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On Writing: Things That Drive Me Crazy – Top 10 List


Everyone has things that make them a little nuts when they happen. Fiction writers, by nature, tend to be a little off since we live inside our own heads so much while we’re creating stories so we’re a little more susceptible to having those “Arrrgh!” moments when we just want to scream in frustration.Crazy

Here, in no particular order, are the top 1o things that can make me crazy on any given day:

  1. Thinking of a great plot twist or bit of dialog for a current project and not being able to write it down due to place or circumstance and then not being able to recallĀ it later when I’m in a position to record it or use it. I’ll bet there’s not a writer out there who hasn’t had that problem!
  2. Sitting down to write only to find that the computer is on the fritz and it just won’t come on or MS Word (or any other word processing or writing program) won’t open.
  3. Making time to write and having a grand plan for what you expect to accomplish during the session only to be pulled away from your plan by life getting in the way (needs of work, spouse, kids, extended family, necessary errands, etc.). – This happened to me just yesterday. I normally get an uninterrupted two hours to write between the time I leave my day job and the time my spouse gets home. We’re traveling this weekend and the car was overdue for an oil change. My spouse asked me to have it done and exchange something at a place that was close to the oil change place while I was at it. That killed an hour of my writing time. If only it had ended there. At the oil change place, the attendant tells me I have metal in a tire. I killed the other hour at a tire shop waiting for them to work me in and then dig a hand made (Amish) horseshoe nail out of my tire and plug it.
  4. Forgetting to save/back-up your work frequently and losing your newest stuff when the power blips or walking away without saving at all and not realizing it until your next writing session.
  5. Realizing too late (after publication) that I’ve got a fact or figure wrong. In the original release of ‘Relic’ I said ‘CIA’ when I meant ‘Secret Service’. I knew it was the Secret Service that held jurisdiction over what I was doing in the story. I don’t know why I wrote ‘CIA’ instead. A reader caught it. I corrected the error throughout the book and uploaded it again but any early buyers got books that were wrong.
  6. Realizing I’ve used the same, not so common word 3-4 times in a chapter or fairly close together within a story and, when trying to change to a different word for at least a couple of the uses of the first word, I find there are no viable synonyms.
  7. People who declare I’m not a writer or I’m not an author because I only write articles, or I only blog, or I only write genre fiction. To some people you’re not an author until you write a huge tome of classical style literature.
  8. In the same vein as number seven, people who think if you’re self published with either eBooks or print on demand books, you’re not a real author because you’re not giving up 90% of your book earnings to your publisher and your agent.
  9. The fact that inkjet printer cartridges cost in the neighborhood of $25-35 dollars each for my printer but that I can go to a dollar store and buy something made of the same amount of plastic for a dollar!
  10. People who see themselves in my stories but not in the character that’s actually based, in whole or in part, on them. Instead they latch onto a character that may be similar to them in appearance but who has traits that are very different and they want to know why I made them look so silly, so incompetent or so bad.