This is kind of the stage I’m in right now. The ideas are there, but I’m struggling to get them on paper. Distractions and daily life seem to be getting in the way.
The struggle is real.
Ha ha ha. Yup. This is pretty accurate.
There are so many writing stereotypes out there. For example, when most people picture a writer they imagine a poor-coffee-loving-intelligent-but-crazy-bohemian-hermit who spends their days dreaming up fantastical worlds and despicable murders. It may shock some people to learn that some writers love the sun, prefer to be outdoors, and actually, NO, they don’t know a single thing about how a computer works, but if you need help with anything Microsoft word related – well you’re in luck! (Another stereotype?? Whoops).
Here are what I think are the nine main stereotypes of writers:
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Usually, I write from the comfort of my own home. I’m comfortable there and every resource I could possible need is within my grasp. I have access to tea, a recliner, my laptop, internet for research, an external hard drive, snacks, and itunes. Should I need inspiration, there’s a nature trail nearby where I can walk and get some fresh air. I generate ideas in my head no matter where I go, which is why I always carry a notebook and pen around. If inspiration strikes, I write down the idea, later transferring it over to an appropriate scene. Home is where my heart is, and home is my writing spot.
Because of my job, I write at night, usually between 8 and 10:00 P.M. My weekends are also dedicated to writing, Friday and Saturday nights in particular. Those are the nights I’m up ’til 2:00 A.M. The house is quiet during that time and it’s easier for me to stay focused because I don’t have the kids, the TV, or my pets bothering me and constantly demanding my attention. I accomplish more and tend to be more creative during the wee hours of the morning.
Throwing myself out there is difficult. I’m an introvert who is uncomfortable in social situations. I don’t always show it, but when I get home after being around people, I need several hours to myself to destress and unwind. As an author, you have to interact with people and make connections. This has always been a challenge for me.
Releasing my books to the general population is nerve wracking and scary. I’ve always been an overachiever and am super critical of myself. I’ll never be satisfied with my work. I ALWAYS find something wrong with it no matter how many times I read over it. My characters speak to me, and I tell their stories. But these stories won’t please every reader. In fact, I can almost guarantee there are haters out there. Some people just don’t get the way my brain works. Others will totally relate to my work and enjoy the stories I write.
I don’t write to please the masses. To me that’s not what writing is all about. I write for myself, to tell my character’s story. Hopefully, I’ll gain a few readers along the way, readers who understand the way I think and relate to these characters in my head.
How long have I been writing?
I don’t remember I time in my life when I wasn’t writing. As a child, I loved creating stories and making up characters. I wrote short stories, kept a journal full of song lyrics I liked, and wrote daily diary entries to reflect on my thoughts and feelings from the day. When my family would go on vacation or day trips, I brought a journal with me and kept track of the activities we did and the cool things I saw. It was rare to see me without a pencil or some other writing utensil in my hand.
In Junior High, my love for writing branched out beyond short stories and personal reflection. I was introduced to the research paper and began a love affair with poetry. I received awards for some of the papers I wrote and explored the various elements of poetry writing.
My freshman year of high school, I had several poems published in my high school’s literary magazine. I even earned a college scholarship for a poem I wrote that was later published in a national poetry collection. During this time, I began playing around with writing full-blown fiction stories. I started off just jotting down ideas in notebooks, most of which I don’t even have anymore. By the time I graduated, I had several notebooks full of ideas and stories I had created.
I started the Scrubs series in college, as a hobby more than anything. Back then I wrote only for myself and didn’t want anyone else to read my writing, so the entire story was kept locked away from anyone else’s eyes. Over the years, I added to it, changed it, and deleted unnecessary scenes and characters. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I mustered up the nerve to let a dear friend of mine read the entire series. She, and several others, finally convinced me to publish it.
Since that time, I continue to write in other genres, occasionally write poetry, and have written guests posts on a few blogs. As a teacher, writing is a part of my life, with lesson plans, rubrics, project ideas, and teaching my students all about the writing process, hoping to inspire a few of them along the way.
Captain Jack says it best.
Yo-ho, yo-ho, a writer’s life for me…I think. Here are 11 gifs that sum up a writer’s life quite nicely.
When a new idea hits you.
When your cat mocks your new idea.
This chapter needs some work…
The cat’s on the keyboard again.
The first time someone asks about your book.
When a friend/relative singles you out as a writer.
When you’re forced to socialize.
The one time you have company over.
When someone criticizes your writing.
When you get a good review on your book.
This is a great article. Thanks Nicholas and Rachael.
I’m so excited one of my favorite authors has agreed to be a guest on my blog. Today I’d like to welcome Nicholas Rossis to our little corner of the wide web of the world.
Nicholas is from Athens, Greece (this alone is “‘nough said” 🙂 ). He’s an author, web designer, and author services specialist. To find out more about him, visit his About Nicholas Rossis page on his newly redesigned website. I’m particularly smiling about the part with his dad. It always make me smile. 🙂
So, I’ll stop yammering and let you enjoy this good reminder for us all.
When Rachael asked me for a guest post, she did so in such a kind and charming way that she made me feel like I’m some big successful author. Which is funny, because I don’t feel particularly successful as an author—not…
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Great insights here. Definitely worth reading.
As y’all know I do a ton of reading and this includes lots and lots of blogs and articles. Over the holiday I ran across one article that just had me jumping up and down and yelling, “YES! THIS!” The Business Insider article “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” is based off Amy Morin’s book (which I highly recommend).
It doesn’t matter if we strive to have a healthy marriage, strong kids or a killer career, these tenets cross-apply to all areas of life. Mental toughness is a key component to being successful. Yes, even for writers.
So I figured I would tinker with this and make it more directly apply to writers and what we must do (or not do) if we long to do well in this career. Thus, today we are going to discuss 13 Things Mentally Strong Writers Don’t Do.
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