#ISWG Thoughts for August: Pet Peeves While Reading, Writing & Editing

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Q: Do you know an insecure writer?

A: Well, now you do…

I confess that I’m a devoted follower of the ISWG (aka the Insecure Writers Group),  a community of writers whose purpose is “to share and encourageeach other. It’s a place where “writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!” If you haven’t discovered #ISWG, click the link above and check us out!

The first Wednesday of every month is #ISWG Day. Members post a response to a pre-determined question, reaching out to readers and fellow group members, sharing their thoughts, support, encouragement, doubts, and fears about a writing-related topic. This month’s question is,

What are your pet peeves while reading/writing/editing?

Our #ISWG Day co-hosts for August are Christine Rains, Dolarah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner.

Be sure to visit their blogs and see what they have to say!

And, after I’ve shared a few of my personal pet peeves, feel free to comment with your own, as a reader, writer, or both.

Pet Peeves While Reading…

Pet Peeves while Reading-Interruption

I know I’m not alone in this one, but being interrupted while I’m reading is the worst. Sometimes I resort to putting my noise-cancelling headphones on, if for no other reason than to broadcast that I’m not available for conversation. Or texts, phone calls, cooking meals, or basically anything other than running from a fire. I will signal my willingness to be interrupted by closing my book. Until I do that, approach at your own risk.

Pet Peeves About Writing

Again, interruption is the worst, and in our house, with an extrovert husband, a greyhound, and two neurotic lap cats, it’s nearly impossible to avoid. I unplug the landline, turn off notifications, activate my Freedom App, and even post a sign outside the door, but some days I’m lucky to get a paragraph done without interruption. I’ve found that I write best on a long airline flight, because, again, noise-cancelling headphones, and a look that says, “back away slowly. There’s nothing to see here.”

I have one other writing peeve, and this one concerns being a writer. Simply put, I’ve found that many folks just don’t think writing is a serious job that requires work and time. Lots of work, lots of time, all the time. When someone asks what I do for a living, and I say, “I’m a writer,” I can feel the blank stare before I see it. And those who show enough interest to ask what I’m writing seem to have no idea what to say when I tell them it’s a contemporary romance. Even when talking about writing with other authors–presumably those who don’t write or read romance–I’m usually on the receiving end of a sigh, followed by an awkward pause. And then there’s the inevitable, immediate assumption that I write smut, which I don’t . . . but if I did — and I might someday — deserve the same respect that every other writer does. Whether it’s Hemingway-level prose, a travel blog, a children’s book, poetry, or Writing for Dummies, it’s hard work. Even more, to serious writers, it’s an investment of the mind, heart, and soul.

**steps off soap box**

And Finally…Pet Peeves About Editing

1) Editing Causes Wrinkles

and

2) Editing inevitably includes an extended period of time during which my insecurity comes out to play. But I’m not alone in that, either …

Having said all this, the truth is I live for the experience of reading and writing. (Editing my own work, not so much, so I work with an amazing editor who “gets me.”) But, despite the drawbacks, the awkward moments, and the crippling self-doubt, when my debut novel is finally published, it will be totally worth it.

P. S.

If you’re so inclined, you can read the first few, unedited chapters of my work-in-progress, Where Angels Sleepon Wattpad and Goodreads.
Thanks for reading this month’s #ISWG post!