Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Avoiding Annoyances

Okay, so everyone has things that annoy them. I do, trust me. A lot of things. For one, I can't stand it when people make fun of me for saying "front forward." I know it's wrong, okay? I just don't care!

So annoying.

But I've come up with a few tips that will hopefully save you some annoyance points. Then you can use them up on your kids and send them to bed early. *wink*

1. Work. Work is annoying. It gets in the way of what I want to do = write. I can't read blogs, I can't email or chat incessantly, and I can't sleep in until 9. You may say that giving up those things is actually good, that work is actually rewarding.

You would be wrong. And also now annoying me.

So I've got the solution: sell your book for millions! Foreign rights, movie rights, large print and/or audio rights! The sky's the limit, baby. I mean, you sold a book! Aren't you going to be like, uber-rich now??

Yes. Adios annoyance.

2. The Non-Getters. You know who these people are. They're not fans, or family members, or other writers. They're the people you barely know who ask you stuff and get close to you at parties and/or church because they think it's cool you're an author, but they clearly don't "get" anything about what it takes to A) write a book B) get an agent C) sell a book D) refine the book and/or E) actually publish a book.

They want a (free) signed copy at their earliest convenience.

I say: No problem! I've got just what you need to give them what they want.

A smile, a nod, a high-pitched laugh, and an early escape from the conversation by going, "Ca-caw! Ca-caw!" and having your friend rescue you when she hears the prearranged distress call (never leave home without it).

See ya later, alligator.

3. Good books. Yeah, they shouldn't annoy me. They do. I wish I'd written them. I wish other people weren't so dang talented. I wish, I wish, I wish.

So in my ultra-annoyed state over the fact that my creative genius is actually creative crap, I've devised a solution to this never-ending nightmare of annoyance.

I've started a little self-talk, and it goes something like this: "This is a very good book, Elana. You should learn from it instead of being so insanely jealous and/or depressed that you'll never write like this, and/or have such a vivid imagination, and/or tap into your emotions in the right way. Maybe consider taking some notes on what they do that you like so much, and hey, maybe you'll figure out where all the key points are so you can actually finish that outline you started three weeks ago and never finished, and oh my heck, your deadline is in like, less than a week, and you're not done yet, and why are you wasting time reading this annoyingly good book??"

So you can see what I've done here. I've actually distracted myself AWAY from the annoyance and into panic.

Works every time.

What annoys you, and what are your Annoyance Solutions?

**Disclaimer: this blog post may or may not contain situations that may or may not have occurred in my life. Or with this friend I know...

55 comments:

Cheree said...

Ooh, yeah. I agree with number 3... my annoyances are the people who complain just for the sake of complaining. The whole world's against them and they have to make sure everyone knows that.

Em-Musing said...

I annoy me! Every time someone asks, "So? Published yet?" I have to scold myself, "See what happens when you brag. Aren't rejection letters bad enough? Now everyone you know is reminding you that you're not published yet. Way to go, braggart"

salarsenッ said...

The other people asking questions thing is great. Yeah, just happened to me yesterday. The look I got made me feel like I shouldn't say I'm an author because my novel isn't pubbed-up yet. *churning stomach*
I'm glad you mentioned #3. Thought I was the only one. ";-)

Ted Cross said...

I'm annoyed that I keep getting older all the time.

Misha said...

My muse sometimes annoys me. The twit insist that I must write. I take out my book and pen and...

Stare at the pages because the witch up and left the moment I wanted to write. Grrrr...

The solution? I spite her by writing anyway - even if what I wrote sucks. Usually she comes back to help the stupid mortal out.

Misha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathon Arntson said...

This is my favorite post from the entire summer! I love it so.

I do have one question, though, what does "front forward" even mean? I've never heard it. I think it would be more acceptable with a hyphen, don't you think?

Natalie Aguirre said...

Work and sometimes clients can be annoying. LOL on your solution. Mine is just to accept it's life.

Don't worry. You'll handle your deadline. You are super awesome and very productive. I know you can do it.

Christine Fonseca said...

hahahahaha!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Ha, this post made me laugh! :) I guess I get annoyed that I can edit something a billion times and STILL have a ton of work to do.

Renae said...

This is too perfect! You are officially my new hero! I'm printing this post and nailing it to my bulletin board at school. Number one is so true and I know you can relate since you teach too! Work does get in the way of what I want to be doing!

Thanks for the laugh before I dive into another day with 21 eight year olds!

Candyland said...

HA! We're on the same page today. I'm annoyed in a BIG BIG way!

Matthew Rush said...

Oh boy work is the worst. I don't mind going (or getting paid) but it is really ANNOYING that they expect me to work all the time while I'm there (here, shhh). Don't they realize I have a lot of writing and blogging to do? Sheesh.

Liza said...

Sounds like "Back to work blues." Hang in there. Things will get better.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

ROFL!!!!

Love your solutions, Elana. :D

Hannah Kincade said...

I agree those things are all annoying. I'm annoyed when people say they don't like something and they've never tried it. At least try something before you form an opinion. And to be really fickle, I don't like it when people view/read/experience one aspect of something and then generalize. I hate generalizations! HATE THEM.

I could literally list like 18 more things but I won't. :D

Michelle McLean said...

ooo definitely #2 and since I just read Mockingjay and had those exact thoughts, #3.

A big annoyance of mine is the attitude that it isn't as cool to get published in non-fiction as it is in fiction LOL For example, when I went to the post office to mail my finished manuscript off to my editor, the lady behind the counter, seeing a big document box heading to a publisher, got all excited and asked if it was a book and if I was an author. She went all fangirl on me until I told her what the book was (my nf book on writing essays and papers).

She literally stopped smiling for a sec, then pasted on a "I don't really care but I have to be polite" smile and said "Oh, that's nice" *insert eye roll*

So yeah, big annoyance lol

Deni Krueger said...

The following conversation:

"Oh, you're a writer?"
"Yes."
"Exciting! What have you published?"
Awkward silence.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I get annoyed when people don't say thank you when I've held the door for them.

If I'm in just the right kind of mood I say it for them.

~ Wendy

Nisa said...

Haha! You are a super genius! You just don't know it yet.

What annoys me? When the words just aren't flowing. That really annoys me and then the annoyances halts further progress. Help! I need you to come up with a cure for this one!

lbdiamond said...

Okay, Yes, Yes, and Yes!! I'm going to use all three solutions, 'kay? ;)

Tess said...

If I let myself fall into that 'annoyance pit', it is a mess. Everything starts bugging me...even things that never bugged me before.

So, if I feel myself slipping, I say NO! and just don't go there. easier said than done, I know.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

This post made my morning, hehe. And I think your "front forward" phrase is awesome!

Claire Dawn said...

What she said!!!

Number 2: my neighbour, after my first draft. "You chould just self-publish on Kindle." *Snicker*

Number 3: Oh yes! HELLL YESSS!!! I loved The Hunger Games. Then I hated Suzanne Collins! lol.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Those are good and annoying. :) Especially the non-getters.

(But I also find people who make right turns from the left lane annoying too) LOL

Stephanie McGee said...

Slow drivers, drivers who don't get into the intersection when turning left, insanely short yellow lights (hello, not SLC).

And the paranoia that I'm missing something huge in my world-building. IT's really rather annoying. See, my last two books showed me that my world-building time was sorely lacking in certain areas. Now I'm paranoid that I'm missing some important area when I'm world-building for the next book.

And it's annoying.

lynnrush said...

This was great. Loved your situations.

Something that annoys me?

Drivers in traffic.
Seriously, by zooming up on my bumper, swerving around me, then cutting in front of me into a space only a mini cooper should have fit with your SUV --- really is that going to get you to your destination THAT much quicker?

How to avoid. . . . See yours for your #1. Then I can hire a driver or better yet, just stay home and do every interview via SKYPE.

Zoe C. Courtman said...

My biggest annoyance used to be my freelance writing gigs that butted in and stole my writing time. But the way I got over that was to view it as A) a blessed distance from the book that allowed more objectivity and clarity for the MS when I returned and b) a way to stretch and hone my chops through the crazily-pared-down world of non-fic writing. Suppose it's all a matter of shooting for a paradigm shift where you can. Alas...

Julie said...

Just found your blog and so glad I did. You cracked me up.

My annoyance: When people find out that you write and then say, "Oh, I've got an idea you should write" as though, I don't have a passel of my own.

One person actually said, "I'll give you the idea, and you can write it and then we'll be rich." Uh huh. Yeah, not so much. When I patiently explained that writing is actually time consuming and with a full time job, I only have time for my own writing, she replied, "But it would be fun." Of course, it would be fun for her while I'm doing all her work to tell her story to make her rich.

**Smiles, backs away, and doesn't hurt anyone.**

:)

Patti said...

Totally agree with work. It gets in the way of everything.

My annoyance: When people find out you write ask when your book is going to be published even though I don't even have an agent yet.

Don't have a good solution to this one, yet.

Valerie Ipson said...

It's definitely to the point of awkwardness when people keep asking when they can read my book or when it's coming out. It's not even finished yet. I guess I should be more annoyed if they quit asking.

Elana Johnson said...

Dude, you guys have some great ones! I love the "I have a great idea you should write." I've gotten that one too. And non-getters don't get the speed of publishing, so I do have people asking me when the book comes out. I'm almost apologetic telling them it won't be until next year. Why? I don't know. But I'm like, "Sorry, not till next summer." Like it's my fault or I'm falling behind or something.

Crazy.

And you guys. Don't even get me started on drivers. I'm trying to gain more patience in that area.

Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw said...

Would it make me sound bad to write, "It would be easier for me to write what DOESN’T annoy me?

Jaime Theler said...

One that gets me all the time is, "Hey, I have this book/chapter/short story/pamphlet I've written. Can you take a look at it and give me some pointers? Oh, and I don't want to have to rewrite."

So basically you want me to spend all this time to read your whatever and assure you it's brilliant so then you can pester me to introduce you to every agent, editor, publisher, or other author I know? Uh... no thanks.

Kelly M. Olsen said...

Boy, don't get me started. Ever since I decided to take my writing more seriously and take it to the next level, I've been annoyed at myself for researching, learning, reading, learning, researching (spending all of my time on the net)to polish my craft instead of spending all of that time writing.

I'm also annoyed at everyone I know. For years and years I've had so many people tell me that I should be a writer - that I have such a way with words. Well, as soon as I take their advice, it's like pulling teeth to get them to read my works on the web, or to visit my blog. They spend countless hours with the Facebook screen open, and they just wait and stare at it until someone posts something, or they play Farmville or Bingo, but won't take 10 minutes to support my efforts...A**holes!

Krispy said...

Most of the things that annoy me have to do with driving these days. People who leave a HUGE gap between their car and the car in front when they stop at a traffic light, thereby blocking my ability to get into the left turn lane. People who DON'T USE THEIR SIGNAL LIGHTS and dart into my lane or (inexplicably to me since there's no signal!) slow down to make a turn. People who drive really fast and then randomly slow down ahead of you.

The list goes on, but I think it's the lack of signaling that bothers me the most.

Bish Denham said...

I'm annoyed at being annoyed. :O

Margo Berendsen said...

Please fill me on the "front forward" thing. Why do you get picked on about saying that? And, um, ignorant here, what exactly does it mean?

Ca-Caw- oh, oh, I KNOW THAT ONE! Robots! Oh, there is hope for me!

Yup, getting rid of annoyances by turning them into panic, great solution. Works everytime!

Carolyn Abiad said...

This is fresh in my mind: 1. Find school website and get everything on the list for kids back to school. 2. Go to orientation and discover that supplies already purchased are all wrong. 3. Stand in line at Staples and pay too much because there is not one (insert necessary thing) left on the planet. Why?

Marsha Sigman said...

I LOVE this post.

I too scream 'Ca-caw' as much as possible. Sometimes randomly at work. You would be surprised at how much peace you can obtain if your co-workers think you are insane.

Work annoys me. I have no solution. I put in at least 5 solid hours every day...yes I am here for 8 but I feel my pay only deserves 5.

My teenager who insists on calling me 'girl' after everything he says to me. My solution: I now call him 'girl' all the time...his friends love it. He does not.

Mary Brebner said...

LOL--I've been in/experienced every one of those situations. Sometimes, I just want to yell at people to leave me alone so I can write. But that's rude. Shutting off the phone & pretending I'm not home/I forgot/I got the time wrong works much better.

Okay, so, now I'm annoyed. Is work done yet?!?

Jemi Fraser said...

The Ca-caw advice totally cracked me up! My kid thinks I'm crazy - but that's nothing new :)

CMOM Productions said...

Annoying Situation- Needing information, from someone or someplace, to make plans, adjust schedules, or move forward on a project and having to wait forever for that information.

Solution- Practicing patience and finding suitable distractions.

Regina said...

Still laughing so hard at number two that I have to wipe the tears from my eyes to type. I agree with some of those annoyances such as work and good books.

The one thing that doesn't annoy me is someone who can tell it straight up -- in your face. Brutal honesty. I likes that.

I get annoyed at the gentle stoking of the egos and the your manuscript looks really nice...yadda, yadda, yadda.

Annoyed when ideas come and I am driving and can't write anything down until I get to the destination. Argh. This was great. Thanks for letting me vent. Hehehe.

Nichole Giles said...

You were so NOT supposed to tell on me! Oh wait. It isn't me?? Sure sounded like it. *gulps*

Trying really hard to not be annoyed today that the postman didn't bring my copy of Mockingjay yet. Ahem. It shipped on Monday. Hurry up already!

In the meantime, no way I'm getting much of my own work done, because I'm so preoccupied with being annoyed. Dang that Suzanne Collins!

Jennie Englund said...

Good annoyances -- all those!

And great solutions, too!

Ishta Mercurio said...

WOW - I'm not the only one who agrees with number 3! And I seem to be in good company. Whew! I feel guilty about it, but then I get annoyed at myself for feeling guilty instead of just sitting down and WRITING the d@mn thing already...

Another thing that annoys me is people who don't shovel their sidewalks in the winter. I don't drive, people. I need a place to walk that isn't squeezed between a snowbank and speeding hunks of metal.

Also people who let their dogs poop in my yard and don't stop to pick it up.

Okay, two more annoying things. :P

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

LOL. Love this list. Have to agree with you on the 'non-getters' The ones who hear I have an agent and ask, 'where can I buy your book?' and then get that look--you know THE LOOK (the one that says Oh-you're-totally-full-of-crap) when I say I don't have a book deal yet. THAT annoys me.

Got a pep talk for that? :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Can it be non-writing related? People who talk on their cell phone while driving. Solution - phasers set to kill. Gets them every time!

Daron D. Fraley said...

I seem to have lived most of these... (except for the pre-arranged distress call; I'll have to try that one).

Here is another one: I once had a conversation with a budding writer who had written a memoir. In a very nice way, I told them that memoirs usually don't sell in the market unless you are somebody famous, and then suggested that self-publishing is a great way to go for something like that. At least then friends and family still get to read it. They un-friended me on facebook.

Vicki Rocho said...

Hysterical. I so want to see the look on their face when you "Caw" at them.

Medeia Sharif said...

I dislike it when someone figures that because I'm a writer I'm willing to revise and edit their college papers and their relatives' college entrance essays. Or they run the smallest thing by me--emails, flyers, whatever--to get my approval. Um, shouldn't they have the skills to do that?

LReneeS said...

I can relate to some of what you said. I'll have to remember the "Ca-aw" thing for when people just come up to me because I'm a writer.
One thing I can't stand is when people read over my shoulder when I'm writing something. I'm trying to finish a chapter and then somebody comes into the room and starts reading it over and asking me questions about how I spelled this, this, and that and how to pronounce the names of X,Y, and Z. It's so annoying!!! Can anyone else relate to this?
My solution.....? Um, I don't usually have one, but usually I just try to hint out to them in the nicest way that they are distracting me. Either that or I stop writing until they at last give up and go away.

Happy writing,
LReneeS
author of the Magicians series

Taffy said...

FUNNY you are! People who do Yoda impressions annoy :)

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

What annoys the hell out of me is these people who say "have you read "da, da. da, da yet?" and you go no, I'm only half way through it yet" and before you can cover your ears and go "la, la, la, la I can't hear you!" they tell you how the damn thing ends. All I can say is, It's a damn good thing I don't carry a gun or knife or you would be dead, sucker.

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