Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Crazy Author Superstitions

I have this strange little thing. Insignificant really. But I can't read one of my own books after it's been released. I just can't do it. I've tried and gotten a couple pages in, sometimes a couple chapters, then I have to stop. no more.

I'm just too afraid. It won't be perfect. I'll find a grammar error, a misspelled word, a phase that needs to be reworded, a line I should've deleted. And what's worse, it'll bug me to death because I know it can't be changed now; it's already out there for all the word to buy and see. But if I DON'T read it, then in my head I can believe every word is just right.

I also can't talk about my plot on the current story I'm working on. Any story I'm unfinished with. I've heard people brainstorm in critique groups, needing help to work out a problem they're having in their plot, but I always feel silly if I try to explain what the story I'm currently writing is about because it's not finished, not completely flushed out, it's MORE than imperfect.

Another thing...the first person to read everything I write is my sister. Everything just feels off if she doesn't read my story as soon as I finish. Why? Who knows. Maybe I feel like it'd throw off my muse.

Okay, so I confessed, those are my strange writing quirks. My life as a writer would probably fall to pieces if I didn't follow them every time. Now, it's your turn. What're writing superstitions. What do you HAVE to do before, after, or during your writing process.


T. M. Hunter said...

I'm in the same boat about not reading my books after they're published...except when I have to go back and research a factoid that I can't recall.

I can't really think of any others that I have...aside from having to give my wife one of the first print copies, which isn't as much a superstition as it is self-preservation on my part. :-)

Big Mike said...

I'm the reverse. After I've been away from the story a year I have to go back and visit my friends. Ref finding typos, bugged the halibut out of me first 3 stories. Now after completing my fourteenth, I snicker and remark, "Hey, only one man was perfect" (g)

Michael Davis (
Author of the year (2008 & 2009)

Marie Rose Dufour said...

I never read a story of mine after the final edits. No way! I'm the type of person to be able to pick it apart. I also can't talk a lot about my WIP's. I never feel I'm doing them justice. Sometimes, I'm really amazed that I'm published at all and people actually spend their hard-earned money to buy what I've wrote!!!

Linda Kage said...

TM - Being a wife myself, I'd say it's probably best you keep giving the first print copy to your wife...if you want to make it to your next release!!

Thanks for your out look, Big Mike. Maybe I'll be able to go back and read through them after another couple sales!

I'm with you, Marie. It's it amazing even one person bought a coup of our books. WOW!

Jessica Nelson said...

Hmmm, my quirks? I have to write chronologically. Even if I have an idea for a later scene, I hold on to it and don't write it until it's time in the book.
Also, I've heard a lot of writers can't read their pubbed work but I haven't had that problem. Even though I found two typos, I keep flipping through my pages and grinning. lol

Carol Kilgore said...

We're a lot alike. I can't read anything after it's published. And my sister is the first to read my stuff once I think it's good to go. But I have a secret plot helper who really gets me out of a lot of jams.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

For all the reasons stated, I don't read mine once they are published and out.

I do discuss my WIP because it focuses me. I can also tell if eyes are glazing over, I need to do a lot of rewriting.

A new author asked me how long I'd been writing "like that," after I had read a short chapter of a WIP in a critique group. I said "two weeks." We are always learning, and therefore are our own worst critics.