Worst. Reader. Ever.


That's me.

I am the Worst Reader Ever.

I think I could make this a scientific study if I wanted to. That's how bad things are right now. That's how terrible at reading I am.

If I'm honest, I've been a little- in a not very serious way at all- concerned for my brain.

Why am I like this? How did I get this way??? 


Do you see all of those interrogatory questions?? That's right. I used to want to be an investigative journalist.

I would have been amazing.

Just kidding. I would have completely sucked. I am the most unobservant person ever. Just ask my husband.

It all makes sense now. I mean, before, a journalist sounded so much more glamorous than a novelist.

Okay. Moment of truth. Journalism sounded infinitely easier than trying to make a living off writing full length books. Penning a 500 word article seemed so simple compared to 100,000 words to finish a book.

Now that I'm on this side of my life... I'm pretty sure I had no idea what I was talking about. Turns out taking 100k words to make a point is a hell of a lot easier than turning 500 measly words into something worth reading.

For real.

Perspective. Am I right???

Anyway. That's not the point of this blog.

Actually. If you're looking for a point, you're so not going to find one.

I'm not even kidding a little bit.

Maybe I should give you some history?

Yes. Let's start there.

I wrote my first book in 2007.

Sometimes I feel like 2007 was yesterday... but actually it was eight whole years ago. Crazy, right?? That's almost a decade!

But eight years ago, almost to the day, I started my first book that I was positive was going to become a New York Times bestseller. I really thought that it was the best piece of fiction to ever grace the Young Adult Market.

Turns out... it was not. And that book will never surface from the dark, unfathomable depths I have banished it too.

I'm doing this for you. It's my favor to you because I love you so much.

Oy. That book.

The point is, back then, I didn't have all of these incredible publishing options at my fingertips. There was only one way to get published back then. And it was nearly impossible to get picked up by an agent, editor or (back then) Big 6 Publisher.

Especially right after the economy collapsed and publishing houses were some of the hardest hit by the recession.

(Side note: Just so we're clear, we could have been at the very pinnacle of publishing where publishing houses accepted manuscripts in the boatloads and that book still would have been buried in the slush pile. Believe. That book is bad.)

But all of that to say, I didn't have insta-luck or even mild interest in 2007. Or in 2009-2011 when I tried again with a different book. (the book you know today as Reckless Magic.)

Instead, I got a lot of rejection notices. And when I say a lot... I mean hundreds of them.

Most of them were form letters sent out to writers who are not even good enough to garner a second glance. But some. And by some, I mean three. Those three letters changed my life. They were sent by not aids or assistants but by actual agents. And God bless them.. but they saw some potential in me.

Or were at least gracious enough to let me think they had.

They didn't just tell me no. They told me no with help. They critiqued the pages I had sent in and suggested changes.

It changed the way I wrote and my perspective on my voice.

It also fueled the very dim fire of this dream that I was starting to believe was more of a case of mistaken identity. I maybe could be a writer... I maybe wasn't a hopeless cause... This whole thing maybe wasn't something I had ripped off a cute, sappy chick flick that promised long lunches with girlfriends in equally exciting, but vastly different fields and fabulous shoes.

This was real. And I wanted it.

So when I wasn't writing, I spent my time researching. I researched the ever-living-crap out of how to get published. And then I did everything that research told me to do.

I kept writing and writing and writing. I kept editing and editing and editing. I kept reading and reading and reading. I set up a Twitter account. And. I set up a blog.

Ah. My blog.

Onedaysomedayeveryday.blogspot.com. That was the title.

See what I did there?

At first it was all about exposure. And getting my name out there. It was about practicing to write and finding my unique voice and the specific spin I like to use when telling a story.

But it quickly turned into something more. It was fun. It was my life documented.

It was beautiful.

Now I think of that time like the good old days. The simple days. The I-did-what-I-want days. :)

Eventually, it all faded. People were more interested in book news than they were about my kids or how crazy I am. There was this pressure to become a professional and let go of some of my upfront honesty that can at times be jarring. :) Then I ran out of time. The kids got older and more needy. Our house got bigger and took more work. There was more laundry. More running around to activities and school and the grocery story. There was more LIFE. And more projects.

So many writing projects.

And then, in the spirit of honesty, there just was not the energy left to pour into something else. I stopped having the brain space to turn silly moments into funny stories. I could hardly remember my name at the end of the day, let alone an anecdote anyone would be interested in reading.

There was pressure in that too. Because people like my books so much... my books that take me months to write and are polished by an editor and I've already had feedback by my betas and so forth and so on... that those same people might read these blog posts and realize that I am in fact... a hack.

There is no real talent here. I'm actually a Jedi knight that has tricked you into thinking you like my work.

*Waves hands* This is not the book you're looking for.

Also... Sarcasm doesn't always travel well via the internet. And sometimes that would turn out bad for me.

Actually. Maybe I should just say. TAKE THIS ALL WITH A GRAIN OF SALT. 

I'm rarely ever serious. And if I am serious, I will let you know.

In a major way.

Mostly, when I blog for me, it's just like this great big DEAR DIARY. Or in this case, DEAR KNOWN AND UNKNOWN INTERNET UNIVERSE...

It's like therapy. I just need to say this. I just need to get it out in the open. Then I move on with my day.

Therapy. Right.

If therapy were like sitting on a stage in front of an auditorium full of onlookers and there was no confidentiality contract.

So, sure. Therapy.

I want to change how I'm running this whole blog thing. I'm kind of making a lot of changes in how I've been running this career. What I'm doing now? Yeah, it's not working for me. Not even a little bit.

I am not going to get into it today, but probably if you stick around long enough, I will. At some point. But the short version is that I need to flip this career. This is my dream job and I want it to feel like a dream job. I want to love what I do and be so passionate about it that I cannot stop writing.

I am like that in a lot of ways. But I've also given up a lot. I'm taking steps to reclaim those things I miss.

Blogging for Fun is one of those things. Consider this Step Number Two in Rachel Taking Control of Her Writing.

The first was the whole no-deadlines thing. I didn't have that ridiculous super cool title yet though.

And that... Yes, that never-ending intro brings us to my point for the evening.

Me. I'm the point.

Er, not me exactly. My reading habits. And how terrible they are.

For as long as I can remember I have loved to read. More than anything. It's my favorite hobby. It's what I will choose to do above anything else. It's what inspired me to become a writer. And it's helped shaped who I am today.

That being said... I'm not very good at it.

In fact, I don't know anyone else who is as bad as me.

And I don't just mean because of how slow I am. Because, for real, I am a SLOW reader.

I'm okay with it though. I prefer to savor each word. I don't just want to read a sentence. I want to experience it. I want to submerge myself in it and become it. I want to know that I absorbed each word as I was meant to and that I'll remember it. That I'll take it with me and keep it forever.

I've been like that my entire life.

Being slow is actually something I kind of enjoy. I don't really want to change it.

But... the other ways are something I think I should probably maybe potentially definitely change.

For instance, I'm a really really bad finisher.

I rarely finish a book. And by that... I mean, really rarely. The last book I read all the way through was Throne of Glass and I read it at the beginning of January.


And not only that, but I didn't skim any of it! (Skimming to the end is something I'm super guilty of as well.) .

So that was like... four months ago.

And I haven't read another book all the way through since.

My Kindle is filled with books that have made it to 34% or 17% or 76% or... 6%. I hardly ever see the 100% mark.

It's not the boo's fault. It's ALL me. I have picked up books by authors I LOVE and WANT TO BE and abandon them at 45%. I have abandoned books that I STILL think about and mildly wonder what happened at the end.

There is no rhyme or reason to my madness. It just happens. And it has always happened. Since I was a kid and found books that would take up hours of my time to read.

I remember going through this huge John Grisham phase where I wanted to devour every single thing he wrote. But I couldn't do it. I inhaled The Firm and The Rainmaker. Time to Kill is one of my favorites ever. And oh my goodness. The Runaway Jury!! The Chamber? It doesn't get better than that. But I could not even pretend to get interested in The Summons. Or The Brethren. Or The Associate. Um. No. And there's probably a handful more that I gave a shot but abandoned before I had even reached the Quest.

My last Grisham book was The Bleachers and it's still probably my favorite book of his ever. But what is weird is that I never went back to another Grisham book after that one. It was like I felt like I had gotten his very best and I didn't want to mess that up. I wanted to end with a high note.

My point is, I leave perfectly wonderful books all of the time. Blame my lack of focus or my persnickety taste if you want.. Sometimes I think a book does too good of a job inspiring me and I have to run off to create my own beautiful story. (Not in a plagiarizing way.. more like an I-want-to-create-something-that-makes-people-feel-this-way kind of way)

I'm also really bad at reading series. I have this thing where I read a lot of first books in the series. And then never ever ever go back.

How bad is that???

I love the first book. Just like I LOVE the meet cute. I love when the couple first meets. I love how they fall for each other. I love the angst of the beginning! But then as soon as they get together, I AM OUT.

I throw up the peace sign and I get the hell out of dodge.

It's like that with the first books in a series too. I love getting to know a world and dipping my toes in the water. I love all of the mystery and early excitement. But then I'm good.

Rarely do I find that the rest of the books live up to that first perfect story that drew me in so irrevocably.

If you haven't noticed, this philosophy has kind of shaped my writing style. I never want to hear that the first book in any of my series was the best. I want it to be the beginning. The start. The jumping off point. But I don't want it to be the best. I want the series to keep getting better and better and better. I want you to grow with the characters and fall so deeply into their world, you're not sure if you'll be able to find your way out.

I want you to feel like with each book you're getting a better and better story line. That's my ultimate goal.

So even though I'm dying to read the rest in lots of different series, I don't ever go back for more.

See? I'm a bad reader. And those reasons are just scratching the surface.

It's not good. And it's only getting worse.

So I've decided to take steps to fix this. I don't want to be a bad reader. I want to be a good reader. I want to be the best reader.

I realized a huge part of my problem today. I had somewhat of an epiphany while sitting in the DMV for an hour, waiting to renew a driver's license that expired in February, with two rambunctious boys running circles around my feet.

Yep. It was DMV hell.

I can't complain too much because I did have this epiphany and it's kind of a big one. So for this reason alone, the DMV was worth it today.

Before I was a writer, my genre of choice was YA Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-Fi. I would pick that above everything else.

But then I started to write all of that. (Seriously... ALL OF THAT.)

And so I cut myself off. I went into self-imposed exile to preserve my writing.

I told myself that in order to protect myself and make sure my writing was absolutely unique, I should only read outside of the genres I'm currently writing in. Well, then that turned into staying away from the genres I have open projects in. Then that turned into this weird place where the only books that didn't fall into some category I happened to have a project with were Shifter books, MC books and weird zoological erotica books.

Okay... I'm exaggerating. I never got into any Sasquatch porn.

Er, not yet anyway. :)

I denied myself the stories I really liked and then couldn't figure out why I couldn't finish anything I picked up. My reading has truly felt lost for the past couple of years.

Which is SO wrong. I can't stand it.

I don't know what I was thinking.

Obviously, I wasn't.

No, that's not true. The problem was that I was thinking too much.

I need to chill out. I need to take a step back and take a breath. I need to read everything that calls to me and anything that pulls me in. I need to be free to make choices out of pure pleasure-reading and that have nothing to do with writing.

I need to turn off the job sometimes and let myself be a fan too.

It's so simple and yet it's taken me a really long time to figure out.

But that's what you can expect from me. I'm going to be reading more. Reading more books I want to read.

That's kind of huge for me.

It might mean some good recs for you guys though?? So it's not all bad, right? :)

Final thought.

If you made it this far, thanks for indulging my blogging whim. Unfortunately, I think you can expect a whole lot more of these.

I mean, my 4 year old was shouting at a person yesterday because they wore a black and white striped shirt and Stryker thought they were an escaped "Jail Person."

He told me all Jail People dress like that.

When I asked him how they escaped Jail, he told me, "With their Jail Persons' guns," like it was the most obvious answer in the world.

Then I asked him how he knew all of this and he told me... Minecraft.

So, thanks for that Minecraft.

How can I keep those gems to myself??? :)

And by gems, I obviously mean Motherhood Trauma.


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  1. Oh my gosh, you're adorable. I enjoyed this! And... I might hold the worst reader ever title with you. Seriously. I. Am. The. WORST. Reader. How I'm in this profession is... ridiculous. I'm fooling everyone. They ask, "what's your fav book?" Deer in the headlights. Jurassic Park, maybe? lol. Actually, it's Chatain's Guardian, but no one has ever heard of it.

  2. Woman, you are the most down to earth author I have ever had the pleaseure of reading about. I don't generally read authors blog, prefering to stalk them via FB. But yours I read. You know why? Because you remind me of.....well, me. I can absolutely relate to what you wrote here today. Loved it BTW. Do you girl. I am a fan.