2 min read

This too shall pass - Surviving Serial Fiction

I see you.

You're overwhelmed and feel hopeless.

You're feel like you're on the road to nowhere.

It's been months since you hung out with your friends.

You can't remember the last time you didn't wake up in the middle of the night with one of your character's screaming at you.

Everyone around you is moving through their life while you feel like you're standing dead still.

Every writer feels like this sometimes. Novelists sometimes don't see the light of day for months. Ghost writers get so immersed in their client's words that they can lose track of their own thoughts and feelings. Poets get caught up in the emotions of an experience that they forget to eat.

For serial fiction writers, our tight deadlines leave us in a flux between the poles of doubt and overwork. We overwork to meet our deadlines regardless of what's going on in our lives. If your serial fiction is going well, your readers want your attention, which can be exhausting. Yet, if you don't hear from them, you live in a pool of doubt wondering if you can possibly right this story.

As serial fiction authors, we stand face to face with the very edge of our capacity.


No matter how burned out, exhausted, depressed, and hopeless you feel, this too shall pass.

The story will end. You will have told it in the best way you knew how. You will place your last comma and the copy edit banshees will whine, as always. You will have received your reviews and they will be good and bad and stupid and irrelevant.

A year from now, you will love your story with a wistful longing that right now is unimaginable. Even more baffling, you will miss this feeling, desperately, because it's the feeling of going all the way.

This is what it means to write serial fiction.

And, to misquote David Foster Wallace, the better you are at it, the more you feel like a fraud.

You're almost there, little writer. Keep going. This too shall pass.

I believe in you.