All writers have difficulties while writing their books. Some writers end up facing the same problems over and over again (which is the easiest to fix, because once you learn how to get past it, everything you write in the future is a breeze), and some writers can have a different problem with each piece they work on.
For me, I think one of my biggest difficulties was a lack of passion. Sometimes, writers get an idea for a book—a good, interesting idea—but then don’t know how to go from there. Other times, writers will be so passionate about what they are writing about that not only do they want to write every moment of every day, but ideas are a constant flow, and a highly detailed outline can be created within a single day. This wasn’t the case for me while writing The Lerewood.
There were times when I felt like I had to force myself to write, just to finish it. If I didn’t have such a dissatisfaction with leaving things unfinished, The Lerewood would have probably never been published.
It took me eight years to write The Lerewood…eight years. And it’s not a very long book. The reason it took so long was partly due to not getting into the habit of writing every day, and my refusal to have a work anything less than what I felt was perfect (eventually I reached a point where I simply could not change or edit anything else—whether I was so drained and needed to move on, or I genuinely thought it was completely error free, I don’t know). But I also didn’t really want to write The Lerewood. Sure, there were times when I read over some scenes and passages and I said to myself “Damn, Andrea. You’re a good writer. This is good.” But I didn’t have the passion. I didn’t really care. It was an idea I thought of when I was in the eighth grade, and I’d left it alone for so many years that when I finally decided to go back to it and really finish it and try to get it published, that initial enthusiasm I had while writing the story was no longer there. Even now, I find marketing difficult because of this same problem.
Like my previous writing difficulties blog post, I recommend writing as much as you can while you’re still inspired. When we writers are passionate about an idea, it’s an opportunity to create greatness. Our minds go into this special state in which art is so easily created, and our talents shine. Don’t let those moments pass without taking advantage of it. If I had written more when I was younger, it’s possible the finished work could have been even better than what I published. Although, I do believe that everything happens for a reason, so maybe I needed those extra years to hone my craft and improve my ability to write in order to finish The Lerewood. I will admit, I’m proud of the finished work.
I have one other piece of advice that I’ll give to any writers dealing with the same issue, and it may be hard to hear, but ask yourself this: is this idea enough for a novel?
Some writers start off with something simple, and then they build upon it until they have enough material for a full length novel. My book, The Lerewood, is a novella. I certainly couldn’t come up with enough material for a much longer work. To me, The Lerewood is simple, meant to be told in the style of a haunted legend or creepy bedtime story. I’m happy with that. It was simply not made to be anything more. And that too is the same for other writers out there; they may only have enough material to write a short novel or even a short story. Other writers have the desire to write a full length novel, but the idea they’ve come up with and tried to build upon just isn’t working. I honestly think that if you’re struggling so hard to come up with an idea, it isn’t meant to be. I never forced myself to come up with an idea for a novel. I was inspired several years ago, and I just started writing. Some people have this dream to be successful authors, but they can’t come up with anything very interesting. To be a good writer you also need to be able to create a concept that will hook readers and draw them in. You need to be able to pick a good story, and tell it right.
I’m happy to say that despite the slightly depressing experience writing my first novel, I’m currently working on my next project, and I am writing with passion. Ideas come very easily they’re even coming to me in my dreams, and I have a lot of fun writing. As long as I try and stay productive every day and remind myself that my writing is my priority, I can’t see myself getting bored with it any time soon, but after eight years, you never know.
Welcome to Andrea's blog!
Here you can find news on The Lerewood and what I'm up to.