Friday, March 23, 2012

Top Ten Things I Hate About Writing/Being a Writer

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 bull***t! 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. Anyway, I have this book coming out on March 1st. It’s a urban fairytale titled CURSES…

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?

j.a. kazimer is a writer living in Denver, CO. With a master’s degree in forensic psychology, j.a. has worked as a private investigator, bartender, and at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Books include The Junkie Tales (2010), The Body Dwellers (2011), CURSES! A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale (2012), and Holy Socks & Dirtier Demons (2012). The next book in the F***ed Up Fairy Tale series, FROGGY-STYLE, is forthcoming from Kensington in 2013. Visit j.a. kazimer’s website at


Brock said...

I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork. ~Peter De Vries

Giles Hash said...

I hate that I can't stop no matter how much I want to, some times. I love it, and I hate it. Kinda like alcohol. Except I'm not addicted to that.

Yet. We'll see how my career goes :)

M.J. Fifield said...

I agree with Giles.

I would've thought self promotion would be worth more than one spot on your list. =)

Patricia Stoltey said...

I mostly hate the marketing part. I'd rather just have fun, and marketing is a lot like work.

Chris Devlin said...

I'm with Giles. I just sometimes wish I had had the choice of whether to be driven crazy by being a writer. Don't know if I would have chosen it or not. And maybe I'd just be being driven crazy by being a civil rights attorney, or whatever else I would have been. I guess we'll never know.

In the immortal words of Kat from 10 Things I Hate About You:
"...I hate the way you make me laugh,
Even worse when you make me cry.
I hate it when you're not around,
And the fact that you didn't call.
But mostly I hate the way I don't hate you,
Not even close,
Not even a little bit,
Not even at all."

Terry Wright said...

Hi Julie. I love everything on your hate list ... except the waiting ... so I must be a sadomasochist. Truth be told, writing, critiquing, submitting, and rejection are all forms of self flagellation. Reminds me of the writer who went to heaven only to slave over a keyboard night and day, tearing his hair out trying to find the right words to write the perfect story, and when he told the angel this place couldn't be heaven; it had to be hell, the angel said "but up here you get published."

Anonymous said...

What do I hate about writing?

It's all damn words.

It's like they (being "them") have one for EVERYTHING. And heaven FORBID you pick the wrong one. Or you put it in the wrong order. Or add the wrong symbol before, during, or after it. And hellfire and damnation be breathed down upon thee if you (perish the thought!) make up a NEW meaning for one little bastards....

Yeah, like there're experts out there, or something.

GREAT post! Fight the good fight!