Why I Am A Terrible Writer

Okay.  Here’s the deal.  I am actually awful at writing.  I really am.

I’ve started quite a few novels in my day.  Okay, less than the amount of fingers I have.  But it’s a lot for me, who’s extremely secretive about what she writes and is very nervous about what will happen when her family members read this.

Anyway.  Most of those books were absolutely atrocious.  I never finished any of them.  I am now less than ten chapters into my current idea and am now feeling the need to start all over again.

Why?  Because this, apparently, is how I write:

  1. Get idea.
  2. Start writing.  SUPER EXCITEMENT.
  3. Write four chapters.  Still super excited.  Brain says, “MERLIN’S PANTS THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER WHY HAS NO ONE THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE???”
  4. Period of time in which I stop writing and become a functioning part of society again.
  5. Start writing again.  Think more about plot.  Write more chapters.
  6. Think of small problem in plot.
  8. Bang head against wall.  Try to fix plot.
  9. Realize that plot can never be resurrected.
  10. Save draft, file it away deep in the bottomless chasm that is my laptop’s memory, and never think of it again.

Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.


My books are awful.  I know that.  At least, I think that.  That’s how my brain works when it’s in the same project for too long.  I just haven’t come up with a project that I’m willing to put months, possibly years, of work into.  But maybe, just maybe, my current idea is good.  So instead of continuing with the new draft I started today in a fit of frustration, I am going to actually finish writing my novel.


Maybe if I finish it, then it won’t be so bad.  Maybe if I finish it, then I can actually go over it and improve upon it until it’s something worth publishing.

I just feel like I need to finish something.

Instead of constantly being distracted by blogging and Facebook.

The Internet is addictive, kids.


UPDATE: So I wrote that last night, while still embroiled in that fit of frustration.  Later, however, I realized what my core was, and I just needed to center everything else around that core.  And I also came up with an idea for that “everything else” bit.  Granted, I thought of it at eleven o’clock at night and that’s late for me, but this morning I’m still feeling okay about it.  Maybe a few adjustments.

But I’m ready.  And this time I really am going to finish it.  But it’s pretty much back to square one with the prewriting bit.

Happy reading!

P.S. Before you ask, I’ve resolved not to tell people what my topic is, nor my characters’ personalities, nor anything really.  Sorry.  Thank you.

The BOOK Nerd Commandments

During one of my trawls through cyberspace, I came across a list of Nerd Commandments on a site dedicated to all things nerd.  Thinking it over, I have now come to the conclusion that while these are very right and true commandments to live by, there are many specific types of nerds, and this list does not always carry over.  With that in mind, I have taken it upon myself to create the Book Nerd Commandments: a list of special rules for our breed of bibliophiles, readers, etc.*  Some quick brainstorming on my part produced almost 20 guidelines, but I’ve narrowed it down to the 10 most universal, written out in classic Commandment style and listed in no particular order:

  1. Thou shalt consider all film versions to be inferior to the books from which they sprung.  This one goes without saying, guys.  Movies are never better.
  2. Thou shalt choose thy Team in whichever love triangle thou hast read of.  Yes, even if it’s a Team Switzerland.  At least you’re taking the side of not taking a side…I think.
  3. Thou shalt seek out and purchase for thyself collectibles, t-shirts, or other such memorabilia related to at least three books which thou hast enjoyed greatly.  I’m still on the fence about whether this includes companion books…
  4. Thou shalt read Harry Potter.  No exceptions.
  5. Thou shalt not limit thyself to one genre of books.  Branch out a little.
  6. If thou shalt enter a bookstore, library, or other such place, and depart from there without having purchased for thyself at least one item of literary value, thou shalt be lowered amongst the ranks of thy nerdy peers.  Because what true book nerd can resist a bookstore?
  7. Thou shalt attend at least one book signing during thy lifetime.  Book signings are awesome.
  8. Thou shalt have concocted at least one theory by the end of each series thou readest.  It’s so fun predicting who’s going to die.
  9. Thou shalt never bend to the teasing of thy non-book nerd friends.  Wear your nerd colors proudly!
  10. Thou shalt keep thy series in accordance with the Law of the Golden Mean.  This spectacular rule was on the original list of Nerd Commandments, so all credit goes to that site.  Basically, it says if you own more than about 60% of a series, you are required to either buy the rest of it or sell books until you are below that percentage.  Some examples, along with very hastily taken iPod Touch pictures:


This is most of the Gone series, by Michael Grant.  Except I don’t own the first book.  I need the first book.  Also, sorry it’s sideways.

Can you spot what's missing?

Most of the Spiderwick Chronicles, by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black.  Except the fourth one.  I now feel an urge to buy the fourth one.

See what I mean?  Good rule.

My posts may be irregular in the next week due to Family Vacation.  Tonight I’m going to the Harry Potter Exhibition in NYC.  Should be fun.

Happy reading!


*If you don’t feel like you need to follow these rules, that’s okay.  This is just for fun.  Feel free to read books as you please.  I won’t be mad.