10 Things Nobody Told You About Writing

  1. How hard you will workI hear all the time how lucky I am to get to sit home and “do nothing”. When I ask for clarification I get ” Well, really how much work can it be to write a book? Anyone can do it right?” That would be a huge no! If everyone could wouldn’t they? Truly, wouldn’t they? I know a lot of people who want to write a book but don’t because they can’t. It is hard work! You have to research, outline, take notes, write, edit, market, and  sell. This goes on for months and years.  The writing alone can take many years and there is always the possibility after all that it will never get published or if you self-published you never sell many. You will put in thousands of hours of work and might see that work fail. Authors who have a passion for writing will take the risk. They will continue to write even if their first book fails. So no not everyone is cut out for the truly hard work of being a writer.  

2. You will sometimes hate what you write

You will loathe your writing sometimes but don’t delete it! When you go back to read it you may find that it’s good after all or you may make tweaks and make it work. It is normal to not like your writing sometimes, every author goes through it. This doesn’t mean you can’t write or shouldn’t. When I get like this I take a break, I step away from writing. This helps me come back with a clear head and a new perspective.  Don’t be surprised if you find that you hate something you wrote, it may be your brain’s way of saying take a break. 

3.  You will edit more then you will write 

When people think of authors they think of writing. Of course, we write and we spend a lot of time doing it. However, more time is spent on editing, it is the longest and oftentimes hardest task. It not just about finding spelling errors and fixing punctuation. It can and will mean making changes to what you have actually written. Whole scenes can be changed, added or taken out. Even if an author has an editor they are still very much involved in the editing process. Editing takes up more than half an authors time. 

4. You cannot wait on inspiration before writing

If you try odds are you’re going to be waiting for a long time. Even if you feel like you can’t think of anything to write you must. Writing takes enough time without waiting for inspiration to strike. You need to do whatever it takes to get your story on paper. I find outlining, note-taking, talking to a supportive person or being out in nature helps me. I know it may seem hard but you must write even if you don’t feel like it. 

4. Someone is always going to hate your writing

Yup, there I said it! Someone is always going to hate your writing. You’re going to get some hate mo matter what you do. It sucks but there isn’t much you can do about it. Even big time writer’s get hated on for their work. You can’t please everyone and there is going to be one person, or three or five who will tell you just how much they can’t stand your writing. You can either get hurt and swear off writing for good or you can shrug it off and carry on. I think the latter is always the best course of action in this situation after all odds or just as many people will love it. 

5. Self care is a must because sometimes we forget

We don’t talk about it very often but authors sometimes forget to take care of themselves. Some forget to eat, bathe, brush their hair. I’m not kidding! When an author gets into a groove it’s hard to pull them away. I remind myself how important self-care is all the time. So is mental health, we need to back away from the computer again and live! The idea of authors being anti-social isn’t true for all of us but sometimes we need to be forced to take a break. We get so wrapped up in what we’re doing that it is all we can think about. Having a buddy that forces you to take a break and eat is a really good idea. If you’re not healthy physically or mentally you no good to anyone, including yourself.  Go eat already! 

6. You will at some point neglect your family and friends 

I’m not saying you’re going to starve your children or not bathe them. It’s not quite that drastic but you will find yourself locked in a room needing peace. You’re going to turn down going out with friends, your spouse may go to an event by themselves. They will be making dinner and helping with homework. It happens to just about every author, they get into writing and it’s so good they can’t stop. It doesn’t happen all the time and it doesn’t make you a bad person it’s all just a part of being a writer. Make sure you make up for the time you’re in seclusion though and do try to not do often.

7.  You may end up hating a character 

I’m going to say this happens to every writer. They hate a character they write. Maybe it’s because he/she is too much like themselves. Maybe they remind them of someone they dated or an enemy. Whatever it is, they hate that character. They may not be able to kill the character off because they are important to the story. I’m looking at you main character of my current book! I truly think this happens to everyone at some point and it’s normal Just do your best to write the character the way they are meant to be written and not as you want to write them because you hate them. 

8. You will talk about your characters like they are real

I know many authors who do this and I am one of them. You know how they feel, what they think, their needs and wants. You created them after all so they are real to you. No one else may understand it but other authors will. They are a part of you and you want them to succeed or fail depending on their role. You will be passionate about them and care for them. You’ll want to tell their stories. This will make them better and your readers will love them too. So bring them to life! 

9.  You will spend a ton of time marketing your book

Even if you land a publisher you’re still going to have a lot of work to do. There will be press tours, book signings, interviews and more. If your self-published there will be even more work.  You will have to promote in person and online, set up your own press releases, author signings, book tours, and interviews. You will be on the front and back lines of promoting your book. It is a lot of work no matter how you get your book published and you’re going to be tired. Welcome to being an author, work, work, and more work. 

10.  You will want to quit

You will want to quit, it’s true. There will be times you will say “I’m done!” This is a job after all and it can get tiresome and frustrating. You will think your writing suck, no one will read it and why are you trying anyway. You will feel like you have no more words left in you and it’s not worth. It is normal! Like any other career, people threaten they are going to quit. Just remind yourself why you write, why you chose to do this. I like to keep a list of my dreams in sight and that helps me a lot in times of tiredness. No matter what just keep writing. 

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