Alanah Winters

Alanah Winters: Compelling fiction

My Mini List of Personal Obstacles Writers Face on a Regular

No person gets through their career without at least a couple scrapes and bruises. No, I’m not talking about actual bruising, unless you're a boxer or an MMA fighter. Then that’s to be painfully expected, no pun intended. So it goes without saying that being an author comes with its own list of obstacles.  What some people may not know is that we (the authors) are the ones that create the biggest hurdles for ourselves. There are also outside factors that can become an obstacle for a writer. However today I’ll be sharing a mini list on the inner battles that writers will always face. Please feel free to share your thoughts and add to the list.

1.     Lack of Confidence



I believe this is the most common problem that can plague a writer. However it’s also the most treacherous. This affliction can, and will, at some point affect you in different stages of your writing career. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to have doubts, that’s a part of being human. But you mostly likely won’t get far without finding a way to overcome.

The fear of the unknown is the key influence that brings about lack of confidence in a writer.

They fear:

· Their work not being good enough.

· No one will take them seriously.

· That no one will buy their work even if they ask them to.

· That their efforts won’t result in sales.

Of course working on and being knowledgeable of your chosen craft is invaluable. However confidence is found within. *Click here for a cute little video on confidence. I shared this one with my kids.

2.     Writer’s Block

This is when you just can’t be bothered with the craft that you know down deep inside you can’t live without. Yeah, that sentence didn’t make any sense, right? Well if you have experienced writer’s block you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Writer’s block can be a pain in the (you know what). When I first started taking my writing seriously, I lost months to this beast. The best way to fix this is to be proactive!

Here’s some tips:

· Make sure you have balance in your life. Sleep, family, friends, exercise, chores, and fun! Everyone has different priorities that balance their lives. Find yours.

· This next one shouldn’t be hard for a writer. Okay, are you ready for it? Here it is… Read.   A lot of time someone else's material can get your creative juices following on your own ideas.   


  Hi "No Idea Sally"

  Hi "No Idea Sally"

3.     Lack of Ideas

I haven’t had this issue with my novel ideas yet (fingers crossed I never do).  However, I have to admit that my blogging page has suffered because of my occasional bout with not knowing what to write about. Again, this happens to even the best of writers. There is a lot of ways to rectify this problem.

· I get to give you my favorite answer again. READ! It really does help relax and inspire you.

· The other “R” word writers can’t live without is research. Just like you have to research your socks off for any story you're writing, you can also do the same when looking for an idea for one. The internet and all its sources is a wondrous place to help you think of fresh ideas.


4.     Perfectionism

Once you find that great idea, don’t get pulled down in the never ending quest for perfection, because flawlessness doesn’t exist. A part of becoming a better writer is to allow yourself to write poorly. How else can you measure your improvement in your craft?

5.     Listening to Naysayers

This goes back to the first obstacle I listed, confidence. You need confidence to be able to ignore the haters. Don’t allow them to ruin your day or sway or decisions.

My dad always told me, “Opinions are like a**h**es. Everyone has one.” So you can’t worry about the people that don’t support you. They may or may not have a change of heart, but that’s their journey meant for their lives, not yours. So don’t stress out when you get advice on your work being either too- or not enough- (fill in the blank). Take it with a grain of salt and keep it moving.

Pretty much...

Pretty much...

However, don’t forget to surround yourself with positivity and those who support your writing, because people do need each other.

I hope you enjoyed reading my mini list on what I believe to be the interpersonal obstacles of a writer. If you found some of the ways I conquer these issues helpful, I’m glad to have helped! If I missed an obstacle or helpful hint that you believe should’ve made the cut, please leave a comment. Happy Saturday!