Writing a novel

Why I don’t like reading my own novels #writing #amwriting #writerslife #writerproblems

TheWomanPaintedH2_850Yes, you read that correctly. I don’t like reading my own novels.


Why? Am I out of my ever-lovin’ mind?

Uh….jury is still out on that, but for the sake of today, I’ll…oh, I don’t know, sidestep that question…or at least the second part of it.

So, why don’t I like reading my own novels?

I spend months and months on a manuscript—writing, editing, writing, editing. It’s contracted and goes through two rounds of edits with an editor and with me. We both comb through it, and yet, even with two pairs of eyes, it happens…it, meaning I find an mistake. Perhaps, it’s just a missing word, an extra one, or one that was misspelled. Or perhaps, it’s bigger than that, like an old habit that I’ve learned how to overcome AFTER publication.


You know, those sentences that you read over and think “what in the blue heck was I thinking when I thought that was okay?” or you find a scene that could have had just a little bit more than you gave it.

Yes, that’s why I don’t like reading my novels.

Because it’s inevitable that I’ll come across not just a few somethings, but a lot of somethings I want to change.

And, guess what?Smaller

I can’t change them.

I mean, surely, I can change the little things—a missing word, a tense error, a spelling mistake. But, the big things, like a paragraph that needs to be rewritten or say like several…hundred…of them…throughout the novel. Uh, nope. I can’t do a darn thing. Well, yes, I could email my publisher, but considering how hard it is to make corrections to a file once it’s uploaded for publication, I’m sure she’d just laugh at me and tell me I’m insane.

So, that’s where I’m left. Sitting there on the couch or in my office chair, knowing these mistakes are out there for the whole world to see and I can’t do anything about them. My OCD starts to claw at me, my legs start to bounce with an anxious itch I can’t scratch, and all I can scream is “my eyes, my eyes!”

I scream and throw pillows. The dog freaks out. The cat ignores me. And, my kids look at me confused. It’s awkward.

Then, I go to bed replaying the errors over and over in my head. I can’t sleep, and every time I get a review or someone makes a comment about how good the book was, all I can think is “Are you crazy? It could have been so much better if I’d just rewritten the whole thing!”


Perhaps, one day I can somehow over come this. Of course, it probably won’t be until I get my rights back, can rewrite the whole darn thing, and publish a new edition. If I have time, I plan on doing just that; however, I don’t know where I’ll be in six years, so I might just let the sleeping dogs lie by then. Who knows.

So darling followers, do you read your published titles? How do you handle errors you can’t change?



3 thoughts on “Why I don’t like reading my own novels #writing #amwriting #writerslife #writerproblems

  1. Once published we move on to the next book. Only looking back if needed to check on a character action or features. Never reading but by doing a search. Saves sleeplessness. 🙂

  2. Well, I can’t seem to get a published title, but I know I could change things in my novel(s) for infinity if given the chance. It’s a good thing that you have a publisher to limit you. We will always find things we want to change again … and again … and again. Yes, I’m with you, I do not like reading it once it’s completed with all the edits. I would be just like you if I read it once it’s published … driving myself nuts with wanting do-overs.

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