Writers are artists who create worlds in which people can drown. But while they might be magicians who seem to create fantastic stories out of thin air, they have their own set of problems too. In fact, some of these problems are quite unique to writers while others are more generic. Here are 21 of the biggest challenges writers face and their solutions.
1. Editing while writing
The problem: The temptation to go back to the previous day’s work and edit it until it is perfect is overwhelming. The problem with this is that a scene would never be perfect because you can always think of new things to add or delete.
The solution: Develop the habit of continuing where you left off first thing when you sit down to work. Once you get caught up with what you are currently writing, you will be able to leave the previous work alone.
2. Never-ending research
The problem: Research is important. Extensive research is even better. But there is only so much time you can devote to research because you have a book to write. Getting mired in research you will never use is a huge problem.
The solution: Try to devote actual time for specific research. Seek out reputed sources for your research so you can get it finished without spending all your time on it.
3. Distracted by the internet
The problem: Sitting at your laptop to write, you find yourself checking your email, then your social media accounts. You gradually start checking out links and before you know it, you are well on your way to wasting time.
The solution: You have a job to do, so first try and get some work done before you even log on. Maybe you could reward yourself after a certain amount of work with a little time-waste. Get rid of your phone while writing, or switch to a basic version.
4. In love with your work
The problem: You enjoyed creating a character and filling him or her with all your cherished attributes. Now you are sitting and wondering if it is too good to be true. Then there are all those scenes, which don’t really fit into the story but you don’t want to let go of them.
The solution: Find an editor who will help you with a more balanced perspective. What’s more, listen to this person, because you really need some distance from your work.
5. Forgetting brilliant ideas
The problem: You are out with friends or travelling to work, and it suddenly comes to you exactly how to solve a plot problem. By the time you are done with whatever you are doing, the idea fades away to a blank.
The solution: A habit of carrying a scrap of paper and a pencil on you should solve this problem. If this is too much to remember, just download an app such as ColorNote and jot down your thoughts quickly.
6. Not being taken seriously
The problem: Writing is not considered a serious career by most people. Leave alone your friends, random strangers might come across as condescending to hear about your full-time or part-time work. It can be frustrating and seriously disheartening.
The solution: There is no alternative but to let the rudeness roll off your back. Maybe you could point out they are being rude, or alternatively disparage their profession. That should shut them up.
7. Lack of partner support
The problem: If your partner does not believe in your work, he or she might make it difficult for you to write. Many writers face lack of understanding and support from their partners or spouses. Your partner might assign you household chores just when you want to write or insist that you earn more money.
The solution: This is a serious problem that can only be solved by having a heart-to-heart talk with your spouse. Claim your working hours but also be available for your partner’s needs. You should be able to work just like they do!
The problem: You simply seem unable to stop writing even when the point of that particular piece has been long explained and done with. You are bursting not just with ideas, but also with words that seem to just spill out.
The solution: Find an editor, preferably a ruthless editor who will cut down on the size of your work to a more readable level. You can be sure your readers don’t want to read a filler of a novel!
9. Not enough time to write
The problem: With a full time job, a partner, and children, you might not find making the time to write seriously very easy. Everything seems to eat into your writing time.
The solution: While it is important to earn money and give time to your relationships, you must steel yourself to miss out on some relaxation. Be disciplined and organize your schedule to fit in everything you need to do. Waking up early in the morning and getting a good bit of writing done is a great way to start the day.
10. Negative feedback
The problem: You have written a book into which you have poured out all your heart, time, energy, and then someone comes along and writes a nasty review on Amazon or Goodreads. You feel tempted to respond with a defense, telling them why they are wrong.
The solution: If you are sensitive to negative feedbacks, it is best to not read these reviews at all. It is wise not to respond to any review, positive or negative. Also, please don’t give five stars to your own book just because no one else has done so!
11. Dealing with rejection
The problem: So you have written the best book you can write and want to share it with the world. You seek out publishers but get constantly rejected. This can lead to frustration and depression.
The solution: Fortunately, there is more than one way to get your work across to your readers. Consider self-publishing to put your first book out there. If you manage to get a decent readership, publishers will be happy to give you a second chance. Hiring a good agent also helps in getting your book noticed by publishers.
12. Being judged by your writing genre
The problem: Some genres such as romance are not serious enough for people to take you seriously as a writer. This can lead to major repercussions on your writing career.
The solution: The silver lining is that there are enough takers for every genre that a writer cares to explore. No reader likes everything, so concentrate on the people who do like the genre you write in and aim your marketing towards them.
13. The money question
The problem: You are not earning much, or indeed, anything from your book because you haven’t yet finished writing it or your first one was not received well. This is a major problem for many writers and sometimes, they give up writing in frustration.
The solution: Continue with your day job so that the money keeps coming in. If you want to fully immerse yourself in writing and not work full-time, devote a few hours to work as a freelance writer.
14. Social media
The problem: If you are self-publishing, you really need to put yourself out there and do a lot of marketing on social media. But Twitter and Facebook can gobble up your time and before you know it, the entire day is gone.
The solution: Devote a couple of hours every day specifically for marketing and catching up with fans. If you really enjoy hanging out online, then use it as a reward to yourself for completing the day’s work.
15. Your story has its own life
The problem: You have a nice plot all planned out and then in the middle of writing your story, you discover that your novel has gone somewhere else, something you had not planned at all.
The solution: You have two choices. One, go with the flow and see if it leads anywhere good. If not, you can return to your original outline. The other is to carefully consider which parts will fit into your original plan and scrap the remaining, as hard as it might appear.
The problem: You have sat down to work and then someone calls up to chat or the doorbell rings. Soon someone is trying to disrupt your work-day just because they happen to be free.
The solution: Explain to your friends that you are working and you will speak to them later. You could also have the doorbell switched off for the duration of your work, so random salespersons would not be able to bother you.
The problem: This is a serious problem that many writers face, especially today when the internet is a melting pot of everything ever conceived of by humanity.
The solution: Drop an email to the concerned person and ask them to remove their work from circulation. If they fail to do so, then consider taking legal action. You have worked hard at your book and there is no reason why someone else should take credit for it.
18. People in your life
The problem: Your family and friends don’t get to see you any longer, your spouse grumbles about your absence and your children don’t even bother to disturb you. It might seem annoying when people are always asking for your time.
The solution: You need to make time for your loved ones, no matter how tight your schedule. If it is just a question of a few weeks, you can tell them that you will devote more time to them afterwards. But if it’s a consistent problem for months, then you really need to change your lifestyle to be able to spend more time with your family and friends.
19. Multiple projects
The problem: You are busy with several projects at the same time, and then you get ideas for yet another book and you are forced to wonder whether you will ever finish a book.
The solution: The answer is discipline. While it is great to start new projects, don’t be the writer who never finishes a project. Organize your time so that you continue to work on your main current project, but you can continue to make notes for your future projects.
The problem: There are hundreds of thousands of books on the market by different authors, and many of them are really good. There is some serious competition out there. How exactly do you plan to get noticed in this jungle?
The solution: Your book is more likely to be noticed if deals with a unique concept and not a rehashing of what’s already in the market. Another way to get noticed is to come up with a really catchy title.
21. Writer’s block
The problem: Writer’s block can hit you at any time and you might get stuck with your book. There are different ways in which writer’s block can affect you. As it stands, this is one of the biggest challenges writers face.
The solution: It is best to take a break for a few days and then return to work fresh. If this does not work, then maybe you can give your work a different track. If you are completely out of fresh ideas, try out some creative writing to get you started.
What did you think of our list of the biggest challenges writers face? Can you think of any other problems writers might have? Please share in the comments box below!
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/IMG_20141217_101736441.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Kavitha is a freelance content writer and French translator, and has been working in this field since 2008. She has degrees in computer applications and international business and has a background in business and international trade. She enjoys learning languages and is currently learning Japanese. Her interests vary from books and writing to travelling and history.[/author_info] [/author]