Friday Writing Question

Hello, Story Empire readers! Today, I get honor of throwing out the first writing question of 2018.

Lately, I’ve really struggled with handling all the different tasks of being an author because I’ve been out of work. As a result, money has gotten tighter, making it harder to do a lot with book production or marketing. That’s going to change some since I just started a new job last week but it got me thinking about the topic for today’s post. It left me with a two part question:

What holds you back as a writer and what can you do about it?

For me, I had to stop thinking in terms of what I could or could not do around the question of money. I had to start looking at my marketing in different ways while

Wooden mannequins pushing puzzle pieces into the right place

investigating what else I could do to support my books. I started working with my blog and newsletter more. I found ways to promote in less expensive ways. Overall, things have gotten a bit better as a result.

I’ve had other times over the past several years, where I’ve had to look at some problem regarding writing, revisit the issue and take a different look. I’ve often found the answer by taking a different perspective whether it’s been about character, plot, or my approach to being an author. The more I’ve looked for answers, the more I’ve found them. When I just thought there wasn’t a different approach, I floundered. Needless to say, I’ve learned to seek different ideas sooner.

So there’s the question and my thoughts about it. Let your answer and thoughts in the comments section and we’ll be happen to join the discussion with you. I’ll be back next week with a new post along with Craig and we’ll have another new Friday feature as well. Thanks for stopping by SE!

P. H. Solomon

26 thoughts on “Friday Writing Question

  1. For me, it’s a combination of age and energy!
    PART ONE to your question: Writing is my therapy, so I’ll be writing til the end (which is quite sometime off! he says with gritted teeth!)… Likely, the biggest hold-back for me is with the launch of a book and ‘marketing’ PLUS the ‘age and energy’ thing! It’s funny, actually, I feel my writing getting better with each missile…my mistake was not starting my writing efforts soon enough in life. I’m at ease with myself re my writing – I know within me it is good! I’m also at ease with the thought that I could be fooling myself! Nah! I couldn’t be!
    PART TW0 to your question: It’s important for me to better understand this Tech generation’s reading flavors and give them what they want! I don’t believe the long 800-page books of the past will pay-off today. This fifteenth book I’m working on will be close to a Novella size (30,000 to 40,00 words), I’m guessing!). I’ll try to eliminate a lot of cliches and passive tendencies. Novellas, short stories, and blog posts will be on my author menu from this point on. Of course, I’ve got to keep the ‘Grim Reaper’ distracted – hopefully, my writing will do that.
    So, with those words, I’ll take what the ‘Muse’ gives me!
    Good post, PH! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. There are a lot of great comments here, P.H. and I can relate to them all. Being on a fixed income, money is always an issue. That is the main reason I am trying to find a publisher for my new series. I sank around $10,000 into the five books I’ve published and have not begun to recoup that. There is a lot of frustration in getting the books read, as Craig mentioned. But, the amount of books being published daily is astronomical so it’s easy to get lost in the vast ocean of books. It becomes a two-edged sword. The more you market, potentially, the more you can sell, but it takes money to market on a large scale, as Rhani found out. There are no easy or quick answers. We have to love writing or not do it, and that is the biggest motivator for me. Great thought-provoking question.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have to say that finances for marketing is what holds me back the most. I recently spent over $600 on various marketing packages and sold probably 10 books combined. I did receive other benefits, such as an increase in followers that are more likely to purchase my books down the road, so that was a good thing. However, finding a marketing program that I can afford, that will actually sell books, has eluded me completely.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Ugh! TIME!!! It’s interesting to note that is the biggest hurdle for most everyone here. The marketing aspect is another element that can be frustrating—too many avenues and not enough time to explore which works the best or how they work. Hmmm, that factors back to time as well.

    I do have a regular writing schedule but it comes down to one afternoon a week since I work full-time. I do cram in sporadic bouts here and there, but ooooh for more hours in the day! I think if had more days to sit and write I would be far more productive than I am now!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. My biggest issue is being a caregiver in my home for my mother. If I’m writing then it’s not real work and she can interrupt.It is hard to keep the words flowing when she insists on sitting by me asking questions. I have found that writing at night or having hubby run interference when he is home helps. I guess its stress that disrupts my writing time.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Sounds like you have some good workarounds. I’ve known of authors who put up written signs indicating they are working so family members know not to interrupt unless there’s a good reason. Thanks for leaving a comment today.


  7. I’m a freelance writer and editor, so I work from home. You would think setting my own hours would make things easier, but it just seems I work longer hours than most people. At this point, I accept it as fact. There are probably things I could do to improve efficiency, but I feel like I don’t have the time to try right now. It’s a balancing act, and I’m on the low end of the teeter-totter at the moment. Time will even out, though.

    My other issue is marketing. With two kids in college and not much time to figure things out, I don’t have the funds for big advertising campaigns, and I don’t have the time to figure out other strategies. I’ve decided I’m going to take some of my “read for pleasure” time and read for business. Hopefully I can learn something that will help me get my message to more people.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Good thoughts, Staci. I think if you take the time each week to do a couple of things to improve your process and marketing, it will make a difference over time. Reading for business is a good choice and I hope you can implement changes as a result.

      Liked by 4 people

  8. Time is huge for me too. I have full time employment, so my writing comes in fits and starts. Nobody has mentioned despair, but that gets me too. I try to let loose inside my stories, but it knocks me back when I can’t find readers for them. I have faith in the stories, but I’d like to get them into more hands. At times like this I tend to dwell on it and it sets me back.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Great question, P.H. Time, of course, holds me back. And often when I do have time, I mismanage it. But probably the hardest things for me is marketing. I’m not good at self-promoting. However, I began to think about promotion in the job market. Every job interview we go on, we are self-promoting. We are telling others that we are the best for a particular job. So why not do this with our books? Yes, there is a lot of competition out there, but the key is to find our niche of readers and promote like crazy. (Remind me of this as I begin to promote my latest release.)

    Liked by 6 people

  10. Time and energy are my demons these days. Interestingly enough, I find that the lower my energy levels, the lower my confidence too–and thus the less motivation … talk about a vicious circle. My way out of this is just to sit in front of my computer and write … it doesn’t matter what drivel comes out, lols, so long as I get that mojo flowing! Marketing is something I struggle with massively, and I am trying to get to grips with it. Unfortunately, it seems like I just get a handle on an aspect or two and then things change! Thanks for this interesting question, P.H. I look forward to seeing what other folks come up with too 🙂

    Pressed This on: … A thought-provoking writing question from P.H. Solomon over on Story Empire today …

    Best of luck with everything! 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

    • Harmony, you are correct – low energy has a cascading affect on what we do. Writing/journaling is helpful for getting out what’s bothering you. In tech parlance, it clears the buffer in your head so you can think clearly. It’s been shown that writing about anxieties about a test before taking the test improves scores. Wish I had a link discussing that.

      I figured marketing and time would be a common issue for writers. Marketing is a learning curve and I’ve been dealing with it the last few years.

      Liked by 4 people

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