Hi, SEers. John, with you today. I was reading a few Facebook and Twitter feeds the other day and was quite surprised to find several writers talking about how discouraged they are with their writing. It almost seemed that I was wading through a locust storm of dissatisfied folks. Maybe it was just that since they seem to be everywhere, they came to my attention. It was clear that these folks were somewhat new at writing.
There were some consistencies that jumped out of the postings that I had read. Here they are separated into five general areas.
The primary complaint was about time. Since most writers also have full-time jobs, this complaint is pretty real.
The second item was about productivity. Many of the people talked about missing word or page targets.
The third area was what I call extrinsic annoyances. Husbands, wives, kids, cats, dogs, temperature, the chair’s hardness, crappy internet all fit into this category. It is these extrinsic items that we tend to concentrate on rather than face the intrinsic dissatisfaction that we may feel. (The old ‘blame others’ ploy.)
The fourth complaint is in the area of quality of work. The expressions of frustration were over the actual construct of the story. Most of the time, the complaints resulted from some editing duties in which the writer was engaged.
The fifth were statements about dreading the idea of marketing a book. The emotion seemed to be pretty intense with negative feelings about marketing in general
Reading this outward expression of angst got me thinking about the writing process from the perspective of someone just starting. The idea came to me to provide some advice. Of course, I have to confess that I have complained about the same things at one time or another. So maybe this gives me the right to try and help. So here it is the “Old Writer’s Tips to More Writing Satisfaction.”
Tip one – If time is an issue, stop evaluating time spent writing. Time is all relative. No one cares about, nor does anyone give credit for how fast a book appears. A few hours a week can be rewarding if that is all the time available.
Tip Two – If targets are missed, set reasonable targets for productivity. If writing time is limited, then it makes sense to set achievable targets. Only a masochist would continue to try and reach for goals always missed.
Tip Three – If those around you are annoying, try to find the real reason. Ask the question, “What is going on here. It may not be what you think. Trying to find the real reason may be better than blaming those close to you.
Tip Four – If the story does not please the person doing the writing, it most likely will not satisfy a reader. The manuscript needs revision until the writer is fully satisfied. Yes, this will delay the launch of a book but could lead to more writer satisfaction in the end.
Tip Five – If the idea of marketing a book leaves you cold, try simple things that could help sales. Asking a few bloggers for help in spreading the word can be a beginning step. Your blog is also a perfect place to announce news about your publishing efforts. You could even start a mailing list with friends that you know. They would be very interested in learning you have published a book. There is a lot of information available on how to sell books. The more a writer wants to sell, the more the writer needs to find out how.
If you have any angst regarding your writing, and your concern falls in one of the five areas above, these tips will help. I would welcome hearing of any other circumstances and whether or not you found these tips useful