“The best chapter in the book so far.”

So I’m moving along swimmingly and open Chapter 6 of my manuscript, where I find, above the title, this comment by my editor:

This is the best chapter in the book so far.

Fantastic! He loved the chapter! Everything is great, the book will be a success.

Wait. What was wrong with the previous five chapters? Why weren’t they the best chapters in the book so far?

My god, there is a flaw in the first five chapters. The book will be a failure.

Oh wait, one chapter has to be better than the others.

But which one?

And thus another author goes insane.

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15 thoughts on ““The best chapter in the book so far.”

  1. I abandoned a post I was assiduously working on today about a book I saw last weekend in a the psychology section of Barnes and Noble entitled Women Who Think Too Much: How to Break Free of Overthinking and Reclaim Your Life.

    I spent too much time working and reworking my language and then began to wonder about my ability to write, to think, to be.

    Your post comforted me.

  2. Wanted to talk about Syracuse but was captured by the joy (and torment) of creation.

    I understand this torment and people desiring to write books – I had creative ambitions all my life! But writing books, it hasn’t come to my mind (unless an offer arrives I can’t refuse, which will not, I’m seasoned enough to know.)

    So my book ‘is’ my blog. Its topic “a man-of-the-street’s (of Rome) take on Roman-ness”.

    My ambition and torment is the quality of my research, more than one chapter (or post) being better or worse [not every chapter in a book can be good, Andreas]

    Which is no big deal so far, this quality of mine, but I’ll make it better. I am very determined. What people think of it counts of course, but my personal expectations (and severity) count much more (unfortunately – I am never satisfied.)

    [btw guys, did you know some famous authors now write only for the Web?]

    As for a public, I have blog buds with millions of hits (*Nita*, for example) while I have reached 200,000 in a little more than 2 years – which means at least 50,000 people have read my ‘online book’. More than I had ever expected, so I am glad of my public and I especially love the discussions & friendships that arise with time.

    Ok, am I sincere? Don’t I care about becoming a known author? I think I don’t, and the reason I’m sure is THIS.

    My life dream was not that of becoming a writer. My life dream was that of becoming a musician. And since I have failed, a writer is not that important to me.

    A dilettante philosopher and historian instead much more, thanks to people who helped me find new motives.


    Last time I talk about myself, promise Andreas. Next time Syracuse, and following a hero thing I hope can be of help. I read many of your posts on heroes.



    • Some famous authors now write only for the web? Such as who? I’m quite intrigued.

      I suspect your journey resembles that of many bloggers. I can’t help but note that “WordPress” is meant to remind us of Gutenberg’s printing press. As in: We each have what only a few people once had. We are each author and publisher in one now.

      What a great thing this is about the modern world.

    • Some famous authors now write only for the web? Such as who? I’m quite intrigued.

      2-3 got sooo religious about it but I forgot their names. Here 3 spurious categories, I’m sorry:

      1) Known authors whose works are transferred to – and/or directly created for – the web.
      Paulo Coelho, a great example. Of course now he’s terribly rich but he started writing first on Facebook, and later printed the result; he also spread his printed books via p2p file sharing, pirated his own books on *Pirate Coelho*, was thus caught by Jane Friedman, head of HarperCollins, then he asked readers to translate his books (copywriting going to translators): one Russian translation sold millions of copies, I think. More info *here*.

      2) web stuff later printed. Banal: blogs etc. can become books, we all know. But, in between:

      3) the self-publishing (on both web and print) by known and unknown poets, novelists, journalists etc.
      *Stephen Clarke’s* (and his A Year In The Merde) case is an adorable example. And his book, despite its subtle … malice towards the French (I lack words), made me roll on the floor laughing.

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