Sprinting Towards Insanity: Driving Yourself and Others Crazy With Your Writing

Friend #1: “So the other day on my way to the store–”

Friend #2:  “Tommy goes to the store!”

Friend #1 gives #2 an annoyed look, but continues: “Anyway, I was picking up some bread, when–”

Friend #2: “Tommy loves bread!”

Friend #1:  “I get it.  You like your boyfriend.  I’m trying to tell you about how I broke my arm.”

Friend #2:  “Tommy has arms!”

We’ve all been there, right? In the early stages of a relationship, sometimes a friend can only talk about the new significant other. It’s understandable. They’re discovering all these interesting characteristics and they want the important people in their lives to share in the excitement.

Now, go back and re-read that conversation and every place I wrote “Tommy” insert “my book,” or your main character’s first name. Did you just get uncomfortable?


I had a very squirmy moment myself this week that has been building for a while. Yes, I talk about my book way too much. I do try to moderate discussing it with friends. (I’m sure I’m going to get some snarky comments from them along the lines of, “Egads! I’d hate to see what it’s like if you weren’t trying!”) However, I realized that my poor beleaguered husband is one book conversation away from wearing earplugs around the house.

It’s more than just the obsessive talking about it, though. I can’t stop writing, editing, blogging, researching, and thinking, thinking, thinking. When I woke up yesterday, my first thoughts were of a series of edits I needed to incorporate from a couple of my beta readers. As I fell asleep that night, I was mentally world building for a fantasy project I won’t even let myself write down yet because I know it will only sidetrack me from my current project.

I made myself a rule that after 7:00 pm I have to cease and desist all working on the book project and then immediately started breaking it. On Monday I stopped at 12:30 am and Tuesday it was 9:30 pm. On Wednesday night we had people over to our house, so I was forced to quit at about 6:00 pm, but then I started up again after they left. I asked my husband for help with a WordPress widget that was giving me trouble at 10:30 pm. He gently reminded me that I was supposed to quit at 7:00 pm (I’ve asked him to do this). I told him that I just needed to finish this one thing. His response was a serious wakeup call:

“Yes, but there’s always one more thing, isn’t there?”

Darn wise husband with the caring and the worrying about me.

I know several people that run. Despite this glaring personality flaw, we are still friends. Believe it or not, I do more than just roll my eyes when they talk about training for marathons. Who knew that I might learn something about writing?

I have been treating my career in writing like a sprint. I need to get everything done NOW! IMMEDIATELY! MUST CONQUER AUTHOR PLATFORM TONIGHT!

I’m pretty sure the cat went through with the whole mailing herself to get away from me thing. At least, she hasn’t been trying to sit on my lap in a while. How could she? There’s never space for her because the laptop is always there.

Thursday and Friday I stopped at 7:00 pm. Much to my surprise, the world did not cave in, and the cat is still living here. She had a few choice words for my recent neglect, but I guess I deserved them.

Up Next:  A Character Study of the Couples of Lost, or, What Writers Can Learn about Romance From the Mess that was Jack and Kate

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