DIFFICULT THINGS YOU NEED TO ACCEPT ABOUT WRITING
Writing is not a straight forward path. There are a lot of bends, uphill climbs and ditches. That is why it is super important to accept the difficult aspects of writing a novel.
Everyone struggles at least once throughout their writing experience, and you need to know now that that is completely normal. You are not meant to have a smooth journey. Ask any writer and they’ll tell you the same thing; they wanted to throw their manuscript in the bin more times than they can count.
In this article, we are going to talk about the 12 difficult things you need to accept about writing, and how I overcame them personally.
Check it out below:
Just a heads up, don’t expect any thank you’s when writing a novel. You are going to spend what might be years of writing without a single praise or courteous encouragement. The hours it takes to write your novel, no one is going to thank you. The hours you put into the editing, again, no one is going to thank you.
No one but YOU!
I have never been one for encouragement or appraisal. In fact, I shy away from it (makes me feel embarrassed!). So this part wasn’t a biggy for me. However, I realised that I was writing this amazing novel and the only person that knew about it was me. That’s when I realised that the person I was trying to please was myself. When I hit my writing goals for the week, I thanked myself for my time and effort. I rewarded myself for the fact that I was actually writing a novel (which is huge, my friend!) I began to feel proud of my work, and therefore started to tell my family and friends.
Thank yourself in this process, because you deserve it!
REVISE, REVISE, REVISE!
I think there is a tiny part of every writer that hopes their first draft will hit the jackpot. Hate to break it to you but it’s not. No one is that lucky, and if they are then they were kissed on the arse by a fairy. Writing a novel is a long process. That includes the novel planning, character development, writing the novel, editing, revising, re-writing, repeating the whole process. It’s bloody long!
I, myself, have never been a big fan of editing. I enjoy it the first time around, but after a while, I get over it! However, I am passionate about my writing, and therefore I always go back. How do I find the motivation?
Quite simply, actually. After finishing the first draft, I give myself 1-2 weeks break. I like to walk back into my manuscript with a fresh perspective. After that, I break my editing down into several categories, and focus on one at a time:
- Sentence Structure
This allows me to stay more focused on my work, as well as not feel as though it is repetitive. Once I have completed all of the above, I go back through and read it from a readers perspective, changing anything that needs to be changed as I go.
RELATED: How to Mentally Prepare Yourself
SOME OF YOUR WORK MIGHT NEVER SEE PUBLICATION:
This is a cold hard fact; your work might never see publication. It’s a horrible thing to think about considering how much effort you have put in to writing the novel. However, if you cannot obtain a traditional publishing deal, there is always the route of self-publishing.
I’m not going to lie when I say that I have about 3 unfinished manuscripts sitting on my computer at this very moment. Does that mean I have given up on them? Not at all. The manuscripts that are unfinished I like to call my ‘special projects.’ I add to them when my imagination is literally pouring out of my ears. Do I believe they will ever see the light of day? No, I don’t. And I am completely happy with that. They are my own little worlds, and it’s okay for you to have them too.
READING A NOVEL WILL BECOME RESEARCH:
This is inevitable. Every novel you read you will be consciously, or unconsciously, breaking it down and sourcing out the good and bad parts of the novel. How does the author write a description? How developed are the characters? Are there any plot holes?
I call this writers brain, and it probably will never go away.
I, myself, enjoy this because I still enjoy reading novels for leisure. What I tend to do when I am confronted with an awesome piece of dialogue or excellent use of storytelling is to grab my phone, open notes, and jot down the book and page number, with a short description of what I love. If I don’t do this, then my brain consciously goes back to that wonderful piece of writing.
YOU WILL FALL IN LOVE:
Yes, you will definitely fall in love. It will be a whirl wind of romance and secret stolen nights. The only problem? It will all be in your head. I’m proud to say that I love my characters. What writer doesn’t? But, alas, they are not real, even if they feel as though they are to us.
How do I overcome my desire to make them real? I do just that! Not literally, of course, but I give them a fully-fledged history, personality, appearance, etc through ‘The Epic Guide to Character Questionnaires.’ I get to know them, and in turn, that also helps me with my writing.
REJECTIONS AND CRITICISM WILL MAKE YOU CRY:
Everybody hates failure! None more than writers. You would have to be extremely lucky to land a publishing deal on your first query. If you aren’t like those lucky buggers, and more like me, then you will want to cry every time you get a rejection letter back or face criticism of your work.
I hate to fail. It is the one thing in this world I actually fear. So when I’ve sent my manuscripts off in the past and faced rejection, I won’t lie when I say I sobbed into my pillow that night where no one could hear me. After a while, however, it got easier. The publishing industry is one of the hardest to break into, so don’t feel discouraged when you face rejection. Instead, look at it as a stepping stone. So you didn’t get accepted this time, big deal! They don’t deserve your novel anyway.
Sooner rather than later you will discover where your novel fits best. Be patient, and know that you won’t fail forever.
RELATED: How to Write a Novel Outline
PEOPLE MIGHT NOT LIKE WHAT YOU WRITE:
This is a scary one, even for writers who haven’t had their work published. What you need to realise is not everyone is going to like your novel, and that is normal. Some will love it, and others will despise it. If you haven’t had your work published, and you offer your manuscript to your family or friends to read, then don’t be alarmed if they don’t like it either.
The best way to deal with this is to prepare yourself for criticism. Look at it as constructive feedback, and engage with them by asking what they didn’t like, what they thought could be done better, or how they suggest fixing the problem. All of this helps in creating a stronger novel.
YOU WILL COMPARE OTHER WRITERS
Let’s face it, everything is like a competition. The same goes for writers. We unconsciously compare ourselves to other writers, despite how many novels they have published or how well known they are.
I, myself, have constantly compared myself to J. R.R. Tolkien, George R. Martin, and J.K. Rowling. (Yes, I aim pretty high!) Does that mean I want to write like them, publish as many novels as them? Not at all. I compare myself to them because they are who I aspire to be like. They are the types of writers I want to be. They are my heroes, in a certain sense, and they give me the inspiration to be the writer I am now.
BEING A WRITER IS NOTHING LIKE THEY SAY IT IS:
Remember when you used to believe that writing was all about laying on a resorted beach, a glass of wine in your hands and your trusty laptop. Or what about enjoying the sun at the park as you write another excellent chapter? Guess what, it’s time to wake up.
Writing a novel is nothing like you previously imagined it would be. It’s a long and tiring process, late nights, cups of coffee, and endless editing. It’s pretty messy stuff when you think about it.
My writing retreat is sitting at my small desk in my tiny room that is covered by book shelves with my lap top that is slowly breaking down and my dog staring intensely at me as I try to figure out what I want to say next.
No, it’s not perfect, and it’s not a resorted beach. But it’s my writing space, and I love it. Here I spend endless hours at the computer, or sourcing through my world building folders I’ve been working on for the past 2 years. Will my novel get published? I have no idea. Will anyone ever read it? I hope so.
Like I said at the beginning of this article; writing is not a straight forward path. Prepare yourself for that.
All finished. Let’s chat!
Congrats, fellow writers. There will always be difficult things to accept about writing, but there are always ways to overcome them.
Let me know if my Difficult Things to Accept About Writing treated you well, and if you think there is anything missing that you would like to learn about.
Hit me up in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!