#IWSG August 2017: reading/writing/editing pet peeves & other #questions


Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

Monthly Question: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

Since I really don’t like editing, mainly because I’m no good at self-editing, it’s all one big pet peeve to me. I don’t mind offering feedback on other people’s work, but self-editing seems like an oxymoron to me. To me, if I write something, I know what it’s supposed to sound like and look like, so I can’t see those places where the ideas in my mind and what’s on the screen or paper don’t match. I really don’t like editing.

In terms of writing, my pet peeves are interruptions and inquisitions. It drives me crazy when people won’t let me write. It’s hard enough finding those magical moments when you are motivated to write and actually have the time only to be trapped by someone else’s need to chit-chat after ages of silence. I swear it happens every time. Then there are those times when you’re writing something and people want to talk to you about what you’re writing, or they want to watch you work and get inspired or any number of annoying things to show that they are all of a sudden interested in your writing when they’ve never cared before.

As far as reading goes, while most people will go on and on about style, voice, and p.o.v., the biggest pet peeve I have is when the author has treated the reader like a simpleton. It drives me crazy when authors explain things that don’t need to be explained. I think I do this myself sometimes and I make myself so mad when I do. Gotta work on that.


Now on to the personal updates.

I’ve been sick, again. I’m always sick, but as long as I’m not in the hospital it really isn’t that bad. I’m used to it, but it does make keeping up with schedules and plans difficult. I’ve also been losing my battle with depression lately. At least I can say that now; I’m currently in a better place. It’s what I call the bounce back. It’s difficult to talk about depression with people who don’t suffer from it because it’s an entirely different thought process; it’s emotional and it’s messy. Most people avoid those who even mention depression, which is why I rarely talk about it. But since I’m doing better at the moment and will, prayerfully, stay that way, I figured it was important to put it out there in case someone is feeling all alone in their struggle.

On a lighter note, I’ve been keeping up with my YouTube channel pretty well, but I’ve realized that I won’t grow a large following with it. With my efforts split between this and other blogs and YouTube, there’s simply no way for me to put the time and interaction into it that would take for effective growth. At this point, it’s just something else I like to do whether others join me or not.

I’ve been writing quite a bit, though I don’t feel like I’m making much progress. Still, it feels good to be writing on a regular basis. I’ll talk more about it in my WIP update on Friday, where I’ll mention how my last public appearance, for a while, went the night before. I’ll be attending “Meet the Authors” at the Central Library in Virginia Beach. At least I’ll get to show off my new business cards.

If you have a moment, I’d love for you to visit my CURIOUS QUESTIONS page and offer your two cents on the question being asked. Thanks bunches.


So, what are some of your read/write/edit pet peeves?
Any issues you want to talk about?
Any advice for my library appearance?


After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Christine Rains,
Dolarah @ Book Lover,
Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor,
Yvonne Ventresca, and
LG Keltner!


Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #61).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Published by

Toi Thomas

I like reading, writing, cooking, dancing, movies, and music. I'm a big kid and choose to see the world in my own special way. Yes, I'm educated, but I haven't let that stop me from being who I want to be. I'm a wife, teacher, author, blogger, and more.

37 thoughts on “#IWSG August 2017: reading/writing/editing pet peeves & other #questions”

  1. I know how hard it is to get into the writing zone, and I too get irritated when people interrupt me. I hope you are feeling better soon. Depression is no joke and almost impossible to explain to someone who hasn’t been there. It’s so much more than sadness. I wouldn’t wish depression on my worst enemy. Hugs to you, Toi.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement and understanding. I don’t usually mention this kind of stuff because I know it makes people uncomfortable, so I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. It means a lot.

  2. Sending you good vibes and prayers for healing and peace. I am also terrible at self editing. I have a great imagination, but like you I know what is it and am working so hard to simplify my vision for others. It does feel good when we can write no matter he outcome. At least we are working towards the dream.

    1. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like just writing or doing anything creative, but I kept making myself do it until the joy of it returned. I hope it stays a long time. Keep working toward your dream and I’ll keep working toward mine. 😀

    1. As much as I may be able to benefit from some of them, I avoid self-help books. Only about 10% ends up being helpful and the rest is just someone telling you what’s wrong with you. In fiction, I find that some authors have trouble distinguishing being descriptive and talking down to their readers. I’m still blown away by this one author, who I actually adore, taking the time to explain an adhesive bandage. I chucked it up to an early work.

    1. I hadn’t considered loud music. I’ll be sure to try that next time. Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Thank you for your prayers. They really mean a lot. I truly appreciate your encouragement and will also keep you in my prayers. I find that thinking of others helps keep some of the pressure off, plus it just makes me feel good.

  3. I’ve actually been sick and depressed (not clinically) a lot this past summer as well making it difficult to get writing done. I was going through a life change (being let go from my old job and finding a new job) and resisting it the whole way. :-/ Still resisting, really. I’m glad you are on the mend, though. It can really make it difficult to write.

    With Love,

    1. Thank you for your words. I have many things that trigger my depression and my job (I think any job) is one of them. The idea of switching jobs excites and terrifies me. I hope things work out for you in that area. Life is hard enough without worrying about paying bills too. I hope your writing is going well or at least gets better soon. Thank you so much for stopping by today. It means a lot.

  4. You know, there was a time when I didn’t know how to self edit. Then I started researching like crazy, beginning with industry books. I didn’t get it at first, but with time and application, eventually everything sank in.

    I’m glad you’re in a good place right now. I totally understand how physical difficulties can lead to depression, and how constant and blinding that battle is. I guess one of the perks of living in sunny Florida is that at least there’s sunshine to combat the gloom, eh? One day at a time–and wishing you lots of chocolate. (For the endorphins, of course.) 😉

    1. Thank you so much. I needed that. It’s true, now that I think about it, I have been eating a lot of chocolate lately. I never thought the weather was one of my triggers, but I do think it’s a catalyst. When I was away at college, the sun would be gone for weeks at a time. If I was in a good place already, I struggled to stay there, but if I wasn’t, it was pretty bad. I learned a lot about myself then. We’ve had some sunny days lately and it’s been nice.

  5. pet peeves? Are they fluffy, like rabbits? Oh, like people who try to talk while a world is waiting to be created! Oh. Even to the point of lifting off the headphones to say something irrelevant like ‘have you eaten today?’ – that sort of thing?
    My pet peeve is when the world intrudes on the real world I’m creating; when the people in that world don’t get all my attention; when things break and I have to waste time getting stuff fixed, going out into the world to replace them, or otherwise wasting time that would be better spent … writing in the real world of my imagination.

    1. Yeah, being able to write uninterrupted for an extended period of times seems more like a dream, but it’s one I’ll never stop pursuing.

  6. Hi Toi. Sorry to hear about the depression, but glad to hear you’re bouncing back at the mo’. Depression in writers and other creatives is more the norm than the exception so comfort yourself with that. Most of us have been there.

    Yeah. Interruptions when writing are the pits. Like forces are aligned against us. But we have to push on and go somewhere we can’t be found at times.

    Good thoughts coming your way…Denise 🙂

    1. Thank you. Oddly enough, I do find comfort in knowing that this isn’t a singular struggle. If other people can cope with depression, so can I.

  7. Sorry to hear you’re a fellow sufferer, Toi, but glad you’re on the up at present. I’ve had clinical depression for more years than I care to count. I have not so bad times, bad times and really bad times, so yeah… my thoughts are with you. Stay strong, take time away and do something you enjoy!

    I can’t imagine what it’s like trying to write a book with interruptions – I struggle to write a review when my hubby is chatting away.

    My pet peeve is being interrupted when I’m reading, especially if it’s a ‘don’t want to put it down’ book.
    Oh and spelling mistakes… I understand that sometimes they get missed, but it bugs the heck out of me! lol

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story and for your encouragement. I’ve been really trying to focus on the little things that bring me joy and counting my blessings. Every little bit helps.

      Ya know, I put a lot of thought into my reviews, but I hadn’t considered them when writing this. It seems like my husband always wants to tell me a funny story just as I’m about to write one. What’s up with that?

  8. Depression is a long and lonely road. It’s a familiar path. Hopefully you will bounce back stronger than before. Writing has its setbacks, and being interrupted is one of them. It throws you off balance, like a bird stoned while perched on a tree branch.

    Greetings and best wishes!

    1. It is a long path, but if and when I can get a grip on my mind, I realize that I’m not alone. It’s just that getting there can seem so impossible.

      Interruptions are the worst. Nice bird simile.

  9. Sorry that you’ve not been doing well. I think it’s helpful when people talk about depression and raise the awareness of others about its impact on those who suffer from it. You have me intrigued about your curious questions. I’ll have to check that out. 🙂

    1. I try not to talk about it too much becuase I don’t want to glorify it, but do want people to understand that it’s a real issue and that I’m not ashamed to admit that it’s something I struggle with. If there were a cure for it, I’d take it right now, but until that day comes, I try to keep things as positive and lighthearted as I can, while being ready to offer honesty when necessary.

      Thanks for stopping by and offering your kind words. And please do check out my question.

  10. So glad you are writing, even though you are feeling unwell. I hardly find time to write, but when I do sit down, everyone seems to think it is a waste of my time. I ask if their hobbies are a waste of time.

    1. We live in a time and culture where things that are important to us matter and anything outside of that is a waste of time. It’s diffcult to apply the old, but useful, concept of walking in someone else’s shoes. I do my best to respect and appreciate what is important to others and hope they do the same for me.

  11. I can’t self edit either and it is hard for me to trust other people with my creative process so it can be a tough situation. With regards to your depression, I can totally relate. I suffer from clinical depression and no matter how good some people’s intentions are they tend to make things worse if they do not suffer from it as well. I find it even difficult to talk to people who have dealt with loved ones who suffer from the disease because they still do not quite get it either. So it can seem likely a lonely journey sometimes and feeling misunderstood makes things significantly worse. I’m glad to hear that you are feeling a bit better. Small steps can have the biggest impact.

    1. Yes, I can tell you get it. At the moment, keeping myself busy has made all the difference. I have a list of daily achievable goals that’s been a big help. Plus, helping others. I’m doing whatever I can, while I can actually be helpful to someone else.

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