What are my pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?
I may have mentioned my obsession with details in the past. Obsession almost to the point of freezing up. Obsession to the point of diving down rabbit holes filled with minutia. Posts written about this obsession to the point where you, my lovely readers, shriek with madness “WE GET IT, KATTY!!! YOU’VE GOT A THING ABOUT DETAILS. MOVE ON!”
So what can I add to this topic outside the phrase “detail oriented?”
I can’t stand reading a book and not knowing what the hell I’m reading. “I’ve read this paragraph 3 times, already. What the hell? It’s not like I’m reading Advanced Physics for Dummies” (although I would acquire that book if it was out, just because of the title).
Sometimes it’s because my mind wanders while I’m reading. I’m thinking about something my kids said, or the monumental to-do list for the house or a nifty story idea is just on the edge of my consciousness, tantalizing me with some shadowy suggestive movements but not quite revealing anything andIcanfeelitoutthereitjustneedstogetalittleclosersoIcancatchit…
Lately, my reading brain has been a little scattered. It’s hard to focus when you have so much else going on in your head at any one time. And that’s definitely a pet-peeve. I’m interested in the subject, I know I am, the book excited me when I acquired it, I put it on the “To-Do” reading list, but lately, picking up a book is far more work than it should be. Perhaps I’m tired – physically and mentally pooped. The gods know how much stand-up comedy I’ve been binge watching lately when given half a chance.
My writing muse is a different pet-peeve altogether. She either shows up and whisks me off for a whirlwind 6 weeks in which my feet never touch the ground but I’m giddy with all the work and ideas and I’m just drowning in them all…
Or the bitch never shows up at all. No calls. No flowers. Maybe a cryptic text written entirely in emoji, if I’m lucky, but don’t count on it. It’s a bit like being stranded in the middle of nowhere circa 1981 and finding a car that can take you back to “somewhere” but it’s a standard transmission and you only know how to drive an automatic.
I know I should try to write a little bit everyday anyway – that whole strength training for writing philosophy, but damn it if it isn’t a painful slog in which very little gets done. Writing a single new paragraph in a six hour period is actually a triumph when I try to write like that.
When my editing muse shows up for work, it’s the nit-noid details at which she raises an eyebrow that makes me cringe. “Well, it is a nice scene, Katty, but do you honestly believe a family would react that way? Let’s think this through a little more, shall we?” A slight grimace quickly hidden under the professional facade: “Oh, dear. I think you may have missed this on a spell check.” A delicate frown with pursed lips broken by one of the deadliest of all words: “Why?” A tiny whimper as her face drops into a tired hand. “You have heard of plagiarism, haven’t you, Sugarsticks?”
But I think my biggest pet-peeve for all three subjects is my family.
It never fails. I’ll sit down to read, to write, to edit, to research.
“Mom? I need help with the TV. Mom? Will you play with me?” Can we snuggle? Dear, have you seen the-Mom, can I have a- Can we go to- Can I? Did we? Can you? I’m hungry. We need. I want.
It. Never. Fails.
It’s a huge pet-peeve, one that I’m often accused of over-reacting when it occurs.
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