Thursday, August 27, 2015

9 Common Writing Problems... And Their Solutions

If you've ever written creatively, you must be familiar with the problems that arise and get in the way of success. If you've ever written a short story, novella, poem or novel, you must be aware of the obstacles that so frequently arise in the process. That's why I've decided to search the 9 most common problems... and of course provide you with a subsequent solution!
  1. Problem: Searching the internet or social media without clear action plan. Solution: Set up a schedule or set aside a certain amount of time for writing each day, and stick to it. Social media promotion and/or research need to be allocated a separate amount of time, for example after the first draft of your work has been crafted (or, if you can't wait that long but don't want to dwindle your writing output, do your writing in the morning and research in the afternoon at distinct times).
  2. Problem: Quitting before your book is finished. Solution: Push on, you can do it! What are you going to do with all these half-finished stories anyways? Better to push on and stick it out till the end. If your work really is incredibly bad, certainly know when to drop it, but if it has a chance - persevere!
  3. Problem: Never starting on your book. Solution: Well, this speaks for itself.. Just put yourself to it and let it all flow out of you without thinking! Editing and improving (even worrying) are for later. Just get going and you'll find everything else will come naturally.
    Your book is done but you haven't yet promoted? PROBLEM!
  4. Problem: Waiting with book promotion until after the book is published. Solution: Start today and build an audience that will stick with you throughout the process. Set up a blog, create a media presence, make people aware of your developments, etc.
  5. Problem: Sending automatic social media messages (think: Social Oomph or Buffer app) to save time. This approach not only shows lack of involvement, it also doesn't work. People are much more likely to buy your book if they get to know you beforehand, and if you spend time on getting to know them (and they you). Solution: Interact on social media to build real relations and engagement. Don't see the followers as "numbers," but see them as individuals. Engage first, sell second.
  6. Problem: Writing a a single book and seeing the sales slowly die down. Solution: Write a series. As soon as sales go down, bring the new book onto the market and see the sales rocket once again. If the same character is featured in several books, people will be intrigued to learn what happens to him/her next. They will also be intrigued to know what the antagonist will do throughout the series. The reader will become familiar with the characters and locations, yet a unique situation will be presented each time. Would Twilight (450 million copies sold) or Harry Potter (116 million copies sold) have gotten the success they obtained had they not been part of a series?
  7. Problem: Promoting a book without a clear target audience. Solution: Every book has a unique market, and not everyone likes to read the same thing. Marketing to 'everyone' will only cost more time without leading to any valuable sales (that is, one which is both a success for you as well as for the reader).  Remember: the person whose friend is everyone is nobody's friend.
  8. Problem: Amateurish cover design. Because you want to cut on the cost of a professional designer or you want to do it yourself... If your cover sucks, no one will want to open your book. Solution: No time? Let your story be designed by a professional and you'll be sure it'll turn out well. Communicate clearly what you expect. No money? Create your own cover, but make sure to follow basic guidelines and really take your time to do all the research, or research cheap alternatives. Many publishers include cover design in their publishing package if they choose to take on your book. Either way, don't rush it. A cover can either make or break your novel.
  9. Want to learn more about writing/editing/publishing/marketing in order to not be faced with further problems? Check out the following links:

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