The Struggles of an Author
In this article, I'll mention the day to day life struggles faced by every writer and how to overcome them.
"Aren't the non-writing folks muggles to our fascinating world of Words?"
"Let’s welcome Matt Anvil, the best selling author of the horror genre," Jimmy Kimmel shouted.
The hall erupted into cheers.
“Thank you for such a warm welcome, Jimmy," Matt said while waving at the excited audience.
“It’s an honour to have you on my set Man! Have a seat please."
Clapping continues and Matt thanks the crowd with the nod of his head and a smile plastered on his face.
“How do you get your books filled up in bookshelves and libraries all over the world Matt?” Jimmy asks with a look of excitement.
Matt laughs, “I can't say. Maybe it's the plot that sets the people on fire."
“Or maybe you put in a flick of paranormal magic in your text that attracts people,” Jimmy said laughing.
The crowd also burst into laughter.
“And I recently came to know that your books are a top priority among children also. How cool is that!”
“Well, yeah! I actually aim for all age groups so that it's exciting and mysterious for everyone.”
“How do you get such exciting ideas to jumpstart your book?”
Suddenly, everything turns quiet. Matt opens his eyes to find himself lying on the couch, with a notebook and a pen on the floor.
“Huh, it was all a dream. How come? Arrggghhhh! I was stupid enough to think I was this famous."
He brought himself up in a sitting position and picked up the notebook to see where he had left off writing. He had only started Chapter 10 that he dozed off and the whole story lay ahead to be drafted. There was a burning smell coming from the kitchen. Matt rushed off to the kitchen at once to see smoke all over. He turned off the stove and opened the windows to let the smoke out. He had left pasta boiling in the pan before dozing off. He had a worried expression and couldn't think of what to do.
A gurgling sound came from his stomach. He picked up a bowl of yoghurt and a fruit cocktail to ease his hunger pangs and came back to the living room to continue writing his story. He had no idea where to start and from where not to, for he had to submit the story the next morning.
So what do you get from it? It was just a concise depiction of an author's daily life. What do you think are the struggles faced by an author? Or if you're a writer, you might be having some.
Life is always throwing hurdles in the way of a writer. How to design a plot, give characters an appearance, generating a climax and resolution are considerably the secondary hurdles. Managing life with writing is a primary hurdle. There are so many worldly factors that offense the putting down of words on a paper by a writer. In fact, no author is alone in this case.
Mostly, every writer goes through this phase of life and the thrifty, successful ones find a way of overcoming it. Any person who is committed to making writing his profession from passion needs to find three things in harmony.
First thing being the time, most important of all; second space and third solitude. To create the perfect writing environment, an author has to go through a lot and the case being different for every single writer out there. One could be a teenager, another parent, one could be an employee considering writing his hobby, another could be a child.
See, the situation can be quite different for all.
The perfect narration comes in solitude. The magic that springs words to life evolves in solitude. The writer has to engage with the characters of the story; he has to indulge himself deep into the story. To forget the worldly affairs and live a character out of the story is an author’s job. When an author is writing his story, he forgets his hunger and sleep and some also forget the call of nature.
We all know it's not healthy but that's how a writer has to live and he enjoys it. If those of you reading this are writers, some way or another, you can understand this well. This magical world of ours is fascinating, isn't it? But our environment is full of non-writer folks and they simply don't understand that a writer has to have time for his writing to inscribe an epic story.
Well, to put it in J.K.Rowling's way, “Aren’t they muggles to our magical world?”
I think they are. Writers who are parents have a hard and frustrating time managing writing with kids running around. A writer has control over his life not anyone else. So, if a person is quite considerate of his writing that is obvious if he does it for a living, he has to have time for it. Time managing skills tell you how to manage life with writing. Allot a fixed time to write as I talked earlier, writing demands time.
Let’s talk about the secondary hurdles of an author's career. Does it happen to you too that you sit down to write something, you're so excited for it, you have a great plot planned in your mind and… BOOM everything goes blank. Every word vanishes like the swish and flick of a wand? That's what an author has to face every single time he sits down to write.
You have to gather the things in your mind in order. That's the frustrating and difficult facet of writing. Bringing the characters to life; creating the surroundings of a scene is another challenge.
A non-fiction author has to decide first of all what the message he wants to communicate is. What age-group can be targeted and attracted?
How can he promote his writing to a larger audience to get indulged in his writing and how to make his writing loved till the end. Sometimes, an author seems like he's out of sorts, not a single hint of an idea is able to seek his cerebrum. That happens to every single author out there; it takes time for our brain to gather some imagination and fantasy.
Some authors also lack self confidence and motivation to write. They think they'd fail at what they'll do. They won't be able to find a good publisher and attract a lot of readers. Well, if that had been the case, J.K.Rowling wouldn't have been that famous and loved. Stephen King wouldn't have been a motivation for me and you and for the whole world of authors, in fact.
Well, some other legends that failed the test of time and won the hearts afterwards include Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, Raymond Chandler, Frank McCourt and many others. Failure is a part of life and no one is successful without experiencing failure once. Can you deny the fact?
An author has to maintain his emotional, mental, and physical health to keep up with his writing. Recently, I had the chance to have a little chat with Gary Hensel, the award winning author. I asked him what struggles he faced while writing.
In his words,"One of the struggles that I experience is all of the other things besides writing that keep us busy. I call it, when life gets in the way of my writing."
Then, another day I asked Kari Joys MS, What factors she had to keep in mind while writing and what she said goes like:
"As an author, you have to decide:
1. What is the message you want to communicate?
2. Who are the people who need your message the most?
3. What is the best way to communicate to that specific audience?
4. How can you promote your work to reach those people?"
I know many of you; Young writers out there also face challenges in their everyday life coping up writing with studies. Irrational worries are constantly fuzzing an author's mind wanting him to stop writing but these can be overcome.
"NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE." plus "There's a Solution to every Problem."
Many successful authors cope up with their mental and physical stress. It can be eradicated through exercise, yoga, meditation or just simple breathing exercises can also help. When an author's work is progressing towards the final stage, he somehow gets demotivated. This becomes a hurdle in getting their work done or in another case getting a book published.
There's a solution to it, too. By knowing what's the real cause behind all that stress, by motivation and by having a level of self-confidence a writer can overcome stress.
As I have already mentioned, writing demands isolation and time. Write while having no disturbances. Ideas and imagination flow in isolation.
Stephen King is quoted as saying," Write with the door closed, and edit with the door open."
Well, if you ask about my writing routine, I don't have one. I began writing my horror novel, "Atrocious Conundrum" two year back; it's still 24 chapters long, not complete yet because I didn't have time to. I started another two books in between and they're still incomplete. So that's part of a writing career. If you write and have problems continuing it, don't worry. Every writer goes through this phase of writing. Have a greater level of self-confidence, that's the key.
If you have problems building up on ideas, start reading the genre that interests you best. I believe readers are writers and obviously writers are readers. Aren't they?
Jim Kwik says, "Readers are leaders" or you can also put it as, "Leaders are readers."
If you want to go deep in fiction, read something like Harry Potter. If you want something motivating, I'd mention Tony Robbins or Brian Tracy. If you are a spooky horror fan, go read R.L. Stine and Stephen King.
R.L. Stine was my main inspiration who inspired me to write a novel of my own during my childhood days. I read all of his Goosebumps series and he inspired me to write a Book of my own.
If you're a scientist dude, go read Stephen Hawking and Richard Feynman.
But read something that inspires and thrills you, by whose context your imagination runs wild. Do what glues you to the writing seat. Never lose the motivation to write and keep reading forever.