Pitfalls

Time and NaNoWriMo challenge writers

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Thousands of writers across the globe are taking the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge, pledging to push through the month and achieve a 50,000-word novel. The initiative seeks to solve one the biggest challenges that writers face — time.

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Flickr: jeronimo sanz

It’s true. When it comes to time and completing our writing projects, many of us squander it. Or take too much of it. Or simply can’t find enough of it.

Read: Avoid these 6 bad writing habits

But there are other challenges that writers must stare down:

Too much head-swiveling. Yes. Some of us are constantly looking at other writers and seeing how we can match our own voice to the literary greats. The fact is that the reading world already has its Poe and Hemingway. It is now looking for some fresh and unique voice that will inspire them anew. That means, the reading world is looking for you! Don’t deprive others of your authentic writing self.

Not enough confidence-building. You know it. You doubt yourself, every day. You tell yourself that your work is crap and hasn’t a chance at publication. And when you do this you undercut your value and let the negative thoughts drive you directly to the slush pile. Strive for opportunities to grow your confidence in reading groups and writing workshops. Gather your courage and demand your place in the writing world.

Read: Break free: Attend a writers’ conference

Too much web-surfing. Oh my gosh. This is a big one. It’s so easy to get detoured by Facebook, then onto a little entertainment reading. Before you know it, you’ve wasted a whole afternoon — critical writing hours — thumbing through your Twitter feed and playing a couple rounds of Candy Crush on your phone. Get off the gadgets and get writing. No more excuses.

Not enough researching. Writing is a competitive sport. Just a brutal as a rough-and-tumble rugby match. Be prepared to get dirty. Actually, just be prepared. Do your homework on the market and its trends. Study up on your grammar skills. Know your competition. Better yet, know your audience. Research agents and editors that will be the right match for advancing your writing goals.

Too much hand-wringing. It’s a thing. Writers tend to think and dream and dream some more about what they plan to write, but then actually never get to the writing part. Why? Because there is something really cool about letting the hope of a great novel just live in your head. If you want that dream, it’s time to make it happen.

So, what about you? What are the biggest writing challenges that you face each day? Share them in the comments section below.

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at EducatedWriter.com and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at kerrismabee.com.

Kerri S. Mabee

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