Depressing Graphs for Writers

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A group of printed-out graphs on a table

Remember this series of graphs from last month that depressed the hell out of everyone? The one that reminded us that no book from a woman’s point of view has won the Pulitzer in the last 16 years?

We could cry about it, or we could look at some more depressing statistics and then cry about those. Let’s!

Graph of "What Get Reviewed" with the categories: books by men; books by women; books by celebrities that are actually ghost written by frustrated literary writers; and books by white house pets

Bar graph with the categories: people at the book club you drove two hours to visit who actually bought your book; people at the book club who got your book at the library; people at the book club who have no interest in your book and make jokes about "wine club"; people at the book club who want to take over and weep about their cat's bladder infection

Bar graph with the categories: blurbs you asked for; blurbs you got; blurbs on the back of some ass wipe's book; number of blurbs the guy had to just post online because they wouldn't even fit on the book; number of people who couldn't blurb you because they were busy blurbinging the ass wipe's book, probably

Graph with the title "Do you understand David Mitchell?"

graph with the title "Let's Never Stop Debating MFAs!" and categories: percentage of US population with MFAs; your mother in law; people who actually have PhDs in writing; and people with a BFG in writing, which is now suddenly what you need for tenure, apparently?

Cone graph with title "Voices in Your Head" and categories: the review that shall haunt you till the day you die; what the guy in your 2003 workshop would say; ridiculous egomania

Extremely unbalanced graph with just the categories "you" and "Jonathan Franzen" which is overwhelmingly in Jonathan Franzen's favor

Graph with the categories: how short story collections are doing, according to your mom, who read an article about it last summer, so don't worry, honey; how short story collections are actually doing; how the one guy the article was about is doing, and good for him

Graph titled "People who might show up at your reading" with categories: college friends awkwardly looking around going, "So this is it?"; homeless guy; people who want to tell you about their own poetic journey; last-ditch effort for extra credit in CW 102; what the hell is his name? the guy from Facebook?; mom; bookstore janitorial staff; "I made a collage out of these pictures of you I found on the internet."; awesome strangers (new best friends); "Our book club didn't like your book, but I thought I'd come and look you up and down menacingly anyway."

Tree graph with top category "your amazing idea", the interjection "Wasn't there a movie like that in like 1986 with Liam Neeson? And that one kid?" and the three consequent options of whiskey, vodka, or gin


Graph entitled "What people are going right now instead of reading books" with categories: making sweet love to a Kindle; building bonfires out of poetry manuscripts in post-apocalyptic dystopia; being on The Bachelor; writing novels; kayaking; crimes of passion; dancing on Emily Dickinson's grave; explaining to grandchildren what is Book; and spraying aerosols at pandas

Area graph showing the disparity between the "amount of money you'd be making at the Gap, plus you'd probably get an employee discount and everything" and "actual amount of money you're making per hour, if you really sit down and calculate it"

thought progression map in a circle with the following: does anyone really read anymore?; it doesn't matter. You climb the mountain because it's there; hey let's start a lit mag!; it will be different because it will have origami!; remember when we tried to start a lit mag?


Pie chart showing the odds that you are Alice Munro, with only a tiny sliver of a possibility