What Does it Mean to be a Writer?
Writing is hard.
Being a writer is even harder.
People don’t understand that. They often say that anyone can be a writer, but they’re wrong… very wrong.
I’ve read novels, e-zine articles, short stories, essays, and any other kind of writing there is, and thought, I could’ve written that… or I would’ve written that better.
The key is that I didn’t write them.
Someone else actually took the time to sit down and do the work.
As writers, we need to remember that their are faces behind all work of literature, no matter how small. Every word needs to be written by someone–every website, every commercial, every facebook post…
While the writing may not be comparable to what you do, if you’re not writing and they are, guess who wins the race.
Being a writer means butt in chair, fingers on keyboard, brain calmed and producing something on the page.
Simple as that…yeah sure!
There are a Zillion Obstacles for Writers
An obstacle is something you need to overcome in order to get something done. It blocks you in some way from reaching a desired goal.
Here are some obstacles that get in the way of many writers…
- time (binge watching Netflix not included of course)
- kids… always need something, but hey, Diana Gabaldon, bestselling author had three little kids…read my interview with her.
- spouse doesn’t support your “hobby”–that’s a tough one.
- space–you don’t have a dedicated space…umm ok.
- can’t type fast enough–start using pen and paper then.
- no one takes you seriously– do you, take yourself seriously, I mean?
- there’s no inspiration–um, look out the window or read this.
- can’t stop editing.
- the good ol’ writers’ block
- rejection and judgment… this is one that all creatives live with. By putting yourself out there in the world, there’s the chance someone won’t like it. The question is, do you believe in yourself and your work?
- the rabbit hole of research
The list continues but you get the idea.
Here’s the thing… none of these should be dead stops. You can write any time and anywhere.
I completed my first manuscript in my car waiting for my son to be done with swim club. I made a choice at that time to work in the car, where it was quiet and private, instead of hanging with the other swim moms. Make sense? Worked for me. That book is looking for its forever home.
The Greatest Obstacle is You.
I know you don’t like to hear that, but it’s true and I think down deep you know it too.
I certainly recognize it in myself.
- At times I’m lazy
- Ultra sensitive
- Fear of failure
- Pulled in different directions
- Lack of accolades
- Feeling selfish or self absorbed
- Totally fed up with the industry
- Just pissed at the world….
It happens to all of us. You’re not alone.
If you’ve told everyone that you’re a writer but you have no interest in doing the work or writing novels….omg…that’s Okay!
Like seriously. Stop torturing yourself to do something you don’t enjoy.
Who knows, maybe you just need a break.
If it’s laziness/attitude (this is me sometimes)…. decide on a daily word count–even if it’s 500. Just do it everyday for your mental health. Keep pressing forward.
Do You Want to Write?
The first line of this post was about how difficult it is to write and be a writer.
Is this catching up to you?
Are you more in love with the idea than producing a product to share? This happens.
I often float from project to project, but I’ve developed a discipline for the daily grind. I thrive on seeing a finished product. Then it’s done and I want to move on to the next.
I once wrote about adult ADHD and don’t doubt that I fit into that category somewhere.
Be Honest With Yourself
The world will not stop spinning if you choose not to write anymore.
Be honest with yourself. If it’s something that is a true passion, then make some concrete goals to push forward.
You must commit to yourself to get the job done.
Focus. Focus. Focus.
Leave a comment below and let me know how you feel about this discussion. I love to hear your thoughts.
Photos: Habits: Source Unsplash. Artist: Manan-chhabra/ Passion: Source Unsplash. Artist: Ian Schneider
Thanks so much for stopping by to read this post.
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5 thoughts on “The One Greatest Obstacle For Writers; It’s Not What You Think”
True, true, true and true..when it comes to the excuses :)..
Yes, writing too, needs commitment.
Hi Marianna. It sure does! Thanks for reading and commenting.
What a great reminder. Come to think of it, even spam bots have people behind them. Someone had to write whatever they did. So mind blowing to look at every example of the written word and realise that there was someone behind that.
And yeah, I fall victim to excuses most times, but thanks for reminding me that most times, it’s prudent to just hunker down and write.
Hi Stuart. It is mind boggling isn’t it?! Every single thing is written by someone. We forgot how important that is for sure. I’ve been struggling with focus but am slowly doing the hunker down and write thing. I can talk myself in and out of something 27 times in the space of two minutes. The writer brain is so powerful… both ways… all ways.
Thanks for stopping by Stuart. I really appreciate it.