot, anything at all. You know we'd do it.

I want to make you happy and the words aren't coming out :(

Word Verification - CryRedi - exactly how I feel when people are mean to you.

October 31, 2009 2:07 PM  
Blogger Michal Chren said...

This post has been removed by the author.

October 31, 2009 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michal chren does not represent anyone in the world, in the universe even! Pat rothfuss fans in the UK suggest u take a long walk off a short peer or throw urself under a bus!

October 31, 2009 4:46 PM  
Blogger Michal Chren said...

This post has been removed by the author.

October 31, 2009 4:52 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

Go easy, dear Pat! Let no one here forget that our favorite author is a new parent. With sleep and sex written out of the schedule, it's really easy to hate your job, no matter what that job might be. I had a painting in progress on my easel the night my second was born. One year later, I finally got the right combination of sleep, babysitting, inspiration, and determination to finish it. In a perfect world, I'm a painting-a-week kind of gal. Children don't live in a perfect world. Art takes focus, and parenthood is one big refractor. A toast and a bow to good Mr. Rothfuss, who puts his very sanity on the line for our enrichment!

October 31, 2009 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once had a high school teacher who made us write a lot of essays, but she never allowed us to use any tense of the verb "to be" or pronouns. She claimed she learned this trick in a creative writing seminar as a way to strengthen the writing.

She was my History teacher. I thought she was more of a shithead.

October 31, 2009 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Joe from Milwaukee, WI said...

Glad to see your human like the rest of us.

Am I anxious for book 2? Well yeah, I just re- read book 1.

Would I want a half assed Book 2? Not a chance. We all love book one because of how well it was thought through and polished. There is already enough crap fantasy on the shelves with pretty covers to hide the garbage within.

Enjoy you Halloween, relax, and remember all the whiners will buy the damn book the day it arrives because if they care enough to bitch about it they clearly love the story and simply can't wait for the continuation.

October 31, 2009 6:08 PM  
Blogger -- Garit D said...

haha.. this was fun. if writing a book was anything like that picture (hewing literature out of stone using the powers of THOR while in the embrace of a sexy naked woman)

i would be first in line!

im happy to wait till the book is complete. no pressure from this fan.


October 31, 2009 6:15 PM  
Blogger Nate said...

Holy shamoly that post generated a lot of comments quickly. If you somehow manage to read all of these comments (which I hesitate to doubt), I actually think I enjoy your blog just as much or more than your book. I read books so fast that by this point, I remember enjoying The Name of the Wind, but can't say why or even any specific plot points. But your blog is new, witty, and exciting every few days. Thanks.

October 31, 2009 6:25 PM  
Blogger slow_slow_sloth said...

A bit more advice from a non-pro: back pain is BAD. Get yourself a nice chair and get up and wave your arms every hour.

October 31, 2009 7:48 PM  
Anonymous Chris L said...

Wow. Honestly, I love this fucking blog! I don't know what I'd do without it. You seem to say exactly what I want to say, only I don't have the balls to say it.

Anyway - my sympathies, man.

My advice: just relax, bro. The book will write itself. And when it doesn't, kick its ass and then write about that. You are the master of the book. Not the other way around. Don't be afraid to bitch-slap it every now and then.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a session with my therapist...

October 31, 2009 7:59 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

This post has been removed by the author.

October 31, 2009 8:12 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

What do you want to bet that jerk what's-his-face is going to buy book 2 anyway? So HAH! you still win! Besides, if NotW was just above average would people all over the world be anticipating the second book? I don't think so.

Just keep up the good work and ignore all the people that take the time to tear your face off about book 2. Don't put a spoon in your eye over it. =) Though the cat ears would look hilarious with an eye patch...

I think what's-his-face is just jealous he doesn't have fans...or friends. Because, you know, he's obviously an ass.

October 31, 2009 8:17 PM  
Blogger Erik said...

You can rant however much you like dear sir, with that beard of yours you clearly know what you are talking about. As long as you actually get your trilogy done before I die I'm happy. I'm drunk and ranting. Love you and your book(s). <3

October 31, 2009 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I've been reading fantasy novels for as long as I can remember, I have to say that NOTW has to be in my top 3 favorites, though it is #1 on amount of times I've reread it.

I don't know much about being an author, though I understand about jobhate. I work as a Security Guard(Bouncer)and my hate for it is massive.

I work nights 8pm-5am with an hour (at least) travel to and from work. all my family and friends work during the day, so I rarely get to see them. I have to deal with drunk tossers who won't leave quietly when they're cut off at the bar. I get kicked, hit, bottled, bit and generally abused.

Though not what I originally intended, I'm having a bit of a rant as well. (Was supposed to be more of a supportive post but whatever)

Wish you the best, take your time and write another incredible novel I can cuddle up to when I wake up in the afternoons.

October 31, 2009 9:52 PM  
Blogger Michal Chren said...

This post has been removed by the author.

October 31, 2009 9:54 PM  
Anonymous bremon said...

Dude. That woman is a bloody moron.
and, you know what? you're more important than a doctor. A doctor only keeps your insides on the inside and outsides on the outside. you...connect people with ideas. writers keep the soul alive. (i really want to say "man" after that last sentence. that sounded my head)
I don't even have a job. i've been working on stories since i was...eleven...and i'm seventeen now...and i still haven't finished anything. at all. except for poems.
SIX years of free time.
ummm...not sure where i was going with this...but...
keep writing - and having fun, i hope. Writers Rock.

October 31, 2009 10:26 PM  
Blogger Michal Chren said...

I removed my comments. I admit that posting critical responses on the forum where PR's fans gather is a provocation and I'd be irritated too, if that happend on a forum of my favourite's author...
And I don't want to response to every stupid insult which is based simply on the fact that I don't like author's whining and word-floods... Howgh.

October 31, 2009 10:51 PM  
Blogger A. Grey said...

Random question. Michal Chren why DID you leave a harsh remark on a blog where obvious fans were leaving supportive comments? Do you enjoy stirring up chaos? Did you think they would slap you on the back and say 'hey no problem, feel free to bash a guy we all love, we don't mind' ?

And technically speaking, your remark that 'the truth is that NotW is only just above average (and contemporary standards for the genre are pretty low)' isn't actually a truth. It's just an opinion. Now, if you could statistically prove both points, I'd concede the remark, if not agree with it.

I enjoyed NotW, but my defense is for Pat as a person, something you seemed to have overlooked in your criticism of his writing. The post was never about how great his writing is, it was just talking about his writing as a job.

October 31, 2009 10:56 PM  
Blogger Michal Chren said...

AD1: Because I was fed up with PR blogposts. You can ask me why I've kept reading (some of) them and the honest answer would be "i don't know" :)
AD2: If I enjoyed the chaos, I wouldn't delete them, I did it as an act of empathy, as I've already said - I just don't want to argue in a place like this.

October 31, 2009 11:12 PM  
Anonymous Alex Holyk said...

We think you're awesome Pat. Yeah, we're eager for the next book...but we trust you. You can do it, man!

October 31, 2009 11:46 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...


Well said! I'm glad I'm not the only one that sits looking at a tangle of plotlines and wants to scream bloody murder. Much love!

November 1, 2009 4:05 AM  
Blogger Victoria said...

Everyone that thinks this writing gig is so easy is... everyone that's never tried to write a really good book.

(NB MChen; Throw mud as much as you like, be as rude as you like, but until you're on the bestselling list, you've got no credibility. You're entitled to an opinion, but understand it has no weight without evidence of your brilliant writing to back it up.)

Those people who write know how damned good Patrick is. How hard it is to do what he does so brilliantly.

Go Patrick!

November 1, 2009 4:59 AM  
Blogger Brian Igelchen said...

Is it easier to write the entire book and then edit? Or to write a chunk, and then edit that chunk?

November 1, 2009 6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate it when people do that. 'Appreciaters' of artworks who suddenly feel the need to tell the artist how to make their artwork. YOU HAVE NO CLUE how it's done, because the only thing you do is LOOK at the finished product.

Keep ranting, we all know it helps >_>

November 1, 2009 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Everyone hates their job, and the grass is always greener and all that bollocks.

Just want to say I've re-read your book twice now, have been unable to pick up anything to read since it came out because they all fall short of any form of intrigue/excitement/interest by a country mile. It's getting to the point of being depressing. I am dying to read the 2nd book, and am positive it will be absolutely amazing.

November 1, 2009 9:11 AM  
Blogger Gail said...

I actually felt kind of sad when you gave up teaching. Partly this is because I love school and college. But also I thought having to teach during the day would break up the monotony of writing...

But hey, it's nice to have a blog to vent at and save your loved ones, right?

November 1, 2009 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm definitely with you on this one. No matter what you do for a profession, even if you do the greatest of things, sometimes it's just not as fun as it is otherwise. But the good thing is that you're creating something that is wonderful and that people around the world are looking forward to immensely. We all believe in you, Pat, and we'll be there on the good days and the bad! That sounded like marriage vows, but you know what I mean.

November 1, 2009 10:25 AM  
Blogger Will said...

Speaking of dream jobs, my wife finally finished her fellowship earlier this year and now is a full fledged doctor in her chosen specialty. Guess what? She loves it. Why? Because fellowship was so fucking horrible. No "grass is greener" bullshit. Real contrast is an amazing thing. She can't wait for the next book either. In the meantime I'll read yet another new Abercrombie book.

November 1, 2009 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Pat...just when I followed your blog long enough to get up the courage to do nanowrimo you come along and scare the living daylight out of me!!! Well at least I know what to expect right? Anyway everybody can be an idiot sometimes. Since you deal with more people now, you have to see it more often. But on the plus side you get to see people's good side more often too.. I hope that makes you feel a little better :)

word verification :Dramotie
what you get when two drama queens start to bicker

November 1, 2009 11:40 AM  
Blogger Alicia said...

Michael Chren. You've removed your comment after citing it too provocative to the fans. If it wasn't the fans you wanted to upset then it was Pat (which I take massive offense at, although I'm not really in a position where I can justify it). However, you weren't happy with a carefully worded attack in a private forum where he could (if he thought you were worthwhile) put you in your place. Instead you came here and started posturing.

So what I'm saying is, yes, I'm aware I'm feeding the troll. However, you actually disgust me (and, I suspect, anybody else who gets these comments emailed to them as they occur) and I couldn't let you go on your merry way wihtout at least a basic indication that you are scum.

November 1, 2009 1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually don't think that this woman needs so much trashing (quite a blow to say good that she isn't a teacher anymore), although I think I can understand the sentiments.

November 1, 2009 1:12 PM  
Blogger Christoph Wagner said...

Don't worry, sometimes I hate your job as well.
You know, because it would be really cool if your job was totally simple and you'd just have to do what the letter says.
Easy as pie. And tomorrow I could finally read the 2nd book.

Keep it up!

November 1, 2009 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, whats your point actually?

We all hate our jobs from time to time. So why making this so public? And attacking people who maybe not understand your work?

I am getting slighty annoyed by all these rants from authors, what kind of hard job they have.
And how readers don't understand them.
Don't get me wrong: I love your writing and I love your book. I even love your blog to some degree.
But maybe instead of attacking some readers or ranting in public, you really should take a deep breath, get a beer or two and DON'T post such an entry.

Please don't get me wrong, but I am under the expression that many new writers (and some older ones too) get way to much pressure when they kinda "overexpose" via blogs, facebook, whatever.

Maybe you should talk to Guy Gavriel Kay and Stephen R. Donaldson, as they both DON'T Blog but still keep up with the Internet.
But both of them don't seem to be under this pressure, as THEY decice what they answer/make public.

Just my 2 cents.

November 1, 2009 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Cheer up. Dont't forget that your fans are supporting you. We know you're giving it your best, so hang in there :3
greets and love


November 1, 2009 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when do writers feel the need to blog, much less answer fans' letters? Hell, actors, singers, nor musicians feel the need so why should a writer? As an avid reader, I never once thought a writer has the responsibility to answer fan blogs or letters. If a book sells, then there are fans who are waiting to read the author's next book. If it doesn't, then the author should quit writing and move on to another job. I don't give a shit if the writer hates his/her job, nobody made them choose it. You got something to write, then write. Suffering a brain fart? Then take a break until it passes and sit your ass down and write some more. When a writer says there will be a sequel, he/she sits down writes, sends it to the publisher who takes a pen to it and tears it up then sends it back to the author for a re-write/corrections. Within one to two years, the publisher sends it to press and "VOILA!" the sequel is out and fans are happy! So, Pat, quit whining about your chosen profession because frankly noone gives a fuck, and get the next book out! If you don't have one, then man up and say so so we can move on to another author who does.

November 1, 2009 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and one more thing for all you pansy-asses who think you need to say something to an author because what you say counts...Shut up and let the writer write. For that matter, get a job and leave the man alone!

November 1, 2009 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OOh, here's a thought! Maybe you hate your job because you feel like you have to answer all these idiots blogs! If everyone would leave Pat alone then maybe we might get to read book 2! Geez, talk about stupid!

November 1, 2009 4:40 PM  
Anonymous bremon said...

Jesus lord, anonymous!

Nobody cares? well, obviously you care, otherwise you won't be posting! everyone needs to rant once in a while. writing is a job and blogs are a social area. Pat ranting about his job is no different than you...say...ranting about HIM. get over yourself.
pat's funny, writing a book, just had a kid, does tours, and is doing donation stuff for heifer. instead of wasting our time blathering on about how nobody cares! you have a problem? stop reading the blog.

and, pat? we send you hugs.

wv is brood...which is what i'll be doing now...ah, nanowrimo, ah, procrastination....

November 1, 2009 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for being human. A real person. And apparently, a great one at that. I started reading Name of the Wind again last week - for the third time. And every time, I discover something new, something more, another joke, another insight in humans' inner workings (honestly, the characters are just so real) another pair of words that fit perfectly together. I think that just wouldn't work if you wrote your book any other way (like, sitting down and writing in chronological order. thanks for that piece of valuable information). So keep on doing what you do, and if you need to hate your job sometimes to be so good at it, that's just how it is. You may even hate your dreamjob from time to time. I can imagine it sucks. I just hope for you that it doesn't suck too often. But you don't need to give a shit about peoples' advice and pestering. Really.

November 1, 2009 5:34 PM  
Blogger crusaderbond said...

You do realize that you could get some fan of yours to quite diligently hand spell check the whole novel just by asking if someone wanted to help, right?

on a slightly more serious note, I tend to break up my sciencey papers into multiple documents, and spell check them as i go. I don't know if this would work for an author, but, it makes it seem like much less work to me, if I just do it as I go. 15 minutes here and there is much more bearable than hours of monotony.

November 1, 2009 5:42 PM  
Anonymous Gisele said...

I don't want to be rude, but I do not care whether you hate your job sometimes, Just keep the GOOD JOB, 'cause I'm LOVING The Name of the Wind and I want MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 1, 2009 5:56 PM  
Anonymous Cyphyr said...

If technology can make your job easier, it can probably make it irrelevant to.

Be proud your job doesn't ever get easier. It means you'll always be important.

And, just so you know, I'd have done just the same thing you would have. Except I would have named the woman, her address, and her place of employment.
Cause that letter wasn't even directed at me and I got mad.
Seriously, an average person can barely write a pre-scripted paper for a college class.
Lets see them try to create a world as full of life as yours. now THAT would be an educational experience.

November 1, 2009 6:36 PM  
Blogger toochaos said...

the reason i think many think it is easy is because we see the finished product and imagine it crafted in one go, for we cannot see any flaws in the work, and therefore cannot imagine there ever being any in the first place, nor can we imagine the story as anything but what it is. i've tried writing before its a lot of fun till you go to revise the crap you wrote the night before, then it is not so great. also i hate it when "fans" "Demand" that you hurry the hell up as if you arent working hard enough it angers me to see it in any form

November 1, 2009 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Jennie Rosenbaum said...

I have sympathy and empathy for you. I wish that having your dream job was easy fun all the time but to be honest I think it is more work than a "real job." you don't want to let yourself down, your believers and fans, there is so much more riding on it than people believe. add to that the fact that inspiration strikes at odd and often inopportune times, that you have to do the creative side and the business side and you are left with barely any hours left in the day for sleep or family!

I think you are doing brilliantly. I've waited over 10 years for the next book in the series by some authors and if that is how long it takes for you to be happy then that is what you should do. don't make the mistake of sending a work out unfinished just to satisfy demand. this is your baby and you have more say in it's upbringing than anyone. and certainly don't listen to that stupid letter! I love your rants as well, I've been stuck in a creative block lately and it's so reassuring to know that even the greats have days when they hate their dream jobs!

as an aside, I would love to add your line about the creative process and the nude muse to my friday nude quotes section on my blog - it's a classic!

November 1, 2009 9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear you. I am working at my dream job, and there are aspects of it that drive me crazy (though I still can't imagine doing anything else), and I have spent the past 15 years (wow, just counted that!) working on my novel. The novel is far more difficult than the day job. It's not that there isn't time to write, it's that coming up with original characters, interesting events, and snappy dialogue is a lot harder than most people think it is. The problem with good writing is that it seems so natural and unforced that everyone assumes he can produce something just like it, and that assumption leads to the reams of advice and exhortations to just sit down and finish it already. The hard work disguises itself, making the act of writing so deceptively simple....

No matter how much you enjoy doing something, it's less enjoyable when you have to do it. As long as the possibility exists to walk away from a project, it's fun. Once you don't have that choice anymore, it might still be fun, but there's an element of drudgery that enters into it, too.

November 1, 2009 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Nathan said...

I thought about writing a book once, but read the Name of the Wind and thought, "This looks too f**king hard."

November 2, 2009 12:33 AM  
OpenID noirrosaleen said...

I ran across the length of ComicCon in too-small boots (which I found out later had bruised my toenails) to make it to your signing.

I would run twice as far in SMALLER boots to beat the ever-living hell out of idiots like that "librarian" with your book. No, better yet, your draft from May - it looks like an EXCELLENT weapon.

Rant away, sir. You have rabid fans who can hunt the ignorant FOR you. Plus, if you rant, you feel better, you clear your head out, and it's easier to go tend the teenager again afterward. (Have you tried grounding it when it's simply being impossible? Don't forget to take its cellphone away!)

November 2, 2009 2:22 AM  

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