This is another freelance contribution by Sally Keys. You may remember her from her recent freelance contribution, How Creative Writing Can Boost Your Intelligence. Sally is a professional freelance writer with many years of experience in diverse areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, she enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family, and traveling as much as possible. 

Common Obstacles To Becoming An Author And How To Overcome Them

Overcoming writing obstacles | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Fully 80 percent of Americans say they have the ambition to write a book, yet only a fraction of those will go ahead and even fewer will actually succeed. Writing for a living can be a dream job for those with a true passion for a perfectly arranged sentence, but the reality of being an author is that it’s hard, sometimes lonely work. Procrastination or other psychological roadblocks (hello, nagging self-doubt) thwart the ambitions of most would-be writers.

Thankfully, there’s a number of tricks you can use to increase your chances of becoming an author. From psychological motivation to quash negative thoughts, to practical advice on marketing and self-publishing, follow the advice below to get your writing goals back on track!

Beat writer’s block

A blank page and an empty mind are the age-old adversaries of the creative writer, regularly striking even the most accomplished novelist. There are techniques to vanquish this mind-voiding foe. Anxiety serves to exacerbate the problem so anything that calms the mind should get those creative juices flowing again. Some find that a change of scenery or light exercise can stimulate creativity. Meanwhile, for those who prefer a more scientific approach to problem-solving – the answer to constructing a best-seller may lie in a computer algorithm.

Silence self-doubt

Doubts over ability, age or other perceived limiting factors, can become a self-fulfilling prophecy if you allow them room to grow.  Take age, for example: there are lots of authors who have bucked the trend, launching a writing career when well past their fortieth year. There are several confidence-boosting techniques that can help you overcome issues related to low self-esteem. Visualisation, hypnotherapy and positive affirmations can all alter your state of mind to a more positive outlook, thus helping you reach your goals.

Prepare for rejection

JK Rowling famously posted her novel rejection letters on Twitter to encourage budding writers not to give up when faced with negative feedback. CS Lewis was rejected over 800 times and Steven King’s Carrie was knocked back more than 30 times. Tenacity and a thick skin are perhaps the most important skills a writer can develop. And where the ability to self-publish may help you circumnavigate the guardians of literary distribution, it will never mean that everybody is going to love your work.  The only way to silence critics is with success!

Get some exposure

If you’re serious about earning money from writing, you need to let people know you’re doing it and encourage them to read your work.  Luckily in a digital age, there are many avenues to gain good exposure as well as experts willing to help you exploit them. Websites, blogs, and social media can all be successful routes to market for new writers building a fan base.

Working as a writer can be both a financially and spiritually rewarding job. With skill, determination, and the right strategy to overcome obstacles, your dream job as an author could become reality!