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Maureen Johnson continues filling in for John Green. Today's topics include: deadlines, professional writing, publishing, fancy skillz.

Scarlett Fever can be purchased at many places, including:

Your local independent bookseller:

Barnes and Noble:

Or, if necessary, Amazon:

As ever, Maureen is best reached here. She awaits your comments at this very moment:


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Other Channels
Crash Course:
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Truth or Fail:



A Bunny
( - -)
((') (')
Good morning Hank, it's Monday.

And you may not be able to tell this from the fact that I'm just sitting in front of a radiator and a wall, but I'm in England. Today's a really really big day for me. Uh, it's kind of actually an enormous day because today, my book, Scarlett Fever, goes on sale everywhere.

Well, a lot of places, mostly America, but that's a really big deal and what am I doing to celebrate? I'm sitting in a little room. [headdesk] My God. Oh my God.

No. You know, every deadline brings with it its own special magic. In the same way that the poisonous fugu fish brings its special magic to certain lucky diners.

I'm not complaining, mind you. I'm just externalizing my interior monologue. Now, you may be asking yourself, "Maureen, you're a professional writer.

What do you need deadlines for? Isn't the book just done when you're done writing?" Without deadlines, only about three authors I've ever met would ever turn anything in, because the book's never done, you're always still working on it. It's only done when they pry it from your cold, half-dead hand and even then it's not done, because you wanna still keep working on it and there's mistakes in it and there's stuff you wanna change.

But the thing is that, if you're in publishing, they have to sort of draw a line under it and say "GIVE ME THE BOOK." Deadline this week is for the sequel to Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes and it's, uh, the draft is due on Friday. Um, so, that's why I gotta sit in this little tiny room, b-but that's fine because, as it happens, I like sitting in little tiny rooms writing. Oh my God.

Most of the time. Because, that is, I'm a writer and that is, this is the whole job. You sit in a room, and, and write…that's, and if you don't like that, then you shouldn't do it.

In fact, a lot of times people ask me, you know, "Maureen, should I be a writer? Is that a good career path? Is that something I should be?" And you know what, my answer is, it's not actually a career path at all.

It's crazy, it's like being a driftwood sculptor, or an interpretive dancer. Trust me, I am shocked and thrilled every day that I get to do this for a living. Not that many people do.

It's incredibly awesome and I'm very very lucky, but also, I'm not gonna lie to you, it's a lot of work, it's an actual job. A lot of teenagers write to me and say, "I wanna write a book, I wanna get published," and those are two very different things. For the first one, that you wanna write a book, I think, is an excellent idea and you should totally do that, because teenagers who want to write: you should be writing, you should be writing all the time, like a maniac.

Don't worry about the second bit just yet, because A. You need a lot of practice. You need to do it for--I'm not kidding--years.

And then, once you are published, it's a business, it's a job. Plus, every author I know was that teenager, who sat in their room and read, and wrote. That's who becomes an author, but that's what you have to do, for a while, before you become an author.

Plus, you haven't properly learned how to procrastinate yet. It takes years and years of experience to gain the level of mastery required to become a professional author because, let me tell you, we are exceptionally good at it. For example, you will be tested on your ability to make a fort.

I made this one in under thirty seconds, but that's because I am a professional. If you have any questions about writing or the publishing process, you can leave them in these comments or send them to me on Twitter, and maybe I can answer them in my video on Friday, which will probably be my last. Until then, I hope you enjoy Scarlett Fever if you have it, and Hank, I'll see you on Wednesday.