3 Bad things about being a writer

There are many things I like about a) writing, and b) being a writer.
Here are three things I don't like.

1. Refocused anxiety.

Because I spend so much of my time worrying about the quality of my
writing, the state of completeness of this project or that, and
(occasionally) planning for how to get this book launched once it's
done, I don't worry about the stuff I used to worry about. While this
might be a good thing in some instances, it also means that I haven't
been paying enough attention to my physical self. I was reminded this
morning that I need to lose some weight. Time to get on that.

2. Reduced tolerance.

I used to enjoy lots of different kinds of books, including genre
works of science fiction, horror, fantasy, etc. Now that I've been
writing it myself for a while, I get irritated with some of the books
that are held up as leading examples of the field. I know how the
sausage is made, and it's made me lose my taste for it.

3. Second guessing my second guessing.

Overthinking has always been a problem for me. Now, since I write and
explore thoughts and concepts with a deft hand, I can do this in a
cyclical fashion, ad nauseum. I have the words for some serious

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  1. I really hear you on point 2. A lot of books I maybe would have put up with now seem intolerable.

  2. I'm with you on #2 as well, but it isn't just the bad stuff. I can't read a story simply as a reader anymore -- taking in the words and the stories and the descriptions -- but I see it as a writer, too. I think about and wonder how something was written, and why, and how the author kept everything organized, and what mood they might have been in or what drugs they might have been on when they wrote different sections, etc. And, of course, how I would have written it differently.

    And then with books like Infinite Jest, I get all this plus my editorial background, and I find myself wondering, "How do you edit something like this?" That's a question I would never have even thought to ask 15 years ago.

    But it's not all bad. It's true that, to be a good writer, you have to read a lot. But I am (and I imagine you are, too) to the point where I am more actively (as opposed to passively) learning from good writing than I used to.

    And now this comment has given me an idea for a blog post . . .


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