Challenge,  On Writing

Weird Feeling

No Printer…

Finished a short story tonight and couldn’t print it up. So it still feels unfinished.

Amazing the power of a habit of over 30 years. For all that time, when I finished a story or novel or anything, such as an introduction to a book or issue, I would print it up almost immediately. Within minutes. Manuscript format. And I would give it to Kris to read.

That made the story finished for me, solid and on paper, and I seldom (like never) looked at it again except to correct typos Kris found.

But Kris’s printer went crazy a week or so ago, and I was busy with other stuff, so I gave her mine. Forgot I didn’t have one because I wasn’t finishing anything that needed printing. And then yesterday that one gave up the ghost and she ordered a new one, and I haven’t gotten around to ordering a new one. No working printer in the entire house.

So for the first time in over thirty years, I can’t print up a story I just finished. I can’t tell if I am going to go through withdrawals, or just sit in shock and stare out the window.

Thirty plus years of the same exact habit. I need my fix. I need my printer.

Writers, we are so flipping weird.


  • Kerridwen Mangala McNamara

    I’m the same way! My printer is my lifeline!

    Thank you so much for this blog. I’m going backwards and binge-reading everything here (and on Kris’ blog). I’ve been a serial entrepreneur all my life, but the author business is a whole new area to learn… and as you both note so often, there is a lot of bad advice out there. I’d been leaning in the directions you advocate anyways, based on my independent research, but to see such respected writers as yourselves say these things is very reassuring.

    Dare I even say *validating*!

    I do have a request, though. It’s taking forever to make my way backwards through the blogs (and I’ve just bought some of your books and the Copyright Handbook and will be sandwiching reading those in between writing and homeschooling… 3 1/2 kids still at home).

    Can you either write a post for a brand new newbie to licensing – or point me to some old ones directly?
    I see how useful it can be to add “swag” to your online store. And I can see how to acquire vendors to produce the swag. (I haven’t seen anyone mention in the comments… another option that I’m looking at).

    But I feel like there’s some big chunk of the Licensing Thing that I’m missing…?

    Thanks again, so much!
    (5 books out in the last 12 months for my first year – planning on 8ish in the coming 12 months… mine tend to be long…)

  • Vincent Zandri

    I got used to going printerless about 2 years ago. Then miraculously my son’s produced a commercial grade printer that used to belong to my dad’s construction business. Still don’t use a printer for writing but it comes in handy for receipts etc for tax season…

  • Emilia

    I feel like sending out a story makes it finished. I’ve noticed my mood starts becoming foul if I have several unsent stories. It’s like my creative voice feels unappreciated and the negative emotion spreads over to other areas of life.

      • Emilia

        It took me a while to figure out what was causing my block, but it does help keep stories on the market. My bigger challenge is writing faster than my first reader can read.