As a newbie writer I am constantly trying to jump over emotional hurdles in order to progress.
I am calling them hurdles because if you don’t jump them you will end up falling down and hurting your writer self.
They are emotional because each one has the potential to bring on tears / sobbing / a low mood / a spot of soul-searching.
- Showcasing your writing to strangers. This was a tough one for me. It’s such a scary thing to do when you first start out. Starting a writing blog helped me jump this emotional hurdle.
- Getting your first piece of negative feedback. Fall at this hurdle and you may never get back up. You have to overcome this and see the feedback as a learning. Some reviewers have never been on the ‘how to give feedback constructively’ training course so you have to put your emotions aside and look for the learnings. This hurdle is definitely one you can jump. You just need to be brave.
- Overcoming your first period of writer’s block. The first real period of writer’s block was really difficult for me. I think this can either make or break you when you first start out. Keep turning up everyday and praise yourself for squeezing out a few words. You will clear this jump, may take a bit of time though.
- Announcing to family and friends that you are a writer. I struggled with this and still try to keep my writing separate from friends and family. It’s a tough one because careless comments from them can make you fall at this hurdle. I still get careless comments from people close to me but I am learning to sigh loudly and mentally cross their names off my book signing list. A huge ‘I don’t care what you all think’ leap is needed for this one.
- Coming to terms with the fact that writing is subjective and not everyone will like your writing / story / novel. A biggie for any newbie writer. This goes against your daydream where everyone in your street is praising you after reading your book. Once you have come to terms with this its easy to jump.
- Coming to terms with the fact that your first draft is shit. I have written 80,000 words of literary wrong on a first draft. I know how it feels when you read it back and it doesn’t sound like the best-selling novel in your head. You need to dig deep and find your inner writer strength. You either start work on the second draft or shelve it for a bit. You can jump this hurdle.
- Fitting your life around your writing. This is a tough one. You realise that to make writing work you need to have some discipline and dedicate some time to it. A tricky one to jump if you have an amazing social life.
- Accepting that you have weaknesses as a writer. It’s not easy coming to terms with this as we newbies start out thinking we are amazing writers with no weaknesses or faults. Pierce that newbie bubble, move on and jump! We all have weaknesses.
- Not winning your first writing competition. A tough one as you will use it as a yard stick on how you are progressing. As you didn’t win you will see it as a huge failure on your part. Best to pick yourself up from the literary floor and leap over this one.
- Realising that you need social media to help you promote your work. If you are going to get serious about writing you will need to promote yourself on social media. Its time to take a deep breath and get yourself onto social media my newbie writer friend! Get jumping!
You can clear these emotional writing hurdles. They are all achievable. Good luck out there newbie writers 🙂
I get the feeling there are new hurdles to jump once you get your first book out there!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/15593996@N08/4650637393″>Northern Athletics Track & Field Championships 2010-9</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>