Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Your Biggest Worry As A Writer?

So, what’s your biggest worry as a writer?

For me, it’s not standing out. I’m worried that my ideas are boring, unoriginal, and anonymous (as in, if you took my name off the story, no one would ever know I wrote it because there’s nothing special about my work).

Anyone else?

I fear that if I’d post something, I’ll get heckled and be told not write anything else, ever.

I worry that no one will understand and appreciate what I’m trying to say.

That wouldn’t happen on here!

Maybe on FA :wink:

I fear that I’m wasting my life trying to write something that will be remembered after my death.

Mine is along the lines of Huskyteer, that I won’t be remembered after my death.

Or perhaps a bit worse, the Lovecraft effect, where you ARE remembered after your death but spent your life thinking your own work was crap.

It’s hard to say for me. I suppose it would be a toss-up between no one finding my writings interesting enough to even so much as give it a go, or that when I finally tackle the story I hope to be remembered by, I’ll royally screw it up in so many ways.

The ‘not being remembered’ fear has crossed my mind more than once >.< I don’t want to just be lost in the endless abyss of faceless writers who are better known for dime-a-dozen canon fodder. If I’m to leave a legacy, I’d rather it be something my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren can be truly proud of. Thus the fear of royally screwing up the story I hope to be remembered by.

I used to have the fear of never seeing the true beauty in my own work, but then I realized something. The bitter-sweet curse of being truly passionate about your craft is that, in art, there’s no such thing as perfection. There’s always room to improve. There will always be ways you could have done it better, and you’ll always be your own worst critic with your own work.

This was driven home to me by Spirit’s (aka Amenthor) grandfather. In fact, here: http://russellbcross.wordpress.com/landscapes/
If you get the chance, paroose through those watercolors, then scan through the biography. You’ll see he was amazingly talented, with an incredible amount of accomplishments under his name. His paintings have been shown in major art galleries and some are in private collections. He was a well-loved teacher to many budding artists who still remember him fondly to this day. Yet one thing the site won’t tell you is how unhappy he was with his work most of the time. Spirit remembers many times when his aunt had to save paintings and sketches from the trash that were better than good, yet didn’t meet up to Russell’s standards. Even with such a long list of accomplishments, he always seemed to feel like he fell short of what he wanted. It kind of makes me wonder if any truly passionate artist, be it with paint or pencil or words or music, can ever feel happy and satisfied with their own work.

I spent years thinking that I’d better not use my best ideas until I’d got a bit better at writing. Now I’ve decided, heck, go with it. If it turns out awful, put in in a drawer and revisit in a year or two or ten.

I’m not good at the revisit thing x.x Thus the curse of being a perfectionist ADD writer >.< Still, I’m trying to work on enveloping this very method into my thought process. Just going to take time to undo years of training x.x

I’m much more practical. Pirate Bay and the like are my biggest worry.

It’s hard to decide which one is the BIGGEST.

As much as it would suck missing out on royalties, I’d be kind of excited if people thought my work was worth pirating because that would mean people actually want to read it.

That’s a very positive take on it. :slight_smile: I’m not terribly worried about piracy, although that gets off into a different set of weeds I can babble on at length about when I put on my tech blogger hat.

I think my biggest worries relate to time management – which I’m awful at – and follow through on larger projects. I’ve always been far more comfortable working at roughly novella length and really hope to get my first novel actually written (and edited and at the least shopped around) next year.

I admit piracy doesn’t much worry me (though maybe it could eventually), nor am I concerned about being remembered long-term after death (most writers aren’t, after all). I guess my biggest worry at the moment is that I’m going to look back ten years from now and see that I’m still doing pretty much the same thing I am now, whether that’s in terms of overall quality or in terms of where and how I’m publishing. And I don’t want to get to the point where I’m essentially writing the same story over and over because it’s easy and I’m comfortable with it or because it’s what an audience expects.

All I know for sure is that once my Birkenhead works were pirated the revenue from them rapidly dropped off to nearly nothing. Admittedly, they were dropping anyway so that’s not the only cause. But they certainly have dropped a lot faster since being pirated. Two years ago I made just shy of $20k on them, while this year I’ll be lucky to make a grand. Interestingly, I give away the first book of the series (Ship’s Boy) for free as a sort of incentive. “Boy” downloads have remained rock-steady (and very high) in download volume all this time. (It’s still in the Amazon Top 100 for Space Opera, years after initial release, as I type this.) Yet, my paid sales have gone to pot. The only thing I can point to that’s changed is the pirating.

So yes, I do indeed fear pirates. Loathe them, too. It’s just another form of theft, in my opinion. The emotional impact has been so great that I’m actually having trouble completing another series I’ve been working on for months-- a little voice keeps whispering in my ear that “they’re just going to steal this one too, so why work so hard?” It’s not exactly conducive to achieving excellence, I fear.

I suppose my biggest worry is that I’m not able to effectively translate the scale and depth of my world into print. I have put a lot of effort into fleshing out Farenar and creating a living world for my characters to inhabit. I want my readers to see this and love the world as much as I do, but I always worry that I’m not doing enough to show this.

My biggest worries are all outside of writing. Writing is the steadiest thing in my life. I can take it anywhere I have to go. It won’t grow up, constantly changing, and then move away. It’s the one thing that I can control and will always be all mine.

Easiest way to solve that? Step outside your comfort zone. Make it a point to seriously work on a piece that’s completely outside of the genre you’re used to, with characters you never worked with before (as in archetype). Even if it doesn’t feel right- ESPECIALLY if it doesn’t feel right, it’s amazing what you can stumble across when doing this.

That I’ll never make an impact or even a blip to any readers. That if I write for ten years, I’ll find myself right where I started. Putting out stories but nothing ever of great value.

After some thought, I guess what it would be for me, ultimately, is silence. Love it, hate it, want to throw your whole damn laptop in the shredder just for so much as having had the story on there… Ignite those torches and sharpen those pitchforks, at least you cared enough to read it. At least you felt enough for it to care to comment on it.

Silence can mean so much though. It could be meh, good enough that you have nothing to say about it, yet not so good that you have anything to say about it. Or it was so bad that the fires couldn’t even be stirred to rage about it. Or it wasn’t even worth flipping to.

Care enough to love or hate what I put so much effort into. Just… care enough, and don’t give me deafening silence to keep me in the dark, always wondering, always waiting.

Twelve years ago I posted my first story, a short novel, and judging from some of the feedback I received on it I must have really hit a home run with it. I’ve sporadically put out stories since then but none have come close to getting the response that one has. And I wasn’t as mature as a writer then and when I look at that first story now I see a lot of things I would do better now. My fear is that I’ll never again produce anything that gets the kind of response that one did. I am reminded of Harper Lee, whose writing output consists of the best novels of the 20th century and virtually nothing else.

For nearly three years I’ve been developing this huge long story which I’ve still got quite a ways to so on, and my fear is that after all the time and effort I’ve put into it, it will in the end attract relatively few readers and end up buried among thousands of other stories in the big slushpiles of furry literature.