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If you’re planning to write your book and push through with it, you’re subjecting yourself to vulnerability against forces beyond your control. Contrary to popular belief, writing a book is not easy. It isn’t some side hustle that you can opt to do on your free time and guarantee a best-selling book. Frustrated, you’re going to suffer late nights squeezing your head about organizing your plot or finishing a chapter you took so long to conceptualize. You’re going to encounter several dilemmas and suffer an existential crisis more usually now. You’re going to face the ceiling convincing yourself how this is all a bad idea and you should just give up.
But that’s okay, don’t be scared. It will all be worth it at the right time.
When this happens to you, don’t let it get to you. You have the strength and the will to shrug them back to where they came from. Don’t waste any more time thinking about the reasons why you couldn’t do it, because that’s not how strong-willed people think. They think about how they can be the best version of themselves by focusing on what they have and not caring what other people have to say about their progress.
If you’re going to give up too soon, you’re going to disappoint your future readers (if you don’t have any at the moment). If your art is built from the heart, there will always be someone who will feel the sincerity. You will find your audience soon. So don’t give up. You have to see the day when one of your silent supporters are gonna message you and thank you for being her ball of sunshine on a bad day. You have to see the day when people are waiting for your next update. You have to see yourself living the dream.
It all seems blurry now because you’re too overwhelmed with the problems that are clouding the clarity of your goals at the moment. Love the pain. Love the experience Love it because you have no other way to deal with it. Know its purpose and start from there.
7 REAL STRUGGLES EVERY ASPIRING AUTHOR FACES AND HOW TO OVERCOME THEM:
Even if you don’t know what exactly writer’s block is, you probably have an idea what it means. To put it simply, it’s when you’re having a difficulty to write. During these times, you just can’t get anything out. It’s like your creative juices have drained. You feel like there’s a huge lock on the door some part in your brain and you can’t seem to find the key to unlock it. Sighing heavily, you massage the temples of your head but still can’t write a single word. Although there are a million reasons why you must be feeling that way, the smart thing to do is to narrow those ideas by assessing your emotions and figuring out why.
Are you pressured? Are you feeling inferior to other people’s work in the genre as yours? Are you feeling like you’re not improving? Do you feel unsatisfied with your progress?
The answers to these questions will determine how much hold this feeling has over you. The power of your thoughts are so crucial that it can extinguish a flame instantly. Some authors say writer’s block isn’t real; that it’s just an excuse to make your laziness valid. Regardless, you need to accept the things you cannot change and start thinking about what you have control over. Don’t be ashamed of your flaws. These can be one of the best advantages you have, so make use of them.
Stop being lazy. Stop procrastinating. Stop putting it off for later or tomorrow. Delaying the work will only prolong the agony. Do what needs to be done now. Today, not tomorrow. You don’t have all the time in the world. When you go through a time when you can’t juice in that creative sponge in your brain, don’t force the writing to go exactly the way you want it to be. You can start writing in the middle part, climax, the ending part, or even the next chapter. No one’s gonna tell you how to do the job. As a writer, you have the freedom to be in control of your means.
When you get to specific scenes where you’re not sure how to put it in a sequence, write them all down and let them clutter up in your notepad or notebook. Read it one more time then fill in between the gaps that you skipped afterwards. There are multiple ways to get out of curls and knots as long as you learn to look at your story from a different perspective.
Like what any professional author tells you, your first draft of your first book will not turn out as great as you think it would be. It will suck in so many levels, no matter how rich your background in writing is. The first step is to accept it that no matter how good of a writer you think you are, your first draft will never be good enough. It just won’t. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have room to grow. Stop chasing perfection because you’re chasing something that doesn’t exist.
Your constant pursuit will only exhaust you, and eventually, you’ll end up doing nothing for the whole day but your energy is running out. Stop creating competitions in your head. Stop thinking you should be better than someone else at a specific timeframe, whether it’s someone starting or someone who has already gone a long way in his career. Instead of expecting a perfect first draft, accept the challenge and yearn for room to grow. Keep writing until your hands hurt and your mind explodes. Keep writing until your idea becomes too broad and too far from what you intended, at least you can edit it and erase the unnecessary details.
Keep writing until you develop a habit of constantly improving yourself. Wake up early or sleep late at night to pour out the creative juice into your writing. You may never get it back. Sacrifice the little, temporary wants to earn what you want most at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter how far they are in their journey. Focus on yourself and nobody else. Don’t feel overshadowed by other people’s achievements. They’ve gotten there because they have overcome the struggles that you’re experiencing at the moment.
Perhaps you’re too busy to find a good place to sit down and write because you’re stuck with thousands of responsibilities all at once. Maybe you’re a mother of two or a breadwinner of 9 in the family. Maybe you’re a scholar vying for honors but still aim to write your novel. Anything can happen in your life unexpectedly and you can’t seem to find the perfect time to organize your thoughts.
There are different circumstances for each one of us, but we all have the same long-filled hours in a day. It’s a matter of how you use those hours. Before you go to sleep at night, think about tomorrow’s objectives. Make a mental checklist about the goals you want to achieve tomorrow and not some other day. If you want to keep things tangible, write it down in your journal or your to-do list.
It keeps you in control of your decisions and makes your priorities clearer. Once you set your mind to fulfilling these tasks, you will figure out which habits you need to postpone or remove completely from your routine. Then you will realize you had much time, after all, you were just doing the wrong, insignificant things that pulled you away from doing the things you’re supposed to do. You’ve wasted time but at least you know now.
Do you ever go through tough times when you think about how your skills are not as good as you think they are? When you feel like your abilities are fake and aren’t gonna sustain in such a competitive industry?
You think about how you don’t have a talent in the first place. Thoughts like, “You’re not a natural. You’re just trying too hard.” You compare yourself with other people and end up feeling bad and invalidating your hard work. You feel like an impostor who doesn’t truly belong. You feel like a fraud who isn’t supposed to be where you are right now and that you were just lucky.
That’s what impostor syndrome feels like, and that has happened to every single writer out there (even the very successful ones in their prime). This one is a tough battle to beat, but you’ll get by eventually. Take time to rest. Read other books. Read blogs or listen to music that remind you of your self-worth. Surround yourself with people to help build your self-confidence. Talk to yourself in the mirror and convince yourself you’ve reached this point of your journey because you’ve worked so hard on this and you’re good enough to be here.
Your abilities and attitude have transcended you into a different person, and because you’ve grown stronger, the challenges have upped their stakes too. It’s just the fear talking, and don’t let it outsmart you. You’re bigger than that negative ball of force weakening you. The best things take the longest, and that’s because great art is wielded by great artists.
FAILING TO STAND OUT
Pessimists never fail to make you feel like you’re never going anywhere. They paralyze you into thinking it’s better and safer to stay in your comfort zone. The hostage you from improving and turning into someone greater than before. Don’t listen to them; their words will eat you alive and you’ll be left with nothing. You’ll be snatched with energy, hope, faith, and a clear vision of your future. The problem of how to stand out amongst the competition shouldn’t be your priority.
It should be knowing your craft and falling in love with it, then you allow your book to attract success as time goes by. Even in the classroom, you’re always going to have competition. When you listen to people who are afraid to take a risk, they are going to tell you how the competition’s too rough and saturated and how it’s extremely difficult to find a place in a world full of talented and skilled writers. While that’s true, do not be discouraged. If you put enough dedication to hone your craft and master it to the fullest, the people will be the judge.
They will sense that you have what it takes to be recognized because you created something out of nothing. You have exerted time and effort to put a smile on their face or bawl their eyes out for the plot twist you made in the last chapters. Take note that even the most popular, successful authors of today started just like you and they had the same struggle as you too. Your light will shine the brightest at the right time. All you have to do is to hold on until you make it.
NOT KNOWING ENOUGH
I used to be scared about putting my story out there because my ignorance might be reflected in my writing. Maybe I was pursuing a topic I didn’t know anything about after all and I’ll just make a fool out of myself. Maybe I am offending certain types of people with my words and my characters. Maybe I am not fit to write about this topic. In the prime of the digital age, the Internet is booming. The impossibilities of yesterday are the possibilities of today, and your dreams will soon be limitless.
You have all the resources you need. You have a variety of physical books, electronic books, encyclopedias, documentaries, or any piece of information at your fingertips. You just have to be aware on how to use them effectively and to the best of your ability. You can interview other people, ask questions, watch Youtube videos, and attend classes, and the like.
Writing about something you’re passionate about isn’t enough especially when you’re on the threshold of growth. Sometimes you have to dig deeper about what you love. The more you establish a more meaningful relationship with your subject, the more you realize there’s still a lot more to learn than you thought. Sometimes you should also use your voice to advocate topics outside of your reach and be versatile with your skills from scratch.
LACK OF MOTIVATION
Complaining about not being inspired as an excuse for not writing is such a poor reason to have. Albeit motivations can vary to different people (whether it’s the calling to write, money, fame, external validation), you won’t always be motivated. You won’t always feel that zing running through your veins when you’re thinking about the next chapter of your book. You’re not always going to wake up on the right side of the day.
There will be days when heavy storms rain down on you and all you see through your windowpane are the reasons why you should stop. But you shouldn’t listen to them. Regardless, you must write not only because you can but because you have to. You don’t have deadlines or nobody’s forcing or pressuring you to do it. Then make one for yourself. I suggest joining a good writing platform like Wattpad (more about this in my next blog post).
Interact with fellow writers who aspire to start and end a book and more or less have the same journey as you. When you join a writing platform, you will belong in a great community of support, and sometimes along the way, you will get readers by joining book clubs and contests they create. Sooner or later someone will either praise or criticize your work and how it contribute to your growth depends on how you respond to it.
You owe it to your dreams. You owe it to yourself.
You will get through this. I know you will.
During your weakest times will your deepest desires be tested.
How badly do you want this? Are you in the process of writing a book right now? Is it fiction or non-fiction? Are you experiencing any of the struggles listed above?
If yes, how do you cope?
If no, what are the other struggles you experience?
Let’s talk! Tell me what you think in the comments below.
“Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.”Henry David Thoreau