Tuesday, March 1, 2011

10 Writerly Fears

10. There's an unidentifiable insect floating in your half-full mug of coffee. You've no idea how long ago the insect met its watery, yet caffeine-filled fate.

9. Your manuscript is polished to the highest luster you're capable of buffing. You're done. Time to send it out. But...maybe you'll check it over one more time.

8. Your fingers are frozen in position on the keyboard. For a long, long, too-long time.

7. As you were typing, your pet jumped up into your lap, glanced at your work, blinked twice, and then tore out of the room as if the devil himself was nipping at his paws. This can't be a good sign.

6. To change up your editing routine, you form a chapter of your WIP into a word cloud. The word that is in the forefront is "smooshed". This gives you pause.

5. This gives you a long, long pause.

4. You get a cold-water-in-your-face shock of clarity as you realize (just as you're handing your manuscript over to your much-beloved spouse) that your protagonist's name is remarkably similar to your first love's. Wow. You may have unresolved issues.

3. You can hear the blinking cursor taunting "Not...good...not...good" whenever there's a pause in your typing.

2. Glancing through that manuscript you sent out two weeks ago, you notice a typo on the first page.

And the question I ask and fear at the same time...

1. What happens next?


  1. Elspeth - Oh, those are definitely good examples of writerly fears. Especially #'s 1 and 2. *Shudder* And then, for me, there's this one: You become aware that you have changed a character's name and forgotten to make the change throughout your manuscript. You realise this just after you've pressed the "send" button on that query Email, or dropped the hard copy off at the post office.

  2. Margot; I bless 'Search and Replace'; it's caught many a blunder. Let's just say I can be creative with the spelling of some of my smaller part character names.

  3. And that IS the way it is. I hate #2 in all its forms.

  4. Carol; It is the stuff of which nightmares are made on.

  5. #7 sounds remarkably familiar to me...as do many of the others!

  6. Terry; It'd be funny if it wasn't sad.

    Elizabeth; The situation can be scarring; both metaphorically and physically!

  7. I relate to all of them. And Margot--I once did just that. With a full! Search and replace doesn't always work. Once I did that for a ms, changing a guy's name from Art to Ed but I forgot to make it case-sensitive. So everybody who was "smart" became "smed" And Grandma had Edhritis in her knees. Oh, what a mess!

    Oh we're all just way too nuts, aren't we? We can always imagine the worst-case scenario, because--hey that's what we do for our characters all day long.

  8. My biggest fear is opening a new Word document. I quiver at the thought of a new WIP- so much work! And who knows how it will work out? Ack!

  9. Smooshed. *snort* Nice. I love the pet racing out, too. No matter how many times you tell yourself they can't read, it still feels personal, eh?


Please leave a comment as I love to hear from you!