Writing is a difficult business. You get one past one difficult hurdle on your writing journey and discover an even bigger hurdle waiting for you. It’s emotional, it’s stressful, but it’s worth it.
Writing certainly has its ups and downs and it can be hard to navigate the road to author without some help. Here are some ways to survive being a writer.
Call yourself a writer
When I first started on social media, I called myself an aspiring writer. But I was wrong. It doesn’t matter how many books you’ve written, or how many followers you have on social media, or where you are on your writing journey. If you write, you are a writer. And that’s all there it to is.
Focus on you, not others
Every writer is different. Some work fast, and others work more slowly. There are going to be writers who are at a completely different stage in their journey than you are. And I know there’s nothing more disheartening than seeing your fellow writers getting signed on to an agent, or publishers, or advertising their books. It’s just as bad to see snippets of their work which sounds so much better than yours.
But don’t focus on them. Congratulate them yes, because they’ve achieved something great. But don’t let their success or their words affect your own. If you’re too focused on what others are achieving, it can certainly bring you down. But in those moments, think about how much you have personally achieved, and look forward to the time you get to announce how far you’ve come.
Don’t care about what others think
Writing advice? Forget about it. Don’t listen to what others say about the genre you’re writing in, or the plot of your story. There are people out there who will dump on those who write romance, or YA etc. There are others who will pick at your writing style and tell you you’re doing something wrong. Filter those comments out, and continue writing the way you want to write. Especially during your first draft. Focus on telling the story you want to tell, and worry about people’s opinions during your beta stages.
Create a community
Contrary to popular belief, you cannot write alone. Yes, the actual act of writing you do by yourself but you will thrive better with a support community. People to share your struggles and achievements with. People to help you and guide you and critique your work. You can find all sorts of communities online, full of fellow writers at all stages willing to help you when you need it.
If you’re facing too much stress with your writing, it’s okay to step away. Writers have a habit of burrowing deep within their work and not coming out for years. Stepping away and taking a break is the best way to rest, recharge and clear your writing brain from all the clutter preventing you from working. You can’t force greatness, so don’t force yourself to work if you’re not feeling it.
Write what you love
Don’t go searching for what’s popular right this second in publishing before you start your own writing. Book trends come and go- instead of forcing yourself to write a supernatural romance which was very popular a few years ago, write the genre you love., and the stories you’re interested in telling. You’ll enjoy your writing journey more, and find it a lot easier to keep going.
Are there any ways you survive being a writer? Let me know in the comments.
Good thoughts and happy writing!