8 Problems Only Writers Will Understand
As a writer, you will know the problems that all of us struggling along in the literary world face. Here are just a few that you may be able to relate to.
1. The pain of killing off a character you love
Perhaps it's essential to the plot or it's simply to shock your audience, but we all have that character we like who simply must die at some point or another. The main character's sickly father, someone's best friend, the guy who was secretly a good guy when, until his death, everyone find out he's good (cough cough, Sirius Black).
Sometimes it's just hard to let go of that adorable, well-developed character. Characters are a part of you, and killing them off is sometimes horribly painful.
2. People saying they want to read your book... then never reading it
Maybe it's just me, but I have people who see a preview or the front cover of my upcoming book and say 'Wow! I can't wait to read/buy it!' Then when the book does come out, these people either mysteriously disappear, or suddenly have such a tight schedule that they can't possibly have time for reading, even if it's free reading.
If you're a writer, you may understand this problem, unless all your friends love books and do find the time to read yours. In that case, you're awesome.
3. Always getting your best ideas at the most inconvenient times
Ever had a brilliant idea for your next book five minutes before a job interview? During an extremely busy day? As you're drifting off to sleep in the wee hours of the morning? Yeah, that happens a lot.
Your best ideas come to you when it's least convenient - and by the time you get five minutes to scribble down your thoughts, the ideas have either disappeared completely or have diluted into something a lot less impressive. Similarly, you find a nice few hours for "designated writing time" only to find that no ideas come to you at all. Darn it, brain.
4. Reading your old ideas and realising they're terrible
You wrote a pretty good scene yesterday... so you thought. Then you read it back for a quick edit, and end up deleting the whole thing as disappointed tears flow down your cheeks. Why is it that you felt like a superstar whilst writing it, the action seeming as awesome on paper as it did in your head, and then later it just seems like nonsense?
5. Pretending not to care when you get bad reviews
The cover looks unprofessional, the characters don't look right, and the artist has used too much Photoshop. Even if it wasn't you who designed it, it still hurts when someone gives a negative comment about your baby's front cover, as this is, of course, the first thing potential readers see. Just give that fake "I don't care" laugh whilst holding back the tears. Don't worry, there are probably much worse covers out there. Check out some howlers on Pinterest.
You pretend you don't care about, or even notice, a bad review. They didn't like your storyline, they said you don't like your characters, the writing was bland and they're not going to buy the sequel. They don't know anything about books, anyway, you think. Probably just a troll trying to upset you. Probably just jealous. Probably. Maybe. *Sheds tear.*
6. When your sales figures suck
Checking your sales figures religiously isn't healthy, but it's not something you can really stop. "Did anyone buy any of my books since five minutes ago?" you wonder, and click to see the updated graph.
Lack of sales is depressing, especially when you worked so hard on your masterpiece. Just know that we're with you, and we sympathise.
7. Your new and insatiable need for caffeine
Paired with the "best ideas come when I should be sleeping"', coffee suddenly becomes a staple food. When you're typing furiously to reach your goal as the clock's chiming 3am, sometimes you just need that boost of rich, black caffeine.
Suddenly your writing budget's scales tip slightly away from stationery, proofread budget and notebooks, and tilts toward caffeine-rich hot drinks.
8. People pronouncing your characters' names wrong
If your book features characters from foreign countries, a fantasy world, or you simply enjoy completely unique names, it can be frustrating when someone pronounces your characters' names wrong. Who knows how J.K. Rowling felt when readers where calling her main female character "Her-me-own-nee".
That's just a few of the problems writers have to deal with, day in and day out. However, I'm sure no writer would ever trade their craft for anything. Got any more writer's problems not mentioned here? Add them to the comments below.