author, creative writing, writing

Writer Worries and How to Beat Them

Writing can be tough and it’s not uncommon for writers to doubt themselves and doubt their manuscripts, whether they’re published or not. In this post I’m addressing some of the worries we face, and how to beat them when they get you down.

1. What if my writing is rubbish?
All artists find fault with their work. We are perfectionists after all. But chances are, your writing is not as bad as you’re worrying about. Editing is a wonderful process, turning early drafts into something beautiful. But if you’re really struggling to feel confident, maybe take up a new way to learn the craft of writing. Be it through a course, a workshop or simply reading advice in books and online. You’ll soon have more faith in your abilities, and of course; practice makes perfect.
novel writing

2. What if my story is boring?
When you spend so much time in your story, the twists and turns have less impact. You know the story inside out, so nothing surprises you, especially when you’re no longer drafting. By the time you’re on your fourth, fifth, sixth (etc) edit it’s easy to worry that the story is boring. Again it probably isn’t. One of the best ways to beat this worry is get somebody new to read it for the first time. They’ll soon be able to tell you if the story was exciting, had pace and whether or not it surprised them.
novel writing (1)

3. What if my twists are too obvious?
This point ties in with the one above. When you’re close to the story the twists aren’t surprises, and you can’t look at it from the outside to find out if the twists are obvious. Remember, it’s obvious to you. This is the quickest and easiest way to beat this fear. Remember that you aren’t considering it through fresh eyes or a new mind. Again, seeking feedback is a great way to put your mind at ease, or let you know what doesn’t work.
novel writing (2)

4.What if I don’t have time to write?
Life is busy for everybody. Whether your other commitments are work, education, children, volunteering, caring, house keeping or a combination of things. But the biggest thing stopping you finding the time to write, is the fear. Spend less time worrying and more time writing. Fit writing into your busy life, by not waiting until the perfect, quiet time to write. Slot it in while you’re on the bus, on lunch breaks or even just five minutes before bed. All progress is progress, you’re not under a time limit. Fit it in around you, and before long it’ll become a habit you can’t stop.
novel writing (3)

5. What if my novel is rejected?
The fear of rejection is probably the strongest of all writer’s fears, and it’s what halters progress for many. And let’s be honest, the harsh truth is; you will be rejected. Unless you’re lucky enough to land a deal with the first agent/publisher you approach, you will face rejection. Always remember that rejection doesn’t mean your writing isn’t good enough. Keep trying, send your novel out again and again, and never give up. Many of the most successful writers were rejected numerous times. You’re not alone, it happens to use all. But keep positive, and keep going. And do some useful things in the mean time, like carrying on writing so you have a novel to fall back on.
novel writing (3)

What’s your biggest worry as a writer? How do you overcome it? Let me know in the comments below!

Until then,
Keep writing (and stop worrying!)

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33 thoughts on “Writer Worries and How to Beat Them”

  1. Great post & advice. Really liked #2. My biggest worry as a writer is my fear that my plot twists are too obvious. So I spend countless hours writing, plotting and rewriting to make sure (hopefully) this doesn’t occur. Thanks again for the post.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My way to dealing with #1 is to look at the very first attempt on writing (demo chapter from 2015) and see what awful cluster-f* it is. Hell, even comparing my current draft of the to-be first book with the early first draft of the second (which was after I learned a lot) is a big difference. Practice taught me a lot and editing built on it. It’s still not perfect but I know I do my best and improve a bit each time.

    I also have one strange fear: what if my writing is TOO GOOD? In the worst case, good enough to be famous? I know the chances are slim but an ‘internet friend’ (for the lack of a better term) became quite interested in the story and told me several times how good it is and that I might be the next . I was glad she liked the story and know it was meant as support but it scared me at times! I honestly fear fame.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Overnight, I’ve realized I have one more fear: that my character names suck. My imagination in that regard is awful and there are only a few names I feel really proud of. It often feels most other writers are better in this.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I think one of my biggest ones is “what if my story is boring?” I just have to constantly remind myself I’ve read it a MILLION times. The way a writer sees their work is not the way a reader will. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I wonder about number 2. If the story was boring, why would you have any impulse to write it? It might be boring to some, but if you enjoy the story enough to write it, some other readers will like it too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s such a great way to think of it, JM! I often worry “what if I’m the only one who finds this interesting”, but how could that be the case if I was compelled to write it? Thanks for sharing, this is going to save me from doubt often โค x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So many good points in this. We have all experienced it. That moment of doubt or fear….you name it.

    It’s so important to put on the breaks, stop and take a deep breath. So many of us keep going when that’s the last thing we need to do.

    Excellent as always. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Rejection is super scary! I think accepting that it’s part of the process is super important. Even after you do land an agent and a book deal, there are going to be readers who just don’t like your work. The only thing you can control about writing is your writing and how much you practice the craft. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great post!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Fantastic advice! Since trying out my second draft, I’ve been particularly worried about no. 2 since I’ve spent so much time on developing the characters better than my first draft. But having invested so much time & effort into crafting a story, there’s always that danger of it stagnating because you risk losing the impulse to break the mould from your established story.
    Great tips, as always ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Oh god, I can relate to all of these. Iโ€™m terrified my current WIP is dull at the beginning and Iโ€™m also afraid that this novel will end up in the โ€˜I didnโ€™t make itโ€™ pile.
    But knowing I have new material helps to ease that burden.
    Always keep going, growing and eventually weโ€™ll make it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am about to start chapter 3 of your book (after thinking I wouldn’t have enough time to get into it until the weekend) – all because I am gripped by the mysteries and desperate to read on! The fear is real, but you have nothing to worry about โค xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. My greatest fear is that it doesn’t make sense, followed by a fear of over writing. A beta reader read my novel, and apart from a few issues, really enjoyed it. Also, a professional editor had some good things to say about my synopsis, as well as suggesting some improvements. You have to hold onto those little wins, but first you have to have the courage to put your story out there, and that takes a lot of guts.

    Liked by 1 person

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