Friday, March 26

Confessions of an Addict

Hello. My name is Carrie and I’m an addict.

What am I addicted to you ask?

Craft books. Learn how to write books. Plotting books.

There seems to be no stop, no end. No cure.

I, of course, totally blame Amazon. If it weren’t for the mega-million-dollar company, I’d have no place to fuel my addiction. The biggest bookstore around these parts is Wally World, and trust me, they don’t carry craft books.

Unless you’re wanting to cook like Rachel Ray, scream like Glenn Beck and Eat This, Not That.

I wanted to learn how to plot. So, I bought Plot and Structure, Plotting for Beginners, Break into Fiction. In a matter of days, they were delivered to my front door. Thanks Mr. UPS.

I decided to learn about POV – Mastering Point of View is there. What a stroke of luck.

I broadened my scope a bit, bought How to Write a Damn Good Novel, The Fundamentals of Fiction and The Fire in Fiction. Ooooohh….another delivery.

Holy cow. The brain synapses were sparking, the credit card was on fire. 

Then, it’s possible, I went a little …umm..overboard. Learn how to write YA, children’s books,  twelve kinds of how to write romance, how to be published, dummie books and even Tarot for Writing. What was I thinking? I’d totally lost control. I was hiding Amazon boxes in the mudroom, burying them under snow boots and parkas. Amazon invoices were tucked underneath couch pillows and in the pages of the Britannica Encyclopedia.

I needed intervention.

It came in the form of Old Man Winter and the surly UPS man.

Living on a farm, in Iowa, in winter makes travel and occasionally just getting out of the driveway an Act of God. This past winter, with record-breaking snows and wind, our quarter-mile long driveway narrowed down to just-barely-wide-enough-for-my-Chevy.

The UPS man hated me. So much so, that he called one morning and said he’d leave my package at the end of my driveway. So instead of waiting inside my nice warm home, I’d have to actually put on my arctic survival gear and go out and GET my books.

Say what?

Suddenly buying books wasn’t as much fun. I had to think before I hit the “add to cart” button how badly I wanted the book. Bad enough to go outside? Bad enough to trudge a quarter mile in snow past my hips? Bad enough to have the UPS guy call and mock my snow scooping skills? Gulp.

Turns out I didn’t need any more books that badly. The addiction had ended. My credit card let out a gasp of relief, the UPS man let out a gasp of relief, and I won’t even begin to tell you about DH’s ecstatic dance around the living room Embarrassing.

So now I have my happy pile of books, and I can read up on any subject even remotely related to the art of writing. I have Tarot cards to play with on days when I get bored.

Only I’ve never gotten that bored. Yet.

So, if you have an addiction, there are ways to break it. Sometimes it takes strength of will, sometimes it takes intervention. Sometimes it takes the UPS guy.

However…..spring is here now. The driveway is clear. Birds are singing outside.

Maybe I’ll just stroll on past and see if they have anything new to offer.

Sorry, Mr. UPS man.



  1. Do you know I've never owned a how-to book? Not one.
    Hmmmm....maybe that explains a few things.

  2. Maybe you can find a book on how to beat your how to book addiction :)

  3. I think you've definitely hit the point where you can stop researching and just keep putting your fingers to the keys. It is far easier (and sometimes more fun) to read about how to write than actually doing it - I had to break myself of this addicition, too!

  4. I do like how-to books, too. Do you have THE ARTIST'S WAY (Julia Cameron), ON WRITING (Stephen Kings), or BIRD BY BIRD (Anne LaMott)? If you don't, maybe it's time to off the wagon.

  5. Liz, I have Stephen King's book, but not the other two...*reaching for my amazon gold card*


  6. In my r/l critique group, one of the members has just about every how-to writing book there is and she talks a lot about writing, but how much does she actually write?? Not much at all. I think its best sometimes to stop reading and talking and get to the writing. Only then do you discover it you have it or not. And you definitely have it.

  7. I'm an addict, too. Is there a 12 Step program? ;D

  8. penny, if there isn't by golly there ought to be! let's check on amazon! =)