Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Does the thought of nobody reading your work makes you anxious? (1 Viewer)

Status
Not open for further replies.

Anamable

Senior Member
I write the books that I'd want to read and when I make those books available, lots of people seem to have the same tastes. When I read novels I've written, they're no different than any other book I read. I enjoy them just as much as anything written by any other published author. That's really all that matters in the end.
Yes, very true.
 

Anamable

Senior Member
Wow yes...creativity takes courage. I admire any person who has the guts to put their work out there, it's not an easy thing to do.
Really great question!

I once had a great role writing articles about companies and executives for a financial magazine. After fact-checking the heck out of my piece I would submit it to the editor, and literally, break out into a sweat. I was afraid that I had misstepped and the magazine would be sued or I had said something wrong and be called out by my colleagues. I gave it up because of the fear. But I'm sure you already guessed that I am going to tell you how much I regret that. Obviously, I didn't cope well. What makes this story even harder is that many years after I quit, the editor told me that people were still talking about one of my articles. (In a good way...lol) Do you know how much I wish I could go back and push through the fear?

When you put yourself out there it's normal to be anxious. I hope I cope better when I start to publish fiction. But we'll see...

My first protagonist is a financial journalist. I'm living out my dream one way or another
 

Anamable

Senior Member
I'm more afraid of having a popular book. With success comes book store readings and talks, and having to sign books and be friendly and sociable. That frickin' terrifies me!

I'm going to have to be a reclusive author like J.D. Salinger. I'm already reclusive; now I just need a best selling book. :)
Haha...I can get you!
 

Kyle R

WF Veterans
I try not to worry so much about what other people think of my writing. Some readers really enjoy my work. Others think it's crap. Others still, feel somewhere in the middle.

None of these things are within my control, so I try not to dwell on them. The only thing I can control is the effort that I put into the writing, so that's what I focus on. I try my best, and then let the chips fall where they may.

An author who I follow on social media once said that she never reads the reviews of her books on Amazon or Goodreads, because she believes those reviews are for readers, not writers. At first, I disagreed with her perspective. I thought, "How can you know where you need improvement, if you're not paying attention to reader reviews?"

But now I'm starting to agree with her. Mostly because there is no singular "reader". Every reader has their own specific likes and dislikes, and what works for one reader likely won't work for another. So there's no sense in trying to find that Venn Diagram intersection where all your potential readers will line up. It's not going to happen.

Instead, write the story that you want to write, to the best of your ability, and then, hopefully, your work will find its way into the hands of readers who share your tastes.
 

Cephus

Senior Member
Yes...ending the story is the most difficult than starting it

A lot of people think that so long as you start a story, it will naturally find an ending and that's not the case. If you want a satisfying journey, you have to know where it's going and why it's going there. I think it's important for authors to view their story as a story from the get-go, not just a meandering mess that might or might not ever get anywhere worthwhile.
 
Last edited:

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
I try not to worry so much about what other people think of my writing. Some readers really enjoy my work. Others think it's crap. Others still, feel somewhere in the middle.

None of these things are within my control, so I try not to dwell on them. The only thing I can control is the effort that I put into the writing, so that's what I focus on. I try my best, and then let the chips fall where they may.

An author who I follow on social media once said that she never reads the reviews of her books on Amazon or Goodreads, because she believes those reviews are for readers, not writers. At first, I disagreed with her perspective. I thought, "How can you know where you need improvement, if you're not paying attention to reader reviews?"

But now I'm starting to agree with her. Mostly because there is no singular "reader". Every reader has their own specific likes and dislikes, and what works for one reader likely won't work for another. So there's no sense in trying to find that Venn Diagram intersection where all your potential readers will line up. It's not going to happen.

Instead, write the story that you want to write, to the best of your ability, and then, hopefully, your work will find its way into the hands of readers who share your tastes.
Such great advice! I needed to hear that!!

It makes me think of my beta reader. When I gave her the first chapter that had meat of the main plot, her response was, "I was lost in the chapter." And then she went on to summarise the chapter perfectly, hitting every major point including the bit of foreshadowing, in a sort of question...like is this what you meant to say? It was so off-putting, I stopped writing for a couple of weeks.

Eventually I picked it up again with the mind to revise based on her comment. I read the chapter over, and thought it was some of my best work. Exactly what I was shooting for...and she even got it. I made a small revision at the beginning to make the setting more obvious. And maybe that's all she meant. But I also wondered if what she meant was, 'it's not my cup of tea.'

I know what I'm writing won't be for everyone. The underlying theme is based on my knowledge of high finance. But if I take that out so people won't feel uncomfortable, it won't be my story. It's what is inspiring me to write. Hopefully someone will enjoy it.
 

VRanger

Staff member
Administrator
I know what I'm writing won't be for everyone. The underlying theme is based on my knowledge of high finance. But if I take that out so people won't feel uncomfortable, it won't be my story. It's what is inspiring me to write. Hopefully someone will enjoy it.
As long as you add in sex, aliens, or a serial killer (preferably all three-sex with an alien serial-killer), you'll be fine.

Just kidding ... kind of. :)
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
As long as you add in sex, aliens, or a serial killer (preferably all three-sex with an alien serial-killer), you'll be fine.

Just kidding ... kind of. :)
Well I have one of the three...does that work? :)

Edit: And it's funny you would mention that because it plays a large role in the plot...another reason my beta reader won't like it!
 
Last edited:

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
For me, it seems to be about writing for ourselves, and thus hoping that we can find an audience for our work. Writing for a specific purpose can be based on what literature influenced us as writers. I read somewhere that some writers write because they want to influence, others write to achieve, and this is from a psychological (motivational) viewpoint. Some of us are writers who would like want to write influence, and I attribute this to our motivations (motivational psychology). I want to in a good way influence people who read my work. I also took a personality test today, and it said I was the mediator (the 16 personalities test). That means empathy is a strength I do have possesses as a character trait. Also, today I was brooding or thinking that maybe I need to figure out how to come up with ideas for characters. So, the personality test was one way. I wanted to understand how I behave as a person to write myself into a story. Funnily enough, it sounds like I have a "negotiating" type of personality. So, I might post up a new thread here, since it would be interesting to understand people's personalities for character creation. Anyways, I admit to influence sounds like a lofty goal. Because of that I am simply focusing on how to plot in a simple way. I think my latest story I wrote needed to be simpler. I admit it was sort of farcical. Likewise, I wanted to focus on a character problem. Likewise, I try to not think it is a shortcut when I look up a certain book on how to do so. Since I do want to dictate my story, I want to know how to plan a story. That probably means I need a deep understanding of anything craft related that could help me. Since I lack an understanding of character development, I will try to look for books on that topic. Supposedly a story can be inspired from a memorable character you could have met or imagined. I admit almost all craft books are bad. So now I am buying much fewer craft books. I still think we should write what we want and then think how to market it. It may not sound like it is a good approach to find an agent, but for me, it is the same as practicing writing. Mind you, I think I will write only short stories. I could write it in the same universe if I want, but I don't know if I will yet because it is a lot of work. It also means writing using some of the same story elements such as characters.
 
Last edited:

Darkkin

WF Veterans
There are some things in life that will become mountains that need to be scaled. Borrowing what ifs to build a mole hill to have a reason to create drama is not logical.

There will always be people who will not care for a person, their style, or their work. It is their prerogative as a reader. Should it be a driving force for anxiety? No.

It is one of those battles that can be won before it even starts. Acknowledge the fact, be aware that it doesn't diminish the work of the author in any way. Listen with a grain of salt and as Walt Disney said: Keep moving forward.

A hard ass approach on the arts, maybe. But consider the facts. You wrote something you like. Not having readers does not change the status quo on that. You did something for you not to please the fickle (Kardashian loving) masses.

A surfeit of people pleasing can become one of the biggest forms of self sabotage in any creative process.

e.g. Writers who become so reliant on the input of others that they cease to think for themselves. They need a poll and the detailed insights of John Q. Armchair, internet expert on everything. They surrender any sense of identity or creative control in the work to make what they think will please John Q. Armchair.

It boils down to the fact that if you like and are confident in your work, others will be too.
 
Last edited:

Irwin

Senior Member
A lot of people think that so long as you start a story, it will naturally find an ending and that's not the case. If you want a satisfying journey, you have to know where it's going and why it's going there. I think it's important for authors to view their story as a story from the get-go, not just a meandering mess that might or might not ever get anywhere worthwhile.
I have my story outlined, except there are three ways it can end:
  1. The villain escapes
  2. The villain dies
  3. The villain is caught
With 1 and 3, there can be a sequel. Well, with 2, there can be a sequel with a copycat villain.

I'm just not sure which way to go, but I'll figure it out.
 

TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
I have my story outlined, except there are three ways it can end:
  1. The villain escapes
  2. The villain dies
  3. The villain is caught
With 1 and 3, there can be a sequel. Well, with 2, there can be a sequel with a copycat villain.

I'm just not sure which way to go, but I'll figure it out.
1: Would be unsatisfying.
2: Would be satisfying but leave a sequel difficult
3: Would be satisfying but not as much as 2

Villain dies convincingly BUT it turns out he didn't, leaves your options open. You'd have to set it up well though so it didn't feel cheap if you decided to write a sequel. It would be 2 for me.
 

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
There are some things in life that will become mountains that need to be scaled. Borrowing what ifs to build a mole hill to have a reason to create drama is not logical.

There will always be people who will not care for a person, their style, or their work. It is their prerogative as a reader. Should it be a driving force for anxiety? No.

It is one of those battles that can be won before it even starts. Acknowledge the fact, be aware that it doesn't diminish the work of the author in any way. Listen with a grain of salt and as Walt Disney said: Keep moving forward.

A hard ass approach on the arts, maybe. But consider the facts. You wrote something you like. Not having readers does not change the status quo on that. You did something for you not to please the fickle (Kardashian loving) masses.

A surfeit of people pleasing can become one of the biggest forms of self sabotage in any creative process.

e.g. Writers who become so reliant on the input of others that they cease to think for themselves. They need a poll and the detailed insights of John Q. Armchair, internet expert on everything. They surrender any sense of identity or creative control in the work to make what they think will please John Q. Armchair.

It boils down to the fact that if you like and are confident in your work, others will be too.
There used to a saying about such feelings, but perhaps it’s been lost over the course of years...
If you hang your @ss out far enough and long enough someone will come along and kiss it.

Seriously though, do you love every song you hear and every book you read? Probably not. Don’t worry about it, just write.

We can’t let our fears silence us. Think of your favorite song or book, what if the writers were too afraid to create that beauty?
 

JBF

Staff member
Global Moderator
First, accept that you will never corner 100% of the market. Too many readers from too many backgrounds with too much varying experience means that no matter what you do, you're bound to lose a percentage of the book-buying public at some point, some of which will be irrecoverable.

Maybe they don't like your cover art and never give the story a chance. Maybe they don't like how you opened your first book in a twenty-party series by describing the weather. They may not like your POV, your voice, or your interpretation (or inversion) of classic storytelling tropes. For whatever reason, somebody somewhere is never going to buy your book.

Incidentally, it's important to identify this type of reader early on and, should you find yourself receiving advice from one, weigh their advice carefully against the knowledge that whatever you change to satisfy them, this individual is never going to buy your book.

Sometimes it's not even that deep. Plenty of people don't read western, or romance, or fantasy. Doesn't matter how good - it's not their thing. Even if your story descended from the heavens on a fluffy white cloud, tailor-made for their tastes and preferences, the genre alone means they are never going to buy your book. Strangely, they may watch the movie adaption. Go figure.

So what do you? You figure your strengths. You take the gamble that you yourself are perhaps not the unique individual that certain schools of thought might have you believe. You write the story that appeals to you, tell it in a voice rooted in your own experience and background. You work on spinning a tale that touches something in people like you. It doesn't need to change the stars or reconfigure how the world thinks - it just has to reach them where they are or remind them of where they've been. Sometimes this comes from a surprising quarter (it has for me...I've got fans I'd never have expected, and their advice has been invaluable).

So you figure out which segments would be interested in buying your book.

And instead of worrying about all the people who won't buy your book you focus on selling to those who will. Which is incidentally how you corner the market, live like royal in exile, and start land wars in Asia...but that's a topic for another day.
 

Gamer_2k4

WF Veterans
I like creating for the sake of creating, and I like that the few people I've shared my novels with have seemed to enjoy them, but I'll definitely feel like I'm falling short if nothing I write ever gets professionally published.
 

Gamer_2k4

WF Veterans
First, accept that you will never corner 100% of the market. Too many readers from too many backgrounds with too much varying experience means that no matter what you do, you're bound to lose a percentage of the book-buying public at some point, some of which will be irrecoverable.

I imagine most of us wish we could have this problem. "Sure, I've published 20 books, and sure, most of them are bestsellers, but I'm only hitting 98% of the market!"
 

Irwin

Senior Member
1: Would be unsatisfying.
2: Would be satisfying but leave a sequel difficult
3: Would be satisfying but not as much as 2

Villain dies convincingly BUT it turns out he didn't, leaves your options open. You'd have to set it up well though so it didn't feel cheap if you decided to write a sequel. It would be 2 for me.
He can come back as a zombie! Or a ghost! I can branch off into other genres! :)

Just kidding. I'm going to leave it open at this point and maybe write all three to see which one works the best.
 

Turnbull

Senior Member
I write for me alone. Funnily enough, I think this is the best way to get an audience. Trying to predict what other people like forces you to try and be a mind reader, which you can never be. Not to mention trying to appeal to too may people. But if you are yourself, either your audience will relate to you, or they will appreciate reading about someone different from them with an interesting perspective.
For me, it seems to be about writing for ourselves, and thus hoping that we can find an audience for our work. Writing for a specific purpose can be based on what literature influenced us as writers. I read somewhere that some writers write because they want to influence, others write to achieve, and this is from a psychological (motivational) viewpoint. Some of us are writers who would like want to write influence, and I attribute this to our motivations (motivational psychology). I want to in a good way influence people who read my work. I also took a personality test today, and it said I was the mediator (the 16 personalities test). That means empathy is a strength I do have possesses as a character trait. Also, today I was brooding or thinking that maybe I need to figure out how to come up with ideas for characters. So, the personality test was one way. I wanted to understand how I behave as a person to write myself into a story. Funnily enough, it sounds like I have a "negotiating" type of personality. So, I might post up a new thread here, since it would be interesting to understand people's personalities for character creation. Anyways, I admit to influence sounds like a lofty goal. Because of that I am simply focusing on how to plot in a simple way. I think my latest story I wrote needed to be simpler. I admit it was sort of farcical. Likewise, I wanted to focus on a character problem. Likewise, I try to not think it is a shortcut when I look up a certain book on how to do so. Since I do want to dictate my story, I want to know how to plan a story. That probably means I need a deep understanding of anything craft related that could help me. Since I lack an understanding of character development, I will try to look for books on that topic. Supposedly a story can be inspired from a memorable character you could have met or imagined. I admit almost all craft books are bad. So now I am buying much fewer craft books. I still think we should write what we want and then think how to market it. It may not sound like it is a good approach to find an agent, but for me, it is the same as practicing writing. Mind you, I think I will write only short stories. I could write it in the same universe if I want, but I don't know if I will yet because it is a lot of work. It also means writing using some of the same story elements such as characters.
I think it's very powerful to write short stories -- to say what you want in a short amount of time. I'm a ranter and worldbuilder, so making a point and shutting up is my weakness. I could go on forever writing history for a world in my head. It's really a problem.

If you have trouble with character development, watch the Rocky movies. No, seriously, they have such well-crafted characters it's frankly ridiculous. Even the small ones are something special. 1-4, anyway.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top