26/01/2017 Writing 13

  • You simultaneously think you’re an undiscovered literary genius and the worst writer to ever hold a pen.

You’re in the midst of a great writing session and your fingers are flying across the keyboard, and you’re thinking to yourself ‘this is pure gold!’ Then you read it back, and your self-esteem and entire self worth as a writer plummets past your feet. Awesome.

  • People keep asking you what your book is about.

Do you want the long version or the short version? The short version? Oh, sorry, there isn’t one.

  • Your best ideas occur to you in places where you can’t note them down…then you forget them.

You get an absolutely fantastic idea for your next story, but it just so happens that you’re driving/in the shower/at work/fending off sharks (no idea why you would be doing that, but oh well!). ‘No matter’ you think. I’ll write it down when I pull up/get out of the shower/leave work/when (if) I survive the shark attack…wait what was the idea again?

  • The totally different experience that is reading a book as a writer. 

If you’re not reading along, picking holes in the plot or characters and thinking to yourself ‘that’s not how I would have written it’, then you’ve gone into a downward spiral of envy and despair. How can you ever hope to write anything that good? You should just quit writing now!

  • You have imaginary friends.

It’s the only way you can really describe becoming emotionally attached to people you’ve made up in your own head!

  • Reality is always getting in the way of your daydreaming.

You’re just sitting around, fighting dragons and investigating crime (you know…in your head), but people just keep interrupting. Don’t they know this is serious? Just because your boss wants you to stop staring into space and do some work, and your family members want to actually interact with you!

  • You’re a master of procrastination.

So you’ve a mammoth writing session planned for when you’ve finished doing your laundry…although you’d better check Twitter first…oh, and Instagram. And you’ll need a nice cup of tea for when you do your writing. And maybe a biscuit. Two biscuits? OK, it’s time to sit down now and get some writing done!

But wait…it’s nearly five o’clock now, and you’re meant to be meeting your friend in half an hour. Oh well, too bad!

  • Your next idea is always better than the one you’re working on now.

The idea you’re working on now seemed great, you know, before you started working on it. But now there’s this shimmering new idea, dancing before your eyes, and it’s just so tempting…you start work on that one and it’s just as amazing as you thought it would be! But wait…what’s that distant shimmering in the corner of your eye? Maybe it’s an even better idea!

  • The emotional turmoil of killing off a character.

Rest in peace, figment of your imagination. It was nice knowing you.

So can you relate to any of these #writerproblems, or is this just me? Any others I’ve forgotten about?

13 Responses to “#writerproblems”

  1. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    Haha, there really isn’t a short version. Any time I’ve tried to explain anything, it has just come out sounding weird and terrible. And I definitely vacillate between, “Pshh, if people like *this* book, then people are gonna love mine because I can definitely write better than this!” and, “I will never write anything even remotely close to this good! I’m an awful writer!” depending on the book I’m reading lol.

    • Laura

      I am terrible at describing what my book’s about…It always ends up being a several minute explanation, as opposed to a couple of sentences! 🙂
      And I’m glad that it’s not just me who swings back and forth between thinking I can do better and thinking I’ll never be as good as the books I read! 🙂

  2. Inge

    I have my best ideas either when I’m in the shower or when I’m on the verge of falling asleep. This is tricky, because I basically have to choose between the idea or sleep. “Oh it’s okay, I’ll remember this in the morning” DOES. NOT. WORK.

    Great post, unfortunately I relate to all of them.

    • Laura

      Well I’m glad you can relate to these! 🙂
      And that happens to me a lot as well. I should know by now that sleeping basically cancels out any ideas I’ve had, so I need to be writing them down before I fall asleep! 🙂

  3. Michael Tyne

    I promise you, it isn’t just you 🙂

    Particularly the one about the “short version”.

    And the one about driving. I have been known to pull over to note ideas down on my phone….

    • Laura

      I’m really glad about that! 🙂
      There really is no short version, is there?
      I’ve never pulled over to note down an idea, but that’s how I’ve forgotten so many! Maybe I should start doing that?

  4. Greg

    Yes to #1! You’re flying through and on a roll- and then later re- read and you’e like oh, that’s okay I guess. Ha ha all of these are awesome (and so true). I especially like the idea one. I just had that happen! I was going to sleep and thought of something, and it was such a good idea that there was no WAY I’d forget it in the morning. Guess what?

    Lol about the short version. Yeah that “elevator pitch” version doesn’t really exist (I hate that phrase elevator pitch anyway).

    • Laura

      Yeah, I think it’s easy to assume because you’re writing fast and feeling inspired that it’s going to be amazing, but somehow it never turns out like that, does it? I guess that’s what editing is for! 🙂
      Oh, and I hate it so much when that happens! I’ve forgotten loads of great ideas by falling asleep, and it’s so annoying because you always remember that you had an idea, you just don’t know what it was!
      And the whole elevator pitch thing really doesn’t work does it? You’re supposed to be able to summarise your story in a couple of sentences or something, I’ve heard, but literally none of my stories have ever been able to be summed up in less than a few minutes! 🙂

  5. Michelle @ FaerieFits

    SOOOOO TRUE! To all of the above. I have to admit, I really can’t stand it when people ask what my book is about. I used to just say “It’s a fantasy book,” and then I realized that to some people who don’t read ANYTHING, fantasy gets interpreted as sexual fantasy. And I’m like, uhh, no, I’m not writing erotica. That may not be as much a problem nowadays since fantasy books are “popular” and there have been a TON of book to movie adaptations. But then, of course you get the inevitable “Like Harry Potter?” — “No, my book has vampires and stuff.” — “Oh, like Twilight?” — “No, it’s more actiony, much killing.” — “Oh, like Buffy?”

    I’m currently working on a book about an assassin. Can I just say “About an assassin?” Well, apparently that’s less loaded than just “fantasy” or “vampires.” But then people ask more specifics “Who does the assassin kill? What’s the plot?” — “I don’t know who she kills yet. She’s working for a demon who is trying to take over the world.” — “So an angels and demons book?” — “No, I didn’t say anything about angels.” — “Then how do you have demons?”


    But my biggest problem — NOT BEING ABLE TO JOT DOWN IDEAS! I have an hour commute to and from work every day. My brain is constantly working. I think of things and have ZERO options. I can’t even call someone and tell them to help me remember most of the time because it’s so early in the morning that no one in their right mind is also awake (I try to beat traffic or that hour turns into 1.5+ hours). I don’t know how many ideas have gone the wayside that way. And a LOooong time ago, I had a book I was obsessed with that had a small plot hole that I couldn’t quite figure out how to fix. One day I was inspired with the PERFECT solution. I wrote it down. Somewhere. I swear I did. To this day I have NO IDEA what my perfect and elegant fix was. I ended up giving up on the whole project. And, you know, starting the next “shiny” 😉


    • Laura

      Haha, yeah, that’s an awkward one! People who aren’t into reading do sometimes mistake fantasy for erotica, although I guess seen as Game of Thrones and Harry Potter are so big these days it happens less than it used to! But that is super annoying too when people start comparing it to other stuff. Especially when the mention of vampires immediately brings to mind ‘Twilight’, and then you’re like ‘NO! These are not sparkly vampires!!!’ 🙂
      And that sounds so annoying! People always hear one aspect of the book and then jump to conclusions, don’t they? It would be so much easier really if you could just say ‘it’s about an assassin’ and people would just leave it at that! 🙂
      Not being able to jot down ideas is probably the most annoying writer problem, in my opinion! I imagine that’s a plus of having such a long commute – you have loads of time to think of ideas. But it is so annoying to forget them, and I know I have forgotten loads whilst in my car, because there is literally no way of recording them other than pulling over (which probably isn’t a great idea on the way to work – you wouldn’t want to be late!).
      I’m glad you liked the post! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  6. Puput @ Sparkling Letters

    Great post Lauren!! I’m working on my WIP as we speak and I relate so much to this hahaha 😛 I love my idea so much and sometimes my writing as well but right now I hateee my draft! I keep reminding myself than no first draft is a published novel and there’s plenty of time to edit hahaha however, I never really tell people when they ask about my novel. I just tell them the premise but never the actual plot hahaha also yes I get emotional a lot! I don’t kill characters because mine’s a contemporary but I get emotional even over a lovers’ quarrel and I feel silly hahaha

    • Laura

      I’m so glad you can relate to these! 🙂
      I’m exactly like that with first drafts – I can love the idea, but hate the draft so much! We definitely do need to remember not to compare our first drafts to other people’s finished novels! 🙂
      And I get pretty emotional too over lovers quarrels and stuff! But mostly over deaths…I don’t know why I feel the need to kill so many characters! I guess I’ve been reading too much George R.R. Martin! 🙂

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