I swear this hashtag pops into my head in some context at least once a day, so I thought I'd try to compile a list of some of my most common Writer Problems™. Some of these are specific to just me (at least to my knowledge) while others seem to be fairly universal issues.
1. memory loss
- Here's a classic. You come up with a good idea in the middle of the night and swear you'll remember it, so you don't write it down. You all know what happens next.
- In the event that you do take the time to write it down, that idea sparks more ideas and you have to also jot down notes for all the rabbit trails that ensue, thus forcing you to stay awake way longer than you'd planned to.
- The same applies to "Let-Me-Just-Write-This-Down-Before-Bed" scenarios.
3. PLANNING AHEAD
- The moment you start a new story, you find yourself already planning the sequel(s).
4. Planning ahead II
- You also find yourself already playing with cover art designs, despite the fact that you don't even have a complete first draft of the story.
5. COMPULSIVE EDITING
- You find yourself mentally editing other people's speech in the middle of conversations and it's all you can do to keep from correcting them when they make mistakes.
6. COMPULSIVE CRITIQUING OF WORLD BUILDING
- Every writer knows that one of the tricks to starting a story is introducing enough new information to help readers understand the story and setting without overwhelming them. I just started re-watching NCIS from the very beginning, and the episode I watched this morning was the second one ever. The term "scuttlebutt" was used...numerous times. It was obvious they were trying to hammer it home and introduce viewers to the show's military themes, but it was used at least five times within the 45-minute episode. In my head I was taking a giant red marker to the screenplay and slashing all but a couple instances of it.
7. MASTER DETECTIVE SKILLS
- On that note, your family hates watching TV with you because your experience with developing and executing plots makes it way too easy for you to predict outcomes and plot twists in shows and movies.
8. Pinterest CLUTTER
- Rather than weddings, hair tutorials, healthy recipes, and cute DIY projects, your Pinterest is a cluttered mess of concept art, design elements, and character inspiration. I've said it a million times before and I'll say it again: Pinterest needs sub-boards. Is it too much to ask to be able to split my Imagination At Work: Sci Fi Environments board up into cityscapes, landscapes, and spacescapes without making three separate boards???
9. TOO MANY IDEAS
- When searching for stock photos and fonts to use for your current WIP's cover and promo art design, you stumble across (and can't help but save) a ton of others that you love but that don't have anything to do with your WIP's theme. You conclude that you'll just have to write a bunch of applicable short stories for the sole purpose of being able to use them.
- You get so immersed in writing and/or editing that you forget to eat.
YET AGAIN, I have seen Ahsoka mentioned in a Star Wars-related tweet, thought it said Aroska, and done a massive double take.— EJ Fisch (@EJFisch) April 13, 2017
- You're constantly seeing someone or something with a name that's the same or similar to something in your story, and you're momentarily very confused.
- You're stricken with writing ideas while in the middle of an unaccommodating activity, such as driving, and you have to find a random parking lot so you can pull over and write them down.
13. Selective Efficiency
- You can whip out 1200 words of plot notes or actual story in a single hour, but it takes you all day to write a mandatory assignment of comparable length.
14. side effects
- Whatever you're writing ends up unintentionally impacting your day to day life, whether you like it or not.
15. Keeping Secrets
- You have all these great lines you want to share with your friends and readers, but they all contain spoilers.
- You keep a list of potential names for planets / cities / characters, but it's gotten so long that there's no possible way you'll ever be able to use all of them.
- You have tendonitis or carpal tunnel and it's ALL YOUR CHARACTERS' FAULT. This wouldn't be a problem is they hadn't demanded you tell their stories.
18. Always Proofreading
- You can't get through a single day at work without spotting typos and grammatical mistakes in co-workers' emails (and, once again, it's all you can do to keep yourself from correcting them).
19. ALWAYS WORKING
- You've spent forever either reading your own work or beta reading for other writers, so when you do finally sit down to pleasure read something, you catch yourself over-analyzing everything and coming up with editing suggestions.
20. General inattentiveness
- You tend to zone out and daydream in the middle of class, meetings, conversations, etc. and realize you've either a) been staring blankly, b) haven't heard a word anyone's said, or c) some combination of the two. It's even worse when people stop and ask if you're okay because you're making weird faces that correspond with the scene you're imagining.