Top 10 Things That Stop Writers

Here are 10 things that can stop a writer achieved his or her goals.

10. The empty page: Writers frequently have lots of great ideas until they sit in front of their computers and look at an empty page. The way to move past this is to write. Don’t worry about how good the writing or the story is, just get it down on paper.

9. Not editing: Nobody writes a great first draft. If you’re not willing to put a lot of time in editing your book, you’ll never be a great writer.

8. Not learning the business: When writers says they want to write, not fool around with researching books and the publishing business, I know they will fail. Writing is a business, and writers need to have an understanding of that.

7. Don’t Read: If you want to be a writer you have to read a lot. I chuckle when I hear writers say they don’t like to read. That’s like musicians saying they don’t like to listen to music. You will learn more about writing by reading than by anything else you can do. 

6. False Humility: False humility will keep a writer from going anywhere. This is the writer who says they don’t really care if they ever get published or paid, they just want to touch someone with their writing. It’s a lot easier to touch someone with a commercially published novel. More people will read it.

5. Prideful Attitude: The other side of the pride coin is a writer who believes he doesn’t need to improve. These are the writers who won’t listen to other people because they don’t want to “lose their voice”. Every writer needs to put away her pride and listen to how she can improve her writer, particularly if it’s an experienced writer or editor advising her.

4. Listening To Other People: Don’t listen to everyone’s opinion or you’ll go crazy. Find a few people you trust to give you advice, and listen to your own instincts. Also don’t listen to people who feel the need to tell you how hard it is and that you’ll never make it.

3. Not Honing Your Skill: If you want to be a writer, you’ll need to hone your skills. You can do that through reading books similar to yours, reading writing books, improving your vocabulary and grammar skills, finding critique partners, and going to conferences. There’s also some great writing blogs out there – like this one.

2. Fear of Rejection: If you fear rejection, you’ll never make it as a writer. We all hate to get rejection letters, but it’s part of a writer’s life. Move past your fear, and submit that manuscript.

1. Giving Up Too Easily: This is where a lot of writers fall. It takes a long time to become a published writer. Many writers either give up on ever getting published or they take the self-published route. But there are no shortcuts to success. Many times when I read a self-published novel, I feel sad. The story is good, but the writing is not quite there yet. I wonder how successful the writer would have been if he’d kept working at his craft and didn’t give in to the temptation to take a shortcut to publication. If you want to be a writer, Don’t Give Up!

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2 thoughts on “Top 10 Things That Stop Writers

  1. A thoughtful list. For me, I’m most susceptible to the empty page, b/c sitting down in front of a blank screen and trying think out my story usually ends brain disruption as I get distracted by a million and one things I have to do.
    The other problem for me is listening to other people—not about feedback on my stories–that is very well balanced. But sometimes I pay TOO MUCH attention to industry chatter, and it can squash my love of writing.

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