Overcome the 10 Real Problems New Authors Face
Updated: Aug 17
What problems do most authors face at one time or another? Let's take a look at the top 10 real problems that new authors have and how to overcome them.
'A Blank Page is a Blockage to Creativity' - Problems for Authors
1. Writers Block
One of the most well-known challenges, writer's block can strike at any time. It's that frustrating moment when the words just won't come, and ideas seem to be elusive.
Try freewriting for a set period, letting your thoughts flow without self-censorship.
Change your writing environment to stimulate creativity.
Take a break and engage in a different activity to refresh your mind.
2. Self-Doubt and Imposter Syndrome
Many writers battle with feelings of inadequacy or the fear that their work isn't good enough. Imposter syndrome can make it difficult to share your writing with others or pursue publication.
Keep a 'success journal' to document your achievements and build confidence.
Seek validation from supportive writing groups or peers on platforms such as Facebook.
Remind yourself that many successful writers experience self-doubt. You are not alone.
3. Time Management
You might feel that you don't have enough time to commit to writing, especially if it is a side-hustle. Carve out extra time and schedule it into your day. Perhaps you can get up an hour early before anyone else is awake, and then distractions will be kept at a minimum. Balancing writing with other responsibilities can be challenging. Writers often juggle full-time jobs, family commitments, and other obligations.
Set specific writing goals and allocate dedicated time for writing each day.
Use tools like timers or apps to manage writing sessions (e.g., Pomodoro technique).
Prioritise tasks and create a daily schedule that includes writing time.
Striving for perfection can be paralysing. Writers may spend excessive time editing and revising their manuscripts, trying to achieve flawlessness. Continue writing from where you left off the day before don't edit the previous day's work. Set a time limit, especially when it comes to research. It is easy to get lost down a rabbit hole of information.
Embrace the concept of 'done is better than perfect.'
Set a limit on the number of revisions or editing passes you'll do.
Practice self-compassion and acknowledge that no piece of writing is flawless.
Find an editor to help you work on crafting your MS into a more readable novel.
5. Lack of Inspiration, or Too Many Ideas
There are moments when inspiration seems to vanish. It can be frustrating when ideas aren't flowing naturally. Or conversely, and just as destructive, you are bursting with ideas. Your story has a life of its own and bares little resemblance to your original outline.
Read widely and explore different genres to spark new ideas.
Keep an inspiration journal for jotting down interesting concepts or observations.
Engage in writing prompts or exercises to jumpstart creativity.
Go with the flow and see where it takes you.
Return to the original outline scrapping all extras. Be brutal.
Carefully consider which parts fit the original idea and ditch the rest.
6. Distractions and Procrastination
The digital age, although great for many things, presents a host of distractions, from social media, and emails to streaming services. Self-awareness is a key part of why procrastinating makes us feel so bad. When we procrastinate, we’re not only aware that we’re avoiding the task in question but also that doing so is probably a bad idea. And yet, we do it anyway. Self-sabotage! Procrastination can be because of doubts, low self-esteem and fear.
Use website blockers or apps to limit access to distracting websites during writing time.
Break your writing session into bite-sized chunks and use the Pomodoro technique. See 3.
Create a designated writing space that is free from distractions.
Develop self-compassion, read my Monday Motivational Tips on Instagram. (Once you've done some writing, obviously!)
7. Criticism and Rejection
Receiving criticism or facing rejection from publishers, agents, or readers is an inevitable part of a writer's journey. You will not be for everyone, and nor should you be. You might be judged for your choice of genre, it doesn't matter if they don't like it, there are plenty of people for each genre type. Don't fall into the trap of replying to negative comments. Move on and use your energy more wisely concentrate on what makes you happy.
View criticism as an opportunity for growth and improvement.
Seek feedback from beta readers or writing groups before submitting work.
Remember that even renowned authors faced rejection before achieving success.
8. Your work/profession not being taken seriously
Overcoming the perception that writing is not a legitimate or serious profession can be difficult. The arts have always been undervalued but underpin much of our society. Take yourself seriously, continue to learn, grow and take pride in what you do. We each have our strengths in this life, and this is yours.
Point out how disrespectful this is to you, and educate them about the diverse roles and impact of writers.
Elevate the Dialogue: Whenever the topic arises, engage in thoughtful conversations about the impact of writing on culture, education, and business.
Collaborate with professionals from other fields to demonstrate how writing contributes to their projects and goals.
9. Finding a Unique Voice
Developing a distinct writing voice is crucial for standing out in a crowded literary landscape. There is only one you. Your personality, experiences, insights, and your emotions all lead you to interact with the world differently from everyone else. You may be only slightly different, but it is different. If your sibling was to tell the story of the last holiday you went on as a family, it would not be the same as your story. Never underestimate the value that your uniqueness has on the conversation.
Read your work aloud to ensure it sounds like you and reflects your unique perspective.
Experiment with different writing styles and approaches to discover your voice.
Embrace your quirks and personal experiences to infuse authenticity into your writing.
10. Isolation and Loneliness
Writing is often a solitary pursuit. A lot of freelancers feel exactly the same way as you do. You spend a lot of time inside your head with characters that you have created and no one else has met yet. But there are things you can do to avoid lonely writer syndrome.
Join writing groups or workshops to connect with like-minded individuals.
Participate in online writing communities to share experiences and support.
Attend writing conferences or events to network and build relationships.
Exercise regularly, and get out of the house. Take a walk; relieve stress and anxiety at the same time as stimulating your creativity.
So these are my 10 real problems faced by writers, and most freelancers, on a day-to-day basis. Together these challenges showcase the range of obstacles that writers encounter and I hope I have offered some insights into ways to address and overcome them. Some problems might resonate more strongly with you than others. And remember, these solutions may not work for everyone in the same way, so feel free to adapt and experiment to find what works best for you and your unique writing journey. If you have a tip for others that you have found works best for you, please share it below.
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