OBSTACLES THAT EVERY WRITER FACES
Writing is an art, and all artists have to persevere to stay on top of their craft “come what may.” Below are some common obstacles, many of which most authors will eventually encounter, and their solutions.
Getting started: Actually putting something on paper can be a difficult task for writers at all levels of accomplishment. It is a bit different from “writer’s block” and burnout in that it is more generalized, of shorter duration, more of an issue of focus and self-control, and more easily overcome.
Solutions: Discipline yourself and pre-write identifying your topic, brainstorming on it, writing down all ideas (whether or not you feel they are pertinent), and narrowing them down later.
Writer’s Block is the lack of inspiration when it comes to a particular genre of writing, and it can last for weeks. Among the many causes are self-doubt, the envy of peer authors, procrastination, outside distractions, physical illness, and depression.
Solutions include, but are not limited to, reading the works of others, a change of environment (sitting in the park, taking a walk), vigorous exercise, recreation, after which just forcing yourself to write (initially about anything at all).
Burnout: More severe than writer’s block, burnout refers to a lack of inspiration regarding all writing genres—you can’t write anything, and it can last for months.
Solutions: Key among the solutions is not to force yourself to write when stressed or tremendously fatigued. Also, take time off to do something entirely different from writing, spend quality time with family and friends, alternate areas and locations in which to write, explore new hobbies, engage in recreation, find someone with whom you feel comfortable venting, read books on writing for pleasure, and unclutter your workspace.
Solution: Do not wait for the perfect scenario to begin writing. Renown writers concur: Begin immediately! “E.B White told The Paris Review, ‘A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.’”
Self-doubt: Beginning authors often struggle with insecurities about their potential. Also, rejections and the unjustifiable success of inadequate authors can damage a writer’s faith in him or herself.
Solutions: Realize that every renown author had her or his epiphany. Also, acknowledge that rejection and late bloomers are everyday occurrences among famed writers. Two examples are: Laura Ingalls Wilder began writing when she was 44 years old but did not publish her first book until age 64. Charles Bukowski’s first story was published when he was 24 years old; however, he did not receive a major offer from a publisher until age 44 and did not publish his first novel until 51.
Dissatisfaction with results: Sometimes after spending hours or even days on an article, you end up not liking what you created.
Solution: Renown writers agree you should “toss it.” Maya Angelou said, “More often than not if I’ve done nine pages I may be able to save two and a half or three. That’s the cruelest time you know, to really admit that it doesn’t work.”
Insufficient time to write: Many writers have full-time jobs and have to write in their spare hours; others work from home and have to battle against becoming distracted by family members and household responsibilities.
Solutions: Identify distractions, set writing goals with the help of calendars and day planners, and develop a schedule that includes time for errands as well as writing.
Impatience: Authors often become so obsessed with publishing as soon as possible that it interferes with the quality of their work. Also, the long delays, sometimes years between submitting a manuscript and getting it published via traditional means, can be most disheartening.
Solution: Cope with the inevitable by learning to enjoy the process.
Not getting published
Solutions: Familiarize yourself with the publishing strategies of famed authors, join a writing group, and only send your manuscripts to the most reputable editors and literary agents.
Fear of rejection: Letters of rejection from agents and publishing companies are the status quo and consequently, will abound.
Solutions: Realize that rejection is not synonymous with failure and that the more submissions you make, the more you are on task in getting your manuscript published.
Fear of selling – this anxiety come from the concern that people will not like what you have to offer and will harshly critique it.
Solutions: Realize that the whole world will never love everybody and everything. There is nothing you can do about people’s complaints, so just ignore them.
Too much competition: This concern commonly stems from low self-esteem—feeling that almost everyone is more advanced than you.
Solution: There are always people who can do less well, equally well, or better than you. So, welcome competition allowing it to motivate you to increase the quality of your work.
Low pay: Scant royalties almost always occur when an author opts for traditional publishing.
Solution: If you want both higher remuneration and award-winning recognition, publish some manuscripts traditionally and some via indie publishing (Independent Self-publishing). In this way, you can have the best of both worlds.
Lack of rest
Solution: As the saying goes, “Don’t burn the candle at both ends!” Take breaks, and daily do your best to get six to eight hours of sleep.
Isolation: Many authors work in a confined area away from family distractions and most noises.
Solutions: Always take breaks and schedule some quality time with significant others.
Inadequate knowledge of grammar and punctuation and a limited vocabulary
Solution: Take a course in grammar, and don’t be hesitant about using a dictionary and especially a Thesaurus.
Perfectionism: Often, writers struggle to let go of their manuscripts for months and even years because they want to, as the saying goes, put their “best foot forward.”
Solutions: Work hard but don’t obsess raising your consciousness to when you have done your best, and then, let it rest! Remember, you can always pursue publishing future editions.
Citing Sources: Plagiarism is an offense punishable by law; writers can incur huge fines and even jail time for not properly crediting the sources of the materials they read.
Solution: Keep track of all the authors, titles, and publishers for everything you study. Learn how to write a properly formatted bibliography, and when required, use footnotes or endnotes.
To conclude, every writer, novice as well as accomplished, will come across obstacles; however, most of them can be surmounted with time, patience, and a listening ear from a peer.
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