Inspired by an article I saw in a job newspaper, I decided to write this article when I realized that several of the points could be related to writers. Why is this important? To put it simply, we have to recognize our faults before we can begin trying to change them. Some things will always be a struggle, but others don’t have to be. So take a look at the list below and see if anything sounds familiar.

 

1. They wait to get inspired – Just sitting around waiting isn’t going to get anything written. Grab your muse by the shoulders, sit her down, and refuse to let her leave until you write something. (Unless your muse is an actual person.)

2. They fail to plan ahead – This isn’t necessarily referring to an outline. There are plenty of writers who do without one, although you should still have some idea of where you want your story to go. This is also referring to your writing goals. What do you want out of your writing and what do you hope to accomplish? These decisions will and should impact other things, like where you will decide to be published and what kind of writing form you will use.

3. They don’t do their homework – There is nothing that turns a reader off quite like inconsistencies and inaccuracies. It can make your audience doubt everything else you say, and make you seem uneducated. It is also just plain annoying. Don’t risk taking you readers out of the story. Check and double check your facts. While we are on the subject, it wouldn’t hurt to do a little research on the business side of writing as well. Marketing and promotion, as well as the ins and outs of the industry, are becoming increasingly important for writers to know about.

4. They think certain jobs, genres, opportunities, and activities are beneath them – Think you are above marketing your own work? You don’t want to stoop to doing that local speaking gig? Then you are probably already rich and a household name. If not then suck it up. You can’t get by in life without doing at least a few things that you don’t want. Writing is no different, especially if you are new to the scene.

5. They try to do things that do not align with their skill set or education level – For a long time I wanted to write poetry. Too bad my poetry wasn’t very good. I liked it, and others said that they liked it, but it wasn’t what was getting published at the time. (Or now) Taking a step back I knew I could try to self-publish, but I would be better off delegating poetry to a hobby, and spend my real writing time doing something I am better at and that gives me more satisfaction.

6. They procrastinate or give up due to distractions – The writer’s curse. Procrastination is easy in any job where you don’t have a boss hovering over you demanding your work, but I have found in writing it is even more so. Distractions are not exactly scarce either. Writers are usually very creative, and like to let their imaginations roam. It helps give them new ideas. That’s not a bad thing. We all have times however that daydreaming isn’t productive, it is just a hindrance. It is important to recognize those times and be able to pull yourself back to work when necessary.

7. They practice making excuses – This one is pretty self-explanatory. I didn’t write today because… My book didn’t sell because… I’m not going to take that writing job because… You know the saying “you can lie to everyone else, but you can’t lie to yourself”? You don’t really believe the excuses anyway, so why bother making them?

8. They compare themselves with others – This is especially easy to do when you can hop online anywhere, anytime, and check out what someone is doing. You can compare yourself with big name authors or your next door neighbor, and still find things to be envious of. Keep in mind point number 2. You know where you want to go and what you want to do. Everything else is just a distraction. Ignore how well others are doing and be grateful for what you’ve done. Finishing that first book, making you first sale, writing your first autograph, getting your first paycheck (or second, or third). Your milestones are the ones you should be paying attention to.

9. They don’t treat writing like a business – There are two types of writers. Those who do it as a hobby, and those who want to make money. You should plan and treat your writing accordingly. If you want to make money you will have to start thinking of yourself and your books as a product. Learn about your business, put money and time into it, and be professional.

10. They fall down and never get back up – We have all had failures in our lives. A book we didn’t finish, or one that we managed to publish, but didn’t sell. Maybe you fell for a writing scam or got a rejection letter. The point is, you can’t take that as being the end of your dream. No matter what you have to keep trying and keep writing. Everything in this world is going to try to get you down and destroy your spirit, as a writer it is your job not to let it, and then write about your experience. It’s an unending fight. Good Luck!

Advertisements