My Writing, Writing

Ten Things I Hate About Being a Writer

Don’t get me wrong – I love writing, especially now, despite all the gazillion rejections streaming in on a daily basis. I am finally enjoying the process, rather than indulging in the thrills of “having written.”

However there are quite a few things I don’t like about being a writer:

  1. So much to write, so little time

This is not the fault of writing of course, but it does demand intense concentration and time. The creative gene inspires ideas but the world doesn’t grant us the time to write all of them. It also takes away time from socializing in the real word – I’ve skipped many a weekend party in favour of writing.

  1. Sometimes, the words just don’t come

After stealing all that time, when I sit down to write, the words that bombard my brain at all the wrong times retreat into a shell and need immense coaxing to draw them out.

  1. When the words come, they’re crap

The first draft of everything is crap. It may improve with practice but sometimes it’s so bad it’s better to scrap it all and start again.

  1. When we send our stuff out we get rejections

In more than five years of writing and submitting, I can count only a handful of times that a piece I sent out was accepted by the first place I sent it to. My story that won 2nd place in the On The Premises contest last year is a good example of this.

  1. When we don’t send stuff out we’re not moving forward

The fear of rejection and submitting makes us hold on to our creative efforts, but without sending it out we’re not really taking ourselves to the next level

  1. We have to believe we’re the best in order to succeed

Writers need supreme confidence in themselves and their work so they can pitch agents and publishers and plough through despite all the rejections

  1. We have to accept we’re not the best so that we can improve in order to succeed

Writers also need to turn a critical eye on themselves so they can humbly accept feedback and revise their work to near-perfection

  1. Stuff that looks perfect today looks crap the next day

The final draft is never final and even after time and distance away from it when I see it next I feel its way below par.

  1. The right word lies on the tip of the tongue and rarely ever comes out

The struggle to find the word that exactly matches what you’re thinking of is perpetual. A thesaurus makes it easier but not always.

  1. Looks easy but is very tough to do

This is the biggest problem with writing – the easiest writing that looks the most effortless is actually the hardest to do.

How do you feel about writing these days? Anything you can add to the above list? W

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My Writing

Distant Echoes

At the beginning of 2014 I joined a group of eclectic writers for the Short Story Challenge, in which we committed to writing one short story for the month. We shared stories, exchanged critiques and reveled in each other’s successes. Nine writers emerged victorious, successfully completing the challenge.

The result is an amazing collection of stories called Distant Echoes, published this month on Amazon. It features my story as well as those of the eight other writers, which includes debut novelists and award winners among them.

This is very exciting for me. Though I am part of other collections available on Amazon such as the Bartleby Snopes Issue 8, eFiction and BookMuse Reader’s Journal, this qualifies as my first foray into self-publishing, albeit not with a book that has my name on the cover. But there is time enough for that. Do check out the collection and help spread the word. I hope you enjoy the stories.

In other news, I am striving hard to write regularly. A sprinkling of successes here and there keeps my spirits buoyed up.

If you feel funny, i.e. if you want to write funny and inject a little humour into your stories, take a look at my article A Shot of Humor on FreelanceWriting.com.

My personal essay Digital Devotion is up on Cecile’s Writers magazine. It’s one of my favourite pieces and I’m glad that it found such a good home.

As always, I continue to write one story per month for Short Story Challenge 2015.

What news on the reading/writing front for you?

My Writing, Writing

The Short Story Challenge

Well, so much for my weekly schedule! It’s been a month since I posted, and have only the usual excuses to offer – work and life. 

I am very happy to have my story “Pearls Mean Tears” published in the fabulous Tincture Journal – do grab a copy! There’s also a GoodReads link, and an author page for little ol’ me! Having my own author page on GoodReads tickles me no end. 

Note that my absence of blog posts does not translate to a void in my writing. I am pleased to report that I have got plenty of writing done. In a usual year, I get about 10k words of writing completed, and that’s an optimistic estimate, but this year I’ve managed that in the first two months alone. This is thanks in no small part to the Short Story Challenge – 12 of us have taken it upon ourselves to complete 1 short story every month this year. Our host Radhika Meghanathan calls it the 12×12 challenge, as we’re writing 12 stories in 12 months. By a lucky coincidence there’s 12 writers on the group too! 

I’ve learnt a lot by doing this challenge.

  1. It’s easier to complete a story than I think, especially once I’m into it about three hundred words or so.
  2. It’s easier to critique stories that are not your own, mostly also because you don’t have to go back and fix them! I do try my level best to give some suggestions, though.
  3. It becomes easier to spot mistakes in your own work, having critiqued someone else’s.
  4. It gets easier to know how to fix problems that creep up again and again.

Plot problems, incorrect words, abrupt endings – these and many such issues plague my stories. Of course, like all good writers, I diligently plough on, waiting to find that elusive gold at the end of the rainbow.

What have you been writing lately?

Writing

The Ten Commandments for Writers

Inspired by Rachna’s post, I churned out my own Ten Commandments writers must follow to become successful:

1. Thou shalt keep notepad handy at all times, for verily thy ideas will disappear before thine eyes

2. Thou shalt strive for conciseness in thy writing, lest thy reader fall asleep before thy article ends

3. Thou shalt always double-check thy spelling, for thou art not known to be a spelling bee

4. Thou shalt practice thy writing regularly, lest thee fall victim to writer’s block

5. Thou shalt avoid the oft-repeated cliché like the plague

6. Thou shalt read vigorously, till thy eyes bleed, for in suffering lies the key to success

7. Thou shalt maintain thy writing journal religiously, for therein lie the great ideas that wilt lead thou to immortality

8. Thou shalt not hound thy editors or postmen for swift replies

9. Thou shalt not check thy e-mail every ten seconds

10. Thou shalt not neglect thy family members and leave them to starve, for thy writing’s sake

Tell me any more you can think of!