10 Writing Obstacles – and how I overcome them

I don’t particularly like snails, they cause havoc in my veggie garden but this picture summed up the essence of this post for me! No, I know, snails aren’t classed as awriting obstacle… doh. But here are some that are:

Brick Wall – this doesn’t happen so much these days. The thing with obstacles is that if you’re savvy enough you can develop systems or ways to overcome them. For me it’s all about having a plan, no matter how small or how sketchy just thinking about what you want to write and then just write

Too many ideas – a big problem for me! The reason why I’m sorting out my WiP’s from over 10 years ago. I get distracted and, let’s face it, excited by the thoughts of new ideas. I’ve forced myself to sit on my hands and get things finished before moving on to the next thing. I was always a ‘plant’ in those personality type exercises in the real world, not a ‘completer finisher‘ but it doesn’t mean that I can’t finish things.

Too few ideas – well #2 kind of cancels this out for me. However, this can be an obstacle within a story, particularly when my character refuses to help me out! What I do in this is instance is play the ‘what if’ game. Usually helps.

Plot Mess – Again, another problem because I can go off on so many tangents. Like #1, it’s all down to planning. I use the Snowflake method to plan out where I’m going with the plot. Quite often it changes but at least I have a plan to change! I used to think I was a panster, but in my opinion, I don’t think this is an effective way to write.

Flat Characters – Grey, cardboard cut outs never make a great story but again, a writing tool box comes into play when struggling with characters. As a visually driven writer, I find Pinterest a great source of inspiration. I also use personality tests to get to know my characters (as in a previous incarnation was an MBTI practitioner) and I’m particularly fond of using the star signs.

Timeline Troubles – see my post from last week on how I overcame this problem with Aeon Timeline software!

Self Belief – Oh, this one never goes away. That sneaky little gremlin who sits on my shoulder telling me I shall never be good enough and laughing in my face. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of this gremlin but perhaps I don’t want to. My Morning Pages help me work through any self doubt I have, for the next 24 hours, anyway.

Fear of Marketing – This I think, is a biggie for writers. There are some who are natural ‘authorpreneurs’ as I think they are being termed. I follow them on social media and take their courses. It has to be done, otherwise books don’t get seen or sold.

Writing vs Real Job – It all depends on definition, really. Some people I know, quite closely, would consider my writing a ‘hobby’ and something that all people will do someday, in their retirement perhaps. Well, all I can say is I’d rather be following my hobby than stuck in some dead end job just so I can keep up with the Jones’s. I do work, I clean, I edit and I live on a small budget. And I live and love my dream job.

Earning an Income – I suppose this is related to #9 and #8. Develop an attitude and learn the skills. For me, I don’t want to earn a six figure income, money doesn’t equate to happiness.  I’m satisfied with earning enough for a bottle of Prosecco

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