Tuesday 3 May 2022

How to avoid or cope with some of the biggest bugbears of being a writer

 Guy, Angry, Hat, Tie, Bow, Irate, Irritated, Bang

1.      Your friends and family – or even you yourself - don’t take you seriously 

Don’t be afraid to call yourself a writer. If you spend time writing, you are a writer.  It doesn’t matter whether you are published or not or whether you have hundreds of five star reviews or not; what matters is that you write  So, make time to write and make sure that everyone understands that that time is precious.

2.      Rejection

It still always hurts, no matter how often it happens and no matter how many acceptances you have. It’s okay to think “Your loss, mate.” But best not to say that. Often it’s not because there is anything wrong with your writing though it’s always worth another look before you send it out again. It can be a matter of timing. It’s all so very subjective anyway. So, dust yourself off, give the work a little tweak, take an honest look at why it may have been rejected, consider it a “rewrite” and get it out there again. It’s good in fact to have quite a few things out there. A publisher may bite.   

3.      Professional jealousy

Either feeling it or being the victim of it can be uncomfortable. It’s not fair is it, that your writing friend got a three book deal and her writing is no better than yours? And it’s annoying when you get the good news from a publisher and your writing friend ignores you.

Force yourself to be glad for your friend. Your time will come.

Make your jealous friend an important part of your launch. You never know, she may be able to network at your event and get some good leads.  

4.        Running out of ideas

Often when you first start out you have tons of ideas. Then you use them up or decide that they weren’t so good after all.

Remember there are ideas are all around you. Retell an old story by taking a different character’s point of view or bringing it into the 21st century. Take a walk and look at what folk are doing, Lots of stories there as swell. Or try a writing prompt. There are various books around full of them and you can often find them on social media.

5.      “I’m going to write a novel one day”

Says your non-writing friend.

Oh so many assumptions here: that it’s easy, that anyone can do it and that you will be pleased to read the end product of someone right at the beginning of a writing career.

Could you play devil’s advocate here?  Show a real interest. Ask them how they’ll find the time, have they planned the novel out yet, have they done any research. If they ask if you’ll look at it say that you don’t have time but point them towards someone you know who edits.  If you do that yourself discuss your rates. You might offer mates’ rates but be clear that you must make it worth your while.      

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