For me, writing is one of the best things I can do with my time, but it certainly has its struggles. It is all I want to do with my life, to write. And I know there are a lot of people who feel the same. One of the most amazing feelings in the world for me is writing and even with all the struggles, it is still so worth it. Here are eight of the struggles fiction writers, including myself, go through in order to do what we love.
1. Never having enough time to write.
2. Potentially, most likely, useless character information.
I can tell you exactly what all of my characters would have for dinner, or what groceries they would buy, but I can't tell you how exactly the plot will go with them. I spend so much time on my characters, fleshing them out, making sure I understand their motivations, and yet half the information I have will probably never get used. Ah, the struggle -- what do I do with all this information? Part of me wants to work it in, because I have it, part of me knows that is a complete waste of my and the reader's time.
3. When you'd rather fantasize about a movie adaptation of your writing because writing currently is just not happening.
For me, there are some scenes in my writing that I can't stop thinking about wanting to be in a televised format. While I have no desire to write for movies or television myself, I can't help but think about how damn cool it would be to see a movie version (assuming, of course, nothing is changed and everything is perfect, naturally). So rather than write, sometimes I like to just imagine.
4. World Building
World building is probably one of the most difficult and rewarding processes in fiction writing. It is also one of my personal favorite parts, but still, it can be quite the struggle. While many writers who write literary fiction don't need to world build, there are still aspects of it all writers have to use. As a fantasy/sci-fi writer myself, world building is key to making sure my stories work. World building takes an incredible amount of time and effort in order to work on a believable world within the limits and rules of the universe you create. It one of the hardest things about writing, absolutely a struggle, and one of my favorites.
6. Characters sometimes seem to have a mind of their own.
Sometimes, it feels like characters have a mind of their own. They don't go where they're supposed to or make decisions that benefit the plot. Sometimes, when you're writing, you realize just how not like your character it would be to have a character do a certain thing -- making it feel like they're doing what they want. Then, at least for me, I need to stop and think about my life choices for a while and figure out just how to work things so the story continues to progress. Characters don't like to listen to their writers all the time and will sort of just wander off and do their own thing, it can be a struggle to get them back on the right track.
This may seen a key part of writing, but it is also incredibly challenging. For me personally, I prefer to plot as I go, maybe having a few key scenes I want to write, but everything else is completely random, while for others it is the exact opposite. Making sure you don't leave loopholes or continuity errors is harder than you think, especially when you go through something a second time or a third, or however many more. Plotting is an intense, and agonizing, and fantastic process as long as your characters work with you and you don't force things too hard. You're in control, and power is a great responsibility.
8. Being a fiction writer.
Okay, this sounds super negative, but it really isn't. Take this as a joke or with a grain of salt, but it is sort of true. When people find out you're a writer, they don't take you very seriously or ask you a string of questions that ultimately make you wish you hadn't told anyone, like, "You want to be the next J.K Rowling?" or "Can I be a character in one of your books?" I think my favorite comment when I tell people I'm a writer is along the lines of, "You know you'll never make money like that." I love being a writer, but sometimes the comments get to be a little bit much.
Fiction writing is probably the best thing in the world to me, struggles and all. I'm sure there are more that I haven't added, and with each individual writer comes their own individual struggles. Hopefully these are just some we can all agree on, and maybe laugh just a little bit about.