Monday, May 4, 2015

The Best/ Worst Things about writing.

by Susan J Berger

On April 9, I started the Book in A Week challenge. I attended April Kihlstrom's Book in a Week workshop and I felt 50% sure I was equal to it. All I had to do was write 8,000 words a day.
I began writing at 10:00 AM. Sixteen hours later, I quit for the day. I had written about 6,000 words.
I knew I couldn't keep up that pace.
Everything was in my favor. Beautiful place to write. A chance to clear my mid every day with  Yoga and a walk on Ventura Beach. Zero interruptions. . . .

My brain wouldn't cooperate. Jen, my main character, veered off course, taking the plot with her. My subconscious took over the writing. Good, yes? Ummmm.
My subconscious spent a lot of time meditating. Tidbit by tidbit, it released plot points.
Day 2. 4,000 words.
By the end of the week I had 33,000 words; a plot that scared me, and a determination to see it through.
Fortunately it was April. I turned to CampNaNoWriMo for encouragement, I am a deadline junkie. I need chocolate, coffee and a goal.
At 11:00 PM on April 30th, I typed The End. 
Trumpets sound. Angels sing Hosanna
I had my first draft.
I'd gone through the fire and survived and I think my time travel logic will hold. It was a real cliffhanger. I wasn't sure Google or my subconscious would tell me how to solve it.

I surfaced into the real world and saw it was my turn to post.
So . . .

Best things about writing

1.You get to create your own world.
2. If you let them, your characters will astound you.
3.The joy of learning something new.
4. Someone invented the computer and gave writers a new set of tools. Cut. Paste. Spell check and, best of all, Cntrl & Z which undoes your last mistake (like erasing a whole chapter.)
5. Having a great critique group.
6. Going to SCBWI or RWA events
7. The call or email saying someone wants your work.
8. The first time you see your cover.
9. Good reviews.
10. Calling yourself a writer and believing it.



Worst things about writing

1. The no idea zone.
2. Your brain won't give you a sentence.
3. You hate your character.
4. The dead middle of the story.
5. Trying to find an agent.

6. Trying to find a publisher.
7. Rejection(ssssssssssssssssss)
8. Trying to keep up with social media.
9. Bad reviews.
10. Believing there are so many good books out there and why would anyone read yours?

Add to my list please. What are your favorite and least favorite things about your career?


  1. One of my least favorite things about being a writer:
    Rejecting the company of people I love and want to be with, because I absolutely can't let the writing go at the wrong moment.

    Most favorite: Translating the story in my head into squiggles on the page that a reader will eventually decode into characters and scenes and a story that engages them. Magic!

  2. "Beautiful place to write. A chance to clear my mid every day with Yoga and a walk on Ventura Beach."

    Jeepers, if I worked in that environment, I wouldn't get anything done. I'd be busy sight-seeing.

    Camera Guy

  3. Best - Starting a new the freshness and air of anticipation. Almost anything could happen.

    Worst - Stuck in that gray, middle zone. So many negative thoughts whirl through my mind.

    Great post, Susan!


We love hearing from you.