All writers face challenges–it’s just the way life is.
Sir Terry Pratchett has been writing despite his Alzheimer’s for years. Agatha Christie had a debilitating learning disability. Dilbert creator Scott Adams suffered from dyslexia. George Bernard Shaw and Jules Verne both had ADD.
Of course, while these great writers face physical challenges, most of us in good health have to deal with less disabling problems like:
– Not as much time to write as we’d like
– Too much noise around us
– Responsibilities that steal our attention
– Depression, stress, and anxiety
The list goes on and on, and every writer has their own challenges that they face when they sit down to write.
For me, my two main problems are anxiety and a lack of time.
A lack of time is a problem that no doubt plagues 99% of the authors out in the world. Unless you’re able to earn sufficient income from your writing, you have to find a day job to sustain yourself and your family until you “make it”.
While some people have the problem of doing jobs that keep them away from the computer, my biggest problem is that I spend my WORK writing. As a copywriter, freelance blogger, and ghostwriter, all I do all day long is type away at my computer. I enjoy the work I do, but it makes it VERY difficult to switch from work mode to creative mode. In fact, I have to be completely finished with my work for the day in order to even contemplate sitting down and writing my novels. Getting out of work mode is a huge challenge, but getting into a creative head space is an even greater challenge.
Anxiety isn’t a physical problem as much as a mental one. With creative writing, only a very small part of the work is physical. You have to type or write, but it’s your mind that makes or breaks your writing.
My biggest anxiety right now is that I worry that my writing just isn’t going to be good enough. My story-telling skills are certainly up to par, but it’s the depth of my characters that I struggle with. I worry that I will create flat characters that no one can relate to.
See, I’ve been diagnosed with a very, VERY low-spectrum case of Asperger’s, and one of the things that I have to deal with is my difficulty empathizing with people. It’s hard for me to understand someone else’s problems if they’re so unrelated to my own, and that carries over into the struggles that my characters face.
Right now, I’m writing about a half-demon assassin, and his problems are VERY different from the ones I face. It’s hard for me to put myself into the head of this character, so it’s a huge source of anxiety.
That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop writing, but it’s just my biggest challenge. I struggle to put depth and emotion into a character when my fear is that I am a shallow, emotionless person. Obviously this isn’t true, but anxieties are never properly rational.
None of this is to make people feel sorry for me or pity me. I love my life, love my job, and love everything about what I do.
The purpose of sharing this is to help you get to know me a bit better. It’s to say, “Yep, I know what you’re struggling with as you try to write, because I’ve got my own c**p to deal with.”
What makes it hard for YOU to write as often as you’d like? Leave a comment below with your biggest challenge…