I love being a writer. I love words. I love making readers laugh. Even more, I love making readers gasp in surprise. Writing is why I wake up each morning (okay, afternoon). So you’re probably asking yourself (if you are a twelve year old girl), if you love writing so much why don’t you marry it? If you’re a bit older, the question might be phrased a little differently but the ideas the same. If I love writing, why did I title this post the Top Ten Things I Hate about Writing/Being a Writer? What kind of idiot does that?
Mostly because I can. So there!
10. Spelling. That i before e rule is just bullshit! Yes, here it is: My name is Julie and I’m a terrible speller. If I could marry spellcheck I would. Our bond is strong and has lasted nearly a lifetime. Of course spell check is known for cheating and the occasional horrific gaff. Genius to penis in an email to my grandmother comes to mind.
9. Waiting. The publishing industry is all about waiting. Waiting to finish a book. Waiting for agents to read said book. Waiting for tens and perhaps hundreds of agents to reject the same manuscripts. Waiting for an editor to read the manuscript that the agent who kept you waiting for six months before it went out on submission. Waiting for the contract. Waiting for the release date, which is likely a year and a half from now. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. If you can survive the waiting with a shred of sanity than you will succeed.
8. Self-promotion. Even though this is number 8, it sucks more than many of the other things on this list. I don’t mind sending emails to bookstores asking to hold a booksigning at their bookstore. I have no problem wiring a press release or emailing a pitch idea to a news organization. These are things that authors have to do. What I don’t like is going on social media sites and selling myself or my books. I like to interact with my facebook friends. I want to share stuff with my followers on twitter. I like to blog about other books and sometimes politics on my blog. I understand that self-promotion is a necessary evil, but too often that evil is taken too far.
7. Reviews. I’m not going to whine about bad reviews. Yes, they happen. And yes, it sucks when you get one. Enough said.
6. Critique Groups. My first critique group was invaluable, but I didn’t learn so much about craft as I did about ego and bitterness. And really, what other professions offer critiques from peers as a means of bettering one’s self? Can you imagine a group of cops sitting around a doughnut shop…okay, bad analogy…but you get my point.
5. Grammar. I know. I know. I already said spelling and the ‘i before e’ rule, but grammar deserves its own special acknowledgement of hellishness. Present, past, past perfect. WTF? How is it language, the means of communication and ideas, has so many damn rules?
4. Readers. Okay, so this might sound harsh, but readers can be so annoying. Not you. You are FABULOUS! But readers sometimes want stuff to make sense, want characters who they love, want a plot that works, and then on top of that, they want perfect spelling and grammar. What am I, a rocket scientist? I picked a career in writing so I didn’t have to work…
3. Other Writers. Yeah, you know who you are. You’re always trying to get me to hangout in bars and talk in words. Hmmm…scratch that. I only hate writers who don’t pay for my drinks! Or are better at writing than me. Or the ones who sell more books. Oh and those damn bestsellers, what a bunch of…wordies.
2. Punctuation. I love you apostrophe. But damn can you be possessive.
1. Writing. Did I mention this already?
What do you hate about writing/being a writer?