Which is the Better Activity: Writing a Novel or Riding a Unicorn? by Eva Langston

First of all, they are both extremely difficult to do. Nearly impossible, one might say. They both take a lot of patience, hard work, and dedication. It’s going to take a long time to find a unicorn in this day and age and win its trust. Similarly, it’s going to take a lot of time to figure out a good story and write it all down in a coherent way.

Some people may advise you against any unicorn-related activities by telling you only virgins can ride them. This isn’t true, although they do prefer the young and chaste. That’s why you can usually find them lurking around in the woods behind a Baptist church, waiting for the True Love Waits rally to let out. The unicorns are often surprised and disappointed with the lack of virgins at those things however, and so they may be accepting to your advances, especially if you feed them carrots dipped in honey. (This not a sexual thing, it’s just what unicorns like to eat.)

Of course you don’t have to be a virgin to write novels or else we wouldn’t have anything to read except for Jane Austen and those murder mysteries written by Sister Carol Anne O’Marie. In fact, it’s probably a good idea not to be a virgin, in case you want your book to have sex scenes. (You need to know what you’re talking about.)

Now, it is true that in order to write novels you need to become a boring loner. You have to be able to say to your friends, “no, I don’t want to go have a picnic in the park on this beautiful sunny day because I’m going to sit alone in my darkened apartment and interact with my imaginary friends…I mean my characters.” But some people are already boring loners to begin with, in which case, this shouldn’t be too hard for them.

Both writing a novel and riding a unicorn are difficult, but they are also extremely rewarding. Let’s look at some pros and cons for each.

Riding a Unicorn:


  1. You may find enjoyment in the search for the unicorn and in the daily progress of making it like you.
  2. Unicorns smell like roses in the rain, and when they look you in the eye, you feel like they are looking through you to your very soul. (They aren’t, but you feel like are.)
  3. When you finally get to ride a unicorn, you will feel unique and special and full of magic.
  4. You will have bragging rights at World Fantasy Con for the rest of your life.


  1. That horn is sharp, and people have died trying to mount a skittish unicorn.
  2. Your friends and family will think you’re completely insane when you tell them what you’re doing.
  3. You may become frustrated in the search for the unicorn (especially when you can’t seem to find one anywhere). Then,when you finally do find one, you may feel frustrated again with your lack of progress in making it like you, especially if you’re sort of slutty. (As mentioned, unicorns prefer the pure.)
  4. After you’ve ridden the unicorn, a lot of people won’t believe that you actually did it, and unfortunately, unicorns don’t let you take selfies.
  5. Riding a unicorn is disappointingly similar to riding a horse. (Except with better smells, as mentioned.)
  6. A unicorn will only let you ride it once; then you will have to start all over again with finding another unicorn and gaining its trust. Sigh. But hey, you chose this as your hobby.


Writing a Novel:


  1. You may find enjoyment in brainstorming ideas and in the daily progress of writing something really long and involved.
  2. When you finally finish the novel, you will feel a gratifying sense of accomplishment and relief.
  3. You will prove to your family and friends that your degree in Creative Writing was good for something after all.
  4. You may find that you are an introvert and enjoy spending hours alone at your computer.


  1. You may find that spending so much time alone with your thoughts makes you feel or become insane.
  2. You may grow frustrated in the search for a good, original story idea, and when you finally get one, you may feel frustrated with your lack of progress in actually writing the story.
  3. Your friends and family will secretly mock you and doubt your success. Or, even worse, they will have exceedingly high expectations of you and will keep asking when they’re going to see your name on the New York Times best-seller list, thus provoking bouts of anxiety and self-doubt on your part.
  4. When you finally finish your novel, the feelings of pride will evaporate quickly, and you will be left with a deep loathing for the novel in its entirely. You will then have to convince yourself to start revising the piece of crap.
  5. Just because you wrote and revised a novel doesn’t mean anyone will want to represent it or publish it.
  6. If you do get the novel published, the amount of money you are likely to receive is surprisingly little.
  7. Once you’re finished with one novel, you will have to gather up your gumption and get started on another one.


As you can see, the cons outweigh the pros in both cases, which means that writing a novel and riding a unicorn are both nothing but fool’s errands. However, if you’re bent on choosing one of them as your next pastime, I would recommend writing a novel. It doesn’t involve spending time in the seedy back parking lots of Baptist churches, and statistically you have a slightly better chance achieving success with a novel than you do with a unicorn. Good luck.


About Eva Langston


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