Drat! Writers’ Problems

Usually, I pat myself on the back for writing my first drafts in longhand. I fill notebook after notebook. I’m a big fan of cursive and just love the way pen feels as it loops and drags across paper. And my mind operates differently with pen in hand than it does with fingers on my keyboard.

But today, I am cranky because of my longhand habit.

An editor reached out to me about an article. I told her I have the perfect personal essay to suit her needs. All I need to do is find it.

Just in case I’d typed it up already – I suspected I hadn’t but wasn’t entirely sure – I searched my hard drive. Zilch.

I thought, “Maybe I wrote about it in an email to my sister or something,” so I searched my “Sent” box. Nada.

“No problem,” I thought. “I’ll just find the notebook I wrote in last summer.”

I have found lots and lots of notebooks – but not the one I journaled in last summer.

If you hear something while reading this post, it’s probably the sound of my head hitting my desk. Tomorrow I get to dig around some more, and then – if totally desperate – I’ll have to reconstruct the entire incident I want to write about.

Lesson learned: if you want to keep journals and notebooks full of lovely cursive first drafts, organize those journals and notebooks.

Are you a writer? If so, what kind of writers’ problems and failures have you experienced? Feel free to share in comments. I promise to empathize.

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5 thoughts on “Drat! Writers’ Problems

    • YES!!! I think someone once told me there’s a program you can teach to read your handwriting and then convert it to digital text and even search it, but I have no idea the name, the cost, or anything. But, man, that would be useful!

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  1. The writer’s problem/frustration: getting those books selling. Yes, I’m taking the courses, working on my craft, building my email list, looking for reviewers, asking others questions, learning how to use Amazon ads, taking note almost daily of what can be improved (the description? the cover? the book itself? the characters? the number of proofreaders on my team), and on and on…and then it just drops lower in rank. Meanwhile, one of course instructors sends out an email declaring how she’s aiming for the USA Today bestseller list for her box set, so please, every additional sale counts, blah blah blah….

    Head-banging on desk material, indeed….

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    • It’s one of those things I totally struggle with. How much non-writing effort and money can I afford to put in to get the results I want (namely: sales and income)? And everyone seems like they have more hustle than me.

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      • One of my “how-to” books is Mastering Amazon Ads, by Brian Meeks. In it, he says that one is allowed to go at one’s own pace, but one is not allowed to look at the results of someone else who spends 10x as much time on this stuff and then feel like a failure for not getting the same results. That’s something to keep in mind. I’m definitely still a novice at this, and being a parent means that I need to manage my time carefully and in detail; I just need to continue doing what needs to be done, learning what I need to learn, making the appropriate corrections, accepting feedback, and progressing at whatever pace Hashem allows me – no matter how frustratingly slow.

        Thank you for your thoughtful post and for providing this space for writers to vent.

        Liked by 1 person

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