Karen’s Drop-In Diary ~ 01-03-13 ~ Five Things I Love & Hate About Being a Writer


[[Welcome to my weekly writer’s diary where I’ll share my “Woot Woot!” moments and the not so “woot woot” moments of my writing world. And, yes, I might even share the occasional musing or two about reading and writing, two of my favorite things!]]


Dear Diary,

            It’s Thursday ~ 01/03/13 ~ and…

Today, I’ve decided to share the five things I love and hate about being a writer. We all have certain things we enjoy, or not, about our writing careers.  These are mine!


  • I love building people, ahem, I mean characters.  I think I can relate somewhat to Dr. Frankenstein’s drive to create life out of lifelessness. There’s something imminently satisfying when I realize a character I’ve created has taken on a life of his, or her, own.  It’s fun when a character I think I know, inside and out, suddenly surprises me with something I didn’t know about them that changes my perception of them…and my vision of their role in the story.


  • I love delving into worlds and events that stand outside my own. When things happen in our world that makes me angry, I want to fix them. Change outcomes. Give insight into other ways the event might have gone. It’s one of the reasons why I write suspense novels. I have a strong sense of justice and, sometimes, the world seems more than a bit thin on justice. I mete out my own in my novels.


  • I love sharing romance with others. I was fortunate enough to have found my other half so it gives me real pleasure when I can help others find their soul mates. Yes, the people in my books aren’t real…but they are to me. And, somewhere out there, there might be a reader who can relate a story to their own, may even find hope and direction to their happiness.  Sometimes, all we need is hope to set us on a new path. I have spoken with volunteers at my local domestic violence shelter about the reasons why they love to receive romance novels for their shelters. They said the books not only give the women an escape for a few hours, but show them that there are other types of relationships out there. Healthy relationships.


  • I love being my own boss. I guess it’s the Type-A, management side of me, but I love waking up each morning knowing that I control my day. I don’t have to answer to anyone but me when it comes to my work. I can create the stories I want, work the hours I want, pick my own titles and book covers, etc. When I was pursuing traditional markets, I knew there were a lot of things I couldn’t control – right down to my book titles and covers – but I realize now that, sooner or later, I would have railed at that lack of control.  As an Indie author, my books are mine…completely. 🙂


  • I love all of the writers and readers that I’m connecting with as a result of my writing. Yes, much of my promotion is geared toward publicity, but I’ve never made so many real friends in my entire life. I’ve become friends with people all over the world, people I’d invite into my home for dinner if they were ever in my neighborhood, people I’d go see when I vacation in theirs.  And it wouldn’t matter that we’d never actually met in person. We’d hug and sit down to coffee and chat like we’d lived next door to each other for years.  This has happened to me on more than one occasion!



  • I hate (for the record, I actually mean dislike; hate is such a strong word but my persnickety need for perfection demands I use the word opposite love) that, despite the number of years I’ve been writing, I still have insecurities about my work. I know that I can write, and write well, but there’s always a niggling voice at the back of my mind when I’m struggling to finish a scene or the next book, that I’m just not quite good enough. It may be my Type-A personality again. It’s tough for me to release anything that I don’t deem “perfect”, and I can get bogged down in that search for perfection.


  • I hate the fact that it takes me at least an hour to get started when I sit down to write. I have an internal editor that insists I read over the previous chapter or two before I can launch into a new scene.  I don’t end up changing much when I do this so I hesitate to call it editing.  It does help me to hit the “zone” I need to be in to start anew, sort of a reboot of the mood and presentation. I just wish it didn’t take me quite as long to get started. If I only have two hours to devote to writing that day, it’s counterproductive to use an hour of that time “getting into the zone”.


  • I hate learning how to use new electronic devices. I know I need to find equipment that will facilitate my writing efforts, and electronics are always changing and updating, but the learning process wrapped around these updates drives me crazy. Computers are not my strong suit!  Thankfully, I have a daughter and son-in-law who come to my aid whenever I have computer issues. And my son-in-law has helped me to build a great inter-connected system using my laptop and two additional monitors that gives my Type-A personality a playground in efficiency. Still, I have another piece of equipment sitting on my desk right this minute that has to be incorporated into my computer system, and I’m not looking forward to learning how to use it once it is connected.  🙁


  • Alongside computers, I hate new computer programs.  It seems like every time I turn around there’s a new version of something I simply must have to function properly in the digital world.  If I could turn them over to my son-in-law to figure out and then have him plug it directly into my brain the way he plugs in my computer, I would be set!  I bought a Dragon Writer program several months ago to address my carpal tunnel issues – everyone I talked with swears it will help me – and I haven’t even opened the box because I’m dreading the time it will take from my writing to learn how to use it. I know it’s what I really need to do. Now to convince myself to take the time to do it!


  • And last, but not least, I really hate formatting. I miss the old days when I could simply type my story and print it out. When all I had to decide was whether to set everything flush left, or go with paragraph indents.  Single space or double space? Courier New or Times New Roman? Once my settings were fixed, I could just write my story. “Dammit, Jim, I’m a writer, not a computer geek!”  🙂 Now, even if I have settled on a presentation style I like, every venue I use to publish my work uses different formatting. And, heaven forbid, I accidently embed a command I can’t even see in the middle of my carefully formatted manuscript! I finally got smart and hired someone to format my last novel. I don’t like having to pay someone else to do it for me, but I’m losing a lot less hair in the process. It was a business decision that I don’t regret making.

I’m sure there are other things I love and hate about what I do, although these 10 things top the list. In fact, when it came to “hates” I really had to think about what I really didn’t like about being a writer and, as you can tell, most of those are related to “how” I get my writing done, not the writing itself.  So, even though I did present an equal number of loves and hates, there is a lot more I love about being a writer.

Of course, I knew that!

See you next Thursday for another rousing entry in Karen’s Diary Drop-In….


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