In a previous post, I discussed what I love the most about being an author, now I will tell you what I hate the most about it. Again, this list us not ordered.
Time passes too quickly
When I write, time warps. Before I know it, half or more of the day is gone.
The reason for this may be that as I concentrate on the writing , I just don’t pay attention to time passing. Or perhaps as the adage says, “Time flies when you’re having fun.”
When I am excited and enjoying what I am doing, I do not see the quick passing of time as a waste. It’s just that I wish there were more of it.
“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” ~ M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth
Time passes too slowly
For me, editing is a time suck, especially after multiple passes. Even when I concentrate, time drags. It seems as if I will never finish. Other tedious task associated with writing don’t slow the clock as much as editing does.
“The notion of the perfect time is more than myth. It’s the ultimate self-delusion.”
― Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road
The crippling inner voice
I hate that inner voice that stifles my creativity. “What makes you think your thoughts are special? You’re no better than any one else. You’re not unique, you can’t be original.”
When I am not writing, I am confident. Yet, when I sit at the keyboard, that nagging voice fights to keep me from revealing too much. It prevents me from free-writing, demanding that each sentence be perfect before going on. It hides my voice that I am so desperately trying to find.
The mythical writer
When I tell people I am a writer, they compare me to their idea of what a writer is. Most often, my revelation surprises them because:
- I’m not male. There is a perceived and actual gender imbalance in the writing profession. Aside from the Romance genre, women have reached a literary glass ceiling. Not only are there more male authors, there also are more male reviewers (lauding the male authors).
- I don’t write “chic lit” and don’t want to be categorized in a special gender-based category such as Women’s Fiction.
- I’m not solitary. A common misconception is that writers are hermits or at least sequestered months at a time while writing. Though many writers like a quiet working area, most are socially participative.
- I’m not an addict, at least not to drugs or alcohol. Though there have been many authors who struggle with addiction, the majority do not need to drown their demons or use a chemical stimulant for inspiration.
- I’m not super smart. Authors don’t need to be experts or super intelligent. They just need to have something to say and, preferably, a unique way to say it.
- I’m not rich. As with any occupation, there are the top percenters who make a lot of money, there are the poor strugglers, and the majority falling somewhere along the curve between the two. According to the Guardian, “Overall, half of the writers – traditional and independent – surveyed this year (2015) earned $1,000– $2,999 or less.”
- I’m not famous. I will never be a New York Times featured author, no matter how hard I market my books.
“I will not be ‘famous,’ ‘great.’ I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one’s self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.” ~ Virginia Woolf, A Writer’s Diary
Dashboards and best seller rankings
I think author dashboards and Amazon rankings are banes to authors. Though the information is useful for marketing and as a measure of success, it can become addictive and a distraction. Too often, I wonder, “How many books did I sell overnight? What is my rank? ” and off I go to check. I’ts a real bummer if sales slope and rankings decline, but then the opposite is very uplifting.
Why is it that when I finally get comfortable using my tools they change? New upgrades and software may enhance SEO, security, or whatever, but often leave me frustrated. Why must the “new and improved” change names and locations of functions, have new screens, or require additional steps? I’m not a Luddite and eventually adapt, but I resent having to deal with these changes that were not of my choosing.
The weight gain
Sitting at the keyboard for ten to twelve hours a day is detrimental to my thighs, and possibly to my general health. Though I am exercising my mind, my body is not being stimulated enough to ward off the excess pounds. For a while, I managed to squeeze in an hour of exercise each day, but it has become too easy for me to rationalize why I need to work rather than work out.
What do you hate the most about being an author? Please leave a comment. I would love to hear from your.