The Worst Part of Writing

The most frequently asked question to those of us who write is "Where do you get your ideas?" The answer, of course, is everywhere. People you see, things you hear about, dreams (or nightmares) anything that gets the hamster in your mind to start running on that wheel.

But the question that you rarely hear is "What is the worst part of writing?'

It's not the writer's block, we all get that at times, it's not the boredom, it's not the panic of a deadline, it's not the research that you have to do.

For me, the worst part of writing is the rewriting/editing.

Right now I'm in the editing/rewriting phase of getting  The Bottle Tree,  Junebug and The Body, and  No' Chance  in their final form for the print editions and it is draaaagggggiiiinnnngggg on. The people who know me also know that, as a rule, I'm pretty laid back. However, a lot of that is a holdover from my lawyer days when I didn't want the other side to see me sweating so while I may appear calm on the outside, on the inside I may be just about to have a nervous breakdown.

But what very few people know is that sometimes the littlest things drive me nuts. I know, I know, that seems odd given my penchant for torturing people who are a little OCD. For instance, my best friend is OCD to the max. When we took trips together and shared a hotel room he would always place his items in a certain order on the bathroom vanity. When we got ready to leave the room I'd always move a couple of things around and then tell him about it as the elevator started moving or as we left the hotel, just to make him twitch. Occasionally I'd have to wait in the lobby until he went back to the room and put the things back the way "they were supposed to be".

I'm finding that, as a writer, I'm getting like that. In reading over the proofs I find myself compelled to correct problems that no one else will notice. For instance, on one page I noticed that there was an extra space in a sentence. Even though it meant the entire print process would have to be redone, I found myself unable to allow that extra space to stay there. In another, I spent an hour researching a point of grammar that I assure you no one else would ever notice.

That doesn't mean I can't use bad grammar, write in "the vernacular", or purposely break all kinds of rules, but I just can't allow myself to do it unless it was intentional.

Because of this I am now on my third printings of the proofs and edits. But, hopefully in the next week the prints will be ready.

Unfortunately, I'm now stressed about what is going to happen when the proof has been approved and then I spot another mistake.