Sitting on a Story – What Frustrates You Most About Writing?

The question is, what is the single most frustrating thing about writing? Is it writer’s block? Motivation? Staying positive? What is the the absolute thing that makes you gnash your teeth or your stomach turn?

For me, it’s sitting on a story. And I hate it.

By default, I’ve always thought myself as a novelist. My very first forays into writing were not short stories or pieces of poetry, but attempts to flesh out entire novels from the start. I just leapt into doing it, and it feels right for me. I’m a sucker for character driven narratives, so when it comes to developing characters I’m straight out there using the longest format that allows me to develop them. In fact, the very first novel I finished (just in terms of writing the first draft) was a first person present narrative that took over 140,000 words to get to the final word. Writing that was tough, it had its issues, but what irritates me most is now having to sit on a completed work, either editing it or just leaving it to gather virtual dust on my computer.

Part of the reason I write is because I enjoy telling people stories. I quite simply like it when people like what I write. Sometimes I have an idea that I’m really buzzing about, but I’ve got to sit on the story for various reasons. I want to hear what people think. It’s what makes writing rewarding for me.

The solution should be simple. Post it online. Publish. Self-publish. I should have no excuse to sit on it. But there’s a number of reasons why I’m not. I’ll be brief, but my head tells me to wait. I want to finish my course and university without having publishing ventures worry me. I also want to wait for all the issues going on within the publishing industry to work out.

So in the mean time, I’m here writing novels that no-one else can read.

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8 thoughts on “Sitting on a Story – What Frustrates You Most About Writing?

    1. Thanks, I’m aiming to really get moving with my writing once university is finished and done. I’ve come to realise that I want to be a writer for the love of it, and that doesn’t work alongside making a career out of it.

  1. This is so accurate. I hate that feeling too. I started with novels too, and now I write short stories and poetry almost exclusively because (for one reason) they’re so much easier to edit. Do you ever get other people to read them and give you feedback? That tends to help me.

    1. I try to keep myself on track when editing by resting the temptation to cut sections and rewrite them, or to just build upon the original idea I was aiming for. That’s what keeps me writing novels at least!

      Well, I try to get people to read, but that doesn’t always work out. Asking someone to read a work in progress is a big ask, and to be honest I’m not surprised if people don’t want to. Reading a book is one thing, but then having to give feedback about it? It’s daunting for those who aren’t used to it.

      Thanks for commenting and stopping by!

  2. OMG–I relate to all of it, except: Wait for all the issues going on within the publishing industry to work out.! Girl if you do that, you’ll never write a word!

    1. I should have elaborated, but I’m waiting for the whole economic mess the world is in to hopefully clear up or more likely stabilise. That, and I think it’s still too early to call where self-publishing is going or how traditional publishing is going to react to the pressures put on it by self-publishing. In the meantime, I continue to write away.

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