Friday, January 29, 2016

15 Writing Parodoxes That Frustrate Most Authors

Writing is weird. Everyone thinks it's one thing, then you get into it and you find out it's a totally different thing. These aren't necessarily my opinions, but thoughts I've seen expressed by the writing community as a whole. Here are a few of the paradoxes of being a writer:

1. You must learn all the rules of writing, so you can know all the best ways to break these rules.

2. You will post about grammar and punctuation on facebook. You might even correct people's spelling every once in awhile, but you live in a constant state of fear that everyone will find out that there are a lot of things about the English language that you still don't understand. Do they know that you googled the spelling of that word before you typed it? If only they could see all the red your editor marks on every page of your novel before you publish it. What if they knew about the time you were playing madlibs and you got adverbs and adjectives confused with each other?

3. Readers are tired of reading the same formula books, but when they read your book that breaks the rules, they wish you'd write like everyone else more.

4. You have two agents interested in your manuscript. One agent rejects you because they think your characterization is weak, but your plot is amazing. The other agent rejects you because your plot is weak and your characterization is perfect. Which one is it? *cries*

5. You must post on social media all the time. Readers like getting to know authors personally, but don't post anything personal because this is a business and not your diary. You don't want to make a fool of yourself.

6. You want to be popular as a writer, but fear going viral.

7. Some books that make millions of dollars through self-publishing were rejected by publishers because they didn't fit the market.

8. You rewrote something twenty times that your critique partner thinks is "good for a first draft." (So is it terrible for a twentieth draft?)

9. Everyone should be honest in reviews. As an author, you are a terrible person if you do anything to influence a review for one of your books. But if writers post anything except for five star reviews for other writers, then they should know better than to be honest. You're destroying another author's reputation by not saying their book is perfect!

10. One star reviews that say,"This book was amazing!" Five star reviews that say,"I hated this!"

11. If you spend a second typing up something and posting it on the internet and then it blows up in your face, it will never go away. People will screenshot it and re-post it. It will haunt you for the rest of your life. If you write a novel and work on it for years, but it doesn't sell enough copies, then your publisher will take it out of print and everyone will forget that it ever existed.

12. You're not good at writing because your books don't sell well. You'd be popular if you were good at writing. Then, when you hit the NYT bestsellers list, you're still not good at writing because all popular novels are shallow drivel that even a monkey could write better. Maybe your novel would be good if it wasn't so popular...

13. You write everyday to the point where it's destroying your social life and making your house a mess, but people wonder when you'll get a real job and stop sitting around, doing nothing.

14. In order to feel good about your writing, you need critique partners and editors to rip your stories into shreds and tell you everything that's wrong with the story. If they tell you it's all perfect, then you know something is wrong.

15. You cried when you got your first one star review, but you tell everyone else to suck it up and get used to it because this is a harsh business that only thick-skinned people can handle.

And last but not least...

You love writing more than anything AND you hate writing more than anything. It's the easiest job in the world AND the most difficult. It makes you feel like a genius AND a complete idiot.