Writing is what I love to do. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else as a career, and I don’t plan on it because I believe in following the path that makes me happy, not the one that provides me with the highest income. Several people wouldn’t agree with that statement, maybe they’d even scoff or roll their eyes, having heard the classic, "do what makes you happy" speech too many times. But I have one life. I intend to work hard doing what fills me with satisfaction and contentedness, not suffering through a job that riddles me with regret and sorrow.
With all of that being said, I’m not totally deluded, thinking I can jump straight out of college and into being a full-time writer. I’m aware of the fact that I’ll face a ton of rejection and that becoming successful in the vast world of writers is an onerous task. I’ll need another job first, until I get published and then published again and again, and until a solid platform is built (I have to be optimistic that it will happen at some point, even if that’s far away), but that job has to involve writing.
While writing, I’ve come across many recurring struggles, and if you’re also a writer, perhaps you can relate.
1. You think of your most masterful of ideas at inopportune times
And the times are not conducive to immediately grabbing a notebook or laptop to jot down your thoughts. This usually happens when I’m about to fall asleep, in the middle of class, in the shower or while working out.
2. Not really knowing what to say when someone asks you what your book is about.
I typically go for the vaguest of answers, such as, "Um, it’s about this person and they meet this other person and they meet another person and they all go and do some cool stuff and, uh -- yeah." I’m bashful and nervous when it comes to revealing my full plot.
3. Having little control over what your characters do.
(Yes, I am the one writing the dialogue, but my characters say and do as they please.)
4. Killing off characters whenever you feel like your story is getting boring.
5. Dreaming about your book becoming published and then becoming a movie rather than actually finishing it.
6. Laying the description on too thick.
While I may enjoy describing the size, shape, texture, material, color, position and history of a table, the readers may end up falling asleep.
7. When you’re having an off day and can’t seem to string together one decent sentence.
8. Loving a chapter, then simply liking it, and then hating it after reading it over for the millionth time.
9. Knowing your sanity will be questioned if someone browses through your past searches.
Yes, I looked up how long it would take to dig a grave for my last story. No, I am not planning on murdering anyone. People might also assume you’re pregnant based on your frequent use of baby name sites.
10. The constant need to cut out clichés from your drafts.
They are so darned good which is why they are cliché!
11. Knowing how hard it is to become a successful published author, yet still trucking on -- never giving up on your passion.
There you have it, 11 writing struggles that I’m hoping are not just knocking on my door. If I missed any big ones, feel free to comment on what plagues you while you’re slaving away at the computer.
However many struggles there are, they will never deter me from writing. Writing is magical, there's no other way I can describe it. Creating new worlds and people and emotions is purely magic. Perhaps that makes us writers magicians.
Write, write, write! And follow your dreams! (Let’s pretend that’s not a cliché.)