Warning: "continue" targeting switch is equivalent to "break". Did you mean to use "continue 2"? in /homepages/33/d740154482/htdocs/app741541271/wp-includes/pomo/plural-forms.php on line 210

Warning: "continue" targeting switch is equivalent to "break". Did you mean to use "continue 2"? in /homepages/33/d740154482/htdocs/app741541271/wp-content/plugins/a3-lazy-load/admin/admin-interface.php on line 364

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /homepages/33/d740154482/htdocs/app741541271/wp-includes/pomo/plural-forms.php:210) in /homepages/33/d740154482/htdocs/app741541271/wp-content/plugins/cherry-trending-posts/inc/class-trending-posts-callback-views.php on line 133

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /homepages/33/d740154482/htdocs/app741541271/wp-includes/pomo/plural-forms.php:210) in /homepages/33/d740154482/htdocs/app741541271/wp-content/plugins/posts-unique-view-counter/posts-unique-view-counter.php on line 86
Five Challenges Every Aspiring Writer Will Encounter - CityinThree

CityinThree

I remember the moment I knew I wanted to become a writer. I was ten years old and I had...

I remember the moment I knew I wanted to become a writer. I was ten years old and I had just picked up the first three Harry Potter novels at the local library. Yes, I was hanging out at the library as a kid. No, I wasn’t the coolest kid in school. But for some reason, none of that mattered when I disappeared in a world of fiction. It was as if I was transported in a world where wonders and dreams met and to be quite honest, these worlds would often time feel far more fascinating than reality. I also remember going through the first Harry Potter books in less than two weeks. That was the moment my life truly changed. I was struck by the overwhelming realization that someone had somehow managed to put together an imaginary world that felt simultaneously real and magical. I understood at that moment that this is what I wanted my contribution to humanity to be. On that day, I took one of my notebooks and started crafting my own stories. I’m now 26 years old and I’ve been doing it ever since.

Well, 16 years later, I still haven’t published anything. Why? Because writing a book is hard, man. It’s so freaking hard. And every writer I have talked to also agrees. Ironically, writing is literally what I do for a living. Whether it’s film reviews, articles, scripts or outlines for a talk show, I write EVERYDAY. That’s how I manage to buy food. So, you’d think I’d have an advantage on this writing thing but no… I’m a sucker, just like you. And so, after spending hours staring at a blank page, I took it upon myself to analyze my thought process as a writer and discovered five reasons why writing a book is so damn difficult.

--

1) Reading and writing are two vey distinct things

Well duh! Isn’t that obvious? Well not so much. You see, the desire to write and the passion for reading usually come hand in hand. The problem is that reading the finished version of a manuscript builds pre-conceived ideas in our heads about what our own writing process will be like. For instance, some people will sit down and start drafting ideas and realize that even though their ideas sound epic, there is no cohesive connections between them. It is indeed really hard to come up with a well layered narrative where all your ideas properly follow one another. That’s why coming up with an epic battle sequence or the first encounter of two future romantic partners is easy, but compiling the events that leads to those moments is so confusing. To simplify it, reading is like sitting on the passenger side during a road trip. Your role is to observe the word around you and capture the moment as it unravels itself before your eyes. Writing is more like driving a car during a snowstorm at night without a GPS and without insurance towards an unknown location. So before making the decision to write for a living, keep in mind that though they come hand in hand, reading and writing have little to do with one another.

--

2) Your writing sucks

Some people are naturally gifted while others (well, the majority of us) need to work on their craft for years before they can present something remotely interesting. The first manuscript you will put together will most likely turn out to be horrendous regardless of the amount of work you put in it or how committed you are to getting it right the first time. You favorite authors have had to revise their own manuscripts ten times over before an agent was willing to pitch it to publishers. Indeed, it is important to keep in mind that once you finally type the last word of your book after having spent countless months or even years working on the damn thing, your final product will still not be worth the time of the day. So, what should you do in that case? Well… you should write anyway and worry about it later. I’m not kidding. That’s what most best-selling authors do.

--

3) Writing a book has no immediate external rewards

You’re not an author until you’re done. That’s the harsh truth Ladies and Gentlemen and there is no going around it. As a writer, you are technically self employed and you will not get paid until you have a complete manuscript to sell. Even then, you will need to find an agent willing to read it… who will then need to find a publisher willing to publish it… who will then need to find a distributer willing to put it on the shelves. Not the easy ride through La La Land you expected is it? Indeed, being an employed writer who has to respond to deadlines and quotas might trigger the illusion that writing for one’s self is a similar process but that’s totally untrue. This is where reality kicks in: No independent or freelance writer gets paid to write. They get paid for what they have written. Take this article for example. Whether I write it in an hour or a week, the amount of money I will make off of it will be the exact same because it can only turn into an income once it’s finished. Nevertheless, it’s 2AM right now and the only thing that’s keeping me motivated to finish writing it is the terrifying awareness that it’s due at 9AM tomorrow. I swear to you dear reader, if it wasn’t for that, I’d be playing God of War right now. Ultimately, the only rewards you get are the ones you grant yourself. As such, unless you already have an editor that imposes deadlines on you, the only thing that will motivate you to finish your manuscript is your love for the process. Nothing else. Sorry…

--

4) The writer you were yesterday is not the writer you are today

The most annoying thing about writing in big proportion is that you cannot be inspired upon command. Hence why you can never follow up with this great idea you had just two days ago. Trust me, I know how utterly preposterous it sounds. After all, a good idea is a good idea no matter when you decide to right it down isn’t it? Well, just as the expression says: only fools never change their mind. But you know what is even more dreadful for an author than the lack of inspiration? Being overly inspired. Indeed, the majority of artists channel their current mindset or past experiences into their craft. This is predominantly where they draw their inspiration from. Alas, your mindset has the ability to reset itself at any moment and you also acquire new experiences everyday. This will most likely alter your thought process along the way, making it difficult to commit to an idea. Especially when…

--

5) It all sounds better in your head

Your brain has the ability to process information so fast that your subconscious has to step in and absorb most of it for you. This causes you to connect narratives on your mind without having to fully think them through. A series of ideas will come up in your head and will personally make a lot of sense to you. But narrowing down your thoughts on paper is a very different thing. Especially when your narratives have to make sense across a larger scale. To put it simply, some of your best ideas are so convoluted that the genius behind them will disappear the moment you write them down because you are ultimately unable to replicate the information your subconscious self processed on behalf of your conscious self. What you are left with is a giant plot hole supported by utterly ridiculous logical fallacies and circular thinking. Slow down my dear friend. You need to learn how to fully pick your own brain in order to discover those flaws in your creative thinking. We all have them. That’s what makes us humans.

--

My goal here is not to discourage you from following your dreams. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. What I aim to do here is to identify logically the obstacles that EVERY writers encounter. Look at George R.R. Martin, the acclaimed figure behind The Song of Ice and Fire series more commonly known as Game of Thrones. He himself admitted to be struggling intensively with ALL OF THOSE THINGS, to the point where the idea of finishing the next instalment in his already successful series triggers nothing but stress and anxiety in his life. These challenges are totally natural. If you encounter them at any moment during your writing process: Congratulation, you’re one of us. So, write on my friend. Write on until you can’t do it anymore. And then keep writing some more. You’re headed in the right direction.