Sunday, June 13, 2021

Work Around Writing Obstacles

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

When you hit a writing obstacle, does it stop you or do you use a work around? Within the tech world, they talk about using a work around. Your current path has some blockage so you find a different way to get the same task done—or a work around.
For example, while traveling, I was using my laptop to update my Hootsuite and schedule social media posts.  On my screen, I could not schedule any posts for 1:05 pm within the program. How did I work around this glitch? I left that time blank for several days, then when I returned home I filled in those days with this missing post.
Our world is filled with technology and apps and new programs to learn. Almost every day I face some technical issue which is not working. When these situations happen, I have a choice. I can either figure out a work around the obstacle, quit the program and go on to something else. I've learned that persistence will pay off if you keep at it—which is the path I recommend. Normally there is some work around or way through the challenge.
The pandemic has thrown off many writing plans. Over a year ago, as a Morgan James Publishing editor, I participated in a three and a half hour virtual pitch session. A group of writers were physically in one place and pitching to different editors and literary agents. It was an intense series of meetings with pitch after pitch. To my knowledge. I was the only editor who tracked down the emails of these various writers and sent follow-up emails. A few weeks ago, I pulled out this list of writers—and sent a fresh set of emails to the various writers who I had never received their submissions. Why? I wanted them to know they had not missed their opportunity to submit their manuscripts. Because of the time lapse and the fact that I've been a writer for years, I assumed many of them believed the opportunity had passed—but it hasn't. A number of my emails did not get a response—but I heard from about a dozen of these authors. Many had gotten stalled yet had recently returned to working on their manuscript. Some of them had their manuscript out to beta readers and were getting feedback. Others were finalizing their work. Each of them were happy to know the opportunity was still out there.
I told this story for a reason. Many of you are facing obstacles for your writing. It could be any number of obstacles which have stood in your way. While some of these obstacles can be family or work related, other blocks are mental and internal. Your mindset in these situations is critical. How can you create a way forward to work around the obstable? It may be the difference maker for your writing life.
Maybe you wrote and published a book last year (or even further back). Is that book doing what you imagined in terms of selling and reaching readers? As I've written in the past, as the author, you are the best person to be telling other people about your book—and you can always begin fresh to promote and tell people about it. Look for new ways to promote the book. Check a marketing book out of the library or buy one and try a different method to reach your readers.
Whatever your obstacle, there is a work around for it—but you have to be taking action (not just thinking about it) to find that path. If I can help you, don't hesitate to reach out to me. I'm cheering and pulling for your success. Let me know how you are working around your writing obstacles in the comments below.

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