Writing with myself

D: A? A, where are you? A, we have a post to write.

A: (muffled) I’m over here.

D: What are you doing over there? How did you manage to get in there, anyway? Is that a – wait, I don’t want to know what that is.

A: I’m hiding.

D: Did they finally finger you in the cookie caper?

A: Huh? Have you been reading crime noir again?

D: Maybe.

A: Okay, well you can go back to that. I’m good here.

D: No, you’re not. That looks awfully cramped, and I’m not sure your neck is supposed to bend at that angle. What are you hiding from, anyway?

A: Myself.

D: . . . You never cease to amaze me, A—

A: Why, thank you D.

D: I wasn’t done. You never cease to amaze me with the depths of your madness.

A: Why, thank you D.

D: (eye roll). Why are you hiding from yourself?

A: It’s either hide or reach through the mists of time and wring my neck. I’m thinking hiding is better.

D: . . .

A: It’s not right, D! It’s not right what I do during hand edits. Why don’t you stop me?!

D: Because it’s really funny.

Writing notes to myself should not be allowed.
Writing notes to myself should not be allowed.

A: . . . Letting me write notes to myself is funny? Not editing a few pages and then leaving me a pithy note saying “You’ll know what to do…” is amusing?

D: Well, when you say it in that tone of voice, no. But at the time, it was hilarious.

A: It’s not fair, that’s what it is – I don’t remember what I write during hand edits D. It’s like Christmas every time I turn a page to see what I did with it. When I see a blank page, I start to wonder if maybe I was just being lazy. When I see a blank page with a ‘love note’ from myself, I start to wonder if maybe I was really a sadomasochist with a death wish.

D: So that’s why you were yelling at the draft yesterday.

A: Yep.

D: Did you fix the scene?

A: (deep breath) Yep.

D: Well then there you go. You knew you could do it.

A: Don’t push it.

D: I would also like to point out that I have as much control over editing you as I do over writing you.

A: I suppose.

D: I mean, you whip out that red pen and all hell breaks loose on the page. I run when that happens A. It’s safer.

A: Coward.

D: Yep. Now what are you waiting for? Haven’t you read the part where you told yourself to re-write the first six chapters of the next section? Time to get writing, woman.

A: I did what?

D: You haven’t gotten to that note?

A: No.

D: So, I think I hear the kettle boiling. Or the doorbell – yeah, that’s it. Will you excuse–

A: D, where do you think you’re goi–

D: Sorry, have to run – it’s been swell! See you, A!

Seriously, I should not leave notes to myself in my edits, even if it is my own personal form of time travel. It’s just not nice, plus it’s a bad writing habit and more than a little lazy. Luckily, it’s fairly harmless (unless I do figure out how to reach back and wring my neck. Then I’m in trouble). What is your worst, funny and harmless, bad habit?


Published by Katie Sullivan

Descended of pirates and revolutionaries, Katie Sullivan is a lover and student of all things Irish. Born in the States, she is a dual US/Irish citizen, and studied history and politics at University College, Dublin – although, at the time, she seriously considered switching to law, if only so she could attend lectures at the castle on campus. She lives in Milwaukee with her daughter, two cats and a pesky character in her head named D (but you can call him Dubh). Her first series, The Changelings Saga, a young adult historical fantasy trilogy is available on Amazon. She can be found writing with said character at her blog, The D/A Dialogues.

16 thoughts on “Writing with myself

    1. I feel your pain – my Dad now types his edits when he reads my stuff, because his handwriting is so bad. As for fidgeting with hands, I keep a coffee mug or can of something near by at all times, for just that reason. Either that or a pencil, but usually I end up sticking it in my hair and forgetting where it went, but that’s another bad habit all together! 🙂


  1. I feel your pain, Katie 🙂 Hand editing is not a good idea for me not just because my notes can be cryptic, but also the handwriting itself is often indecipherable. That brilliant idea that I’ll just make a note about and get back to later rarely comes across well (if at all) in a few words of gibberish. And I am also one of those who doesn’t change into proper clothes until late in the day on weekends 😉


    1. I’m right there with you – my chicken scratch is deplorable. It’s good to know I’m not the only one with cryptic notes scattered throughout my edits (or the only one not dressed on the weekend – the kid *loves* those weekends as he is a self-declared comfy man)! 🙂


  2. I feel your pain. I have gotten to the point where I am editing the edits and it’s already published, but not published perfectly, and we all know that it has to be perfect. Really, I think I need to let this little bird fly.


      1. There is a sentence in my book that is missing a preposition. I saw it when I was doing a final proof, but it was only one error that was trivial. I let it go, because it would have meant uploading the manuscript again to KDP and contacting my independent publisher to do the same. Now it is bugging me and I have been re-reading and I cannot find it. It is there, somewhere, and I have probably read it over and over but my eyes can’t see it. I know it is there. It is either the word “to” or the word “the” and I am determined to find it and correct it. I feel like I am looking for a needle in a haystack. This is insane.


      2. Deep breaths! I know it’s going to bug you, so I hope you find it and are able to fix it easily. 🙂

        I’ve read a lot of older book reprints and I always sub in words I know are supposed to be there. I’m probably the worst kind of critical reader because if I like the ‘story,’ I give the writer all sorts of wiggle room.


      3. You are generous. Some are not. I can be hypercritical of my own work where I would not be toward the work of someone else. OCD? I might need to just adjust my meds.


      4. 🙂 It’s okay. I think writers as a breed are a little OCD – despite the whole, ‘hey it’s 2pm and I haven’t changed out of my bathrobe’ thing (I only get to do that on saturdays and sundays, and only on rare ones at that, but I live for it!)


  3. I do the same thing. My latest one was ‘insult Nyx repeatedly’ and I have no idea what I meant by that. It was at the top of a page with no indication of what I was looking at when I wrote it. Very confusing and embarrassing. I think it’s part of the job.


    1. I think so, too. The part where we drive ourselves crazier! 🙂 The one I really love to yell at though is the “meh” that will be in the margins. No notes on how to correct it, just ‘meh.’ I find some choice words for myself then.


      1. Never done that. I use ‘add more’ or ‘take away’. One time I put a big ‘X’ through a page and wrote ‘never mind’ at the top. Couldn’t figure out which one came first.


      2. That is awesome! That one wins. I’m not sure what the prize is, but it should win.

        I really enjoy the trust those kind of notes rely on – as if, while editing (for me at least), my brain is somehow 10 times more retentive than it is normally.


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