Why can’t I read anyone else? Or, how I’m having an affair with my book.

“Hi, I’m Cait, and I’m addicted to my manuscript.”

“Hiiiiiiii, Cait.”

Holy cow, this is bonkers. I’m on a staycation/writing-free holiday. My plan was to read other authors for a change. I even bought new eBooks. Yet, every time I settle down to read, I keep peeking at my own manuscript. I’ve done this several times, feeling like I’m sneaking around on my other eBooks. I feel dirty, but soooo alive!!!

Ok, maybe not. Thanks to Diana Gabaldon, Lord John Grey has lured me into his clutches, and I have been able to read a bit from the Lord John series. (He’s fictitious, gay, and I still want him to marry me.) However, even Lord John can’t tempt me for long.

I wonder if your first novel is like a first baby—you overly dote on it and never want to let it out of your sight. Not ever being a mother, I cannot say for sure. I do suspect I’m my manuscript’s stalker, though.

The other thing I wasn’t supposed to do was peek through my beta readers comments. This was my September project. I couldn’t help myself! I snuck a glance at Terri Skuce’s notes and was like, “Oooo, this is helpful!” Then I wanted to edit. I resisted and worked on my Etsy shop and craft Website instead. That’s a victory, right? RIGHT?

I’ve pretty much been writing steadily from May 2014 to June 2015, so a break is due. Did I mention I started writing the first and second chapter for my next book? I wonder if there’s such a thing as the opposite of writer’s block. This writer should be hit with a block so she can stop clanking away at her keyboard.

This entire process is exciting for me, probably because it’s my first novel, and like most writers, I’m dying to post links that show you where to buy the flipping thing. Patience, patience, I know. It’s just that I wrote a book with words and everything!

Reading other authors is so important because it’s a break from your own work and a time to appreciate someone else’s writing. I find it fascinating that my favourite genre to read is historical fiction, while my top genre to write is humorous fantasy. Maybe that’s a good thing because what I read takes my mind on a holiday from what I’m usually looking at. I do want to read more humorous fantasy, but I’d probably only do that when I’m not writing. There will be periods of time when I don’t write, correct? Just lie and say, “Yes, Cait.”

My short-term plan is to finished reading, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Bladeand then move onto two books from indie author Robin Elizabeth called What Happens in Book Club. I know Robin from the Fifty Shades of Geek facebook group, and am looking forward to reading her work.

So, for you, Robin, I’ll try to tear myself away from my manuscript!

(I might take a short peek at my book, though. A teensy peek, with one eye shut? Not more than a few paragraphs? Aw, nuts, fine.)

“My name is Cait, and it’s been 24 hours since I looked at my second draft.”

“Take it one day at a time, Cait.”

I sigh and eat a cupcake.


Cait Gordon has been a senior technical writer in high tech and government organizations. She is currently a Web Developer consultant for Dynamic Canvas Inc., and assistant to the Executive Director at H’Art of Ottawa. She also enjoys her crafting business, Cait Cards.

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