You know the old stereotype of the morbidly insane guy sitting in the corner of a bar frantically scribbling in a journal? There’s a grain of truth in it! Here are 5 things that make most writers crazy – including me!

Now, I’ll admit, I’m one of those people who likes things “just so.” It’s not so much that I find some higher moral purpose in having the dish towels folded lengthwise, then crosswise (as opposed to the other way around). It’s that at some point, I spent actual time and conscious thought to figure out the most efficient way to fold them, and I don’t want to do it again!

retro housewife

This is not me. This is not my blissful family. The cake, however, is real.

That wouldn’t be such a big deal, except that I don’t live in a bubble. I live with a husband, four kids, and a dog. All of whom conspire against my simple desire to have a life that runs smoothly! But instead of ranting, I’ll just pour a fresh cup of coffee and share my top five things that drive me absolutely crazy. (I’m a writer – we’re supposed to be crazy, remember?)

Do me a favor: at the end, tell me how many of these drive you absolutely nuts too – or share your top pet peeves 🙂

5. Cold coffee. Yeah, yeah, laws of thermodynamics and all that. It’s still no excuse for coffee to get cold before I’m finished with it! And microwaved coffee just doesn’t taste right.

4. Missing Pencils. I buy the silly things by the case, and you would think, in a house with homeschooling kids and a writer, that we’d be tripping over writing implements! But no. I’m pretty sure there are Fae Folk who steal them out of my pencil jars at night. I want my pencils back!

3. Disrupted routines. I’ve spent all that time and energy figuring out my routines for a reason, people! It’s so I can get all that boring, mundane stuff done without thinking about it too much. This frees my brain up to make up stories while I’m fixing dinner or driving the kids to their activities or whatever. Mess the the routine, and you’ve just interrupted me in the middle of a story. Not cool, dude…

2. Interruptions. I know, some writers can sit in the middle of a crowded place and pen the great American novel. I’m just not one of them. I need peace and quiet. Interrupt me in the middle of a story, and I completely lose track of what was going on. By the time I take a few deep breaths and quit being so frustrated, chances are the next interruption is about 30 seconds away. Stack up a few of those and watch the sparks fly!

1. Patience. I’ll be the first to admit, I am not a patient person. Once I’ve figured out a goal, I like to sprint toward it without any regard for obstacles. Reality, however, disagrees with me. I’ve got a story idea file that’s growing faster than I can ever hope to keep up with it, and there are days when I think, “If I could just get a week – or a month – away to do nothing but write…maybe I could finally get these stories down on paper!” I want it, and I want it Right Now! But instead, it’s a long slog. A short story here, a flash fiction piece there, outlining, drafting, editing, revising, and editing again until each story is just right. But hey – every hour I carve out is a few hundred more words, a few more pages, right?

Those are my top 5 crazy-makers. What are yours? (Oh – and if you and I have #1 in common, sign up for newsletter updates. You get the next installment in my current flash fiction piece on Friday afternoons. Everybody else has to wait until I publish it on the blog Monday!)