Amateur Writer Worries That Don't Matter

Amateur Writer Worries That Don't Matter



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44 Comments

  • Doretha Roy says:

    I'm writing a book and my characters are in school and it's hard to write about their classes everytime. Like I don't want to write about every class they have. And I feel like I go through it all too fast. I just skip to lunch time and then I skip to them going home. How can I do this better?

    (I hope this makes sense.)

  • Logan ElFreecs says:

    I think my biggest worry, which you said doesn't matter, is breaking into the industry. I haven't even finished writing my book yet and getting into the industry is a worry that is holding me back. If I knew about some resources to teach me how or ways to break in would be a big help and knowing that it's even possible, would help motivate me to write.

  • Wild Flower says:

    I found this really helpful, thank you! I'm of the 'if it's not perfect instantly then I won't continue' tribe, and I hate myself for it. Hearing that it's a thing for other people too really helps me to kick my own ass into gear.

  • Malice Alexx says:

    I've had a story I've been trying to write since literally 3rd grade (2003 that's longer ago than it sounds) and I'm such a perfectionist that it's never gotten past the second chapter. Your advice definitely has inspired me a lot to just write the damn book already.

  • Jason S says:

    Another excellent video! I am definitely guilty of number one! Thinking that my idea was unique and refusing to share it with anyone, hehe. My idea was not unique, lol

  • czerwony kapturek says:

    omg i'm so glad i find your channel. watching your video's give me so much motivation to writing. thank you!

  • B. Gordon says:

    "C'mon Joanne, you can't be serious. Nobody gives a shit about your lousy idea of an orphan boy who is a wizard" 😉

  • Jake Aurod says:

    My fear is that I have too many good ideas and I want to put them all in the story. Them my story expands from a novel to a series in my head and outline. Then, I start editing it before it's even written (in polished prose, it's a rough-not-quite-draft in outline notes), which results in what might be better ideas, but I'm not sure how to choose.

  • Joe Moone says:

    Somethings are hard to hear, but they are important. Great tips. A good reality check.

  • G.K. Ray says:

    Alexa thank you for this video! It's super informative and soothing, in a way. My only thing is where was this advice ten years ago when I started my debut novel? Lol.

  • Heather Havens says:

    I am an amateur writer and I confess that I do worry about someone stealing my "genius ideas." I also have a tough time with criticism. Intellectually, I know it's part of getting better as a writer, but emotionally, I have a tough time dealing with negative or unenthusiastic feedback. I often think I manufacture other fears to avoid finishing projects and having to share my work. Great video as always.

  • Laura Katsanis says:

    How is your platform on youtube not bigger-bigger? Binge watched your videos while playing games, while writing, while driving, while cooking. Good shit. A+. Bravissima! Subscribed!

  • Suzi Oh says:

    I'm glad you brought up "your first draft isn't going to be perfect, get over it and then edit it".
    I've started a novel and I'm having a hard time continuing to write it because my writing is so terrible right now and I hate it… but I've been writing anyways. You can't edit something that doesn't exist.

    Thanks for the encouragement and the "harsh truth"! I needed to hear it today.

  • Amy LeFever says:

    Thank you!

  • crazy frog says:

    Very soon I'll become a famous writer, because you will lose vigilance to your ideas after that video. Beware

  • Levi Brown says:

    The first couple of points had me feeling goood about myself because I don't think I'm guilty of those. Then you said this about the perfect first draft, and particularly sending out the first couple of chapters for review and waiting before pressing onward, which is exactly what I've been doing the last month or so (Open mouth worried face emoji)

  • DarkHeianPrincess says:

    While I know there are no original ideas, I have always worried that my story is too similar to a book already written and people will think it was ME who stole. But, lately I haven't worried so much.

  • Shelly Star says:

    Another issue: Perfectionism. That has kept me from finishing books in the past. I would focus so much on editing, and editing, and editing that I never finished anything. Honestly, it took participating in Nanowrimo to make me realize I just need to finish the damn book and then edit.

  • Kitty Machine says:

    You know, I was secretly worried about several of these. As for the rest, I'm sure my anxious butt would've become worried about them as soon as I got more serious about finishing my (theoretical) book! This is INCREDIBLY motivating!
    Do.
    The.
    Work.
    The details will become relevant after!

  • lost in a booKCase says:

    sees title
    Thank yooooou!!

  • Smile Laugh says:

    Where did you go to find your agent? Was it a website or a referral to that agent?

  • Pa Sp says:

    You are right. I remember my first 1 star review. That hurt a bit and I think I didn't react properly. I'm not really a big author(barely one) but I think getting a 1 star review is a milestone. You have to learn how to deal with it.

    Also one of the things that I felt recently was that I published something of a short story (11,000 words). It was cut short for a variety of reasons like I wasn't sure if the people that controlled the subject would pull the rug from under me so I published what I had instead of a full length novel. However after I published it(self published on a site that I think most people don't visit) I felt like crap. I wonder if this is common where after you publish something (even something like what I did where no one will read it) you feel like crap afterward.

  • Clare Miller says:

    I love your harsh truths, ma'am. A lot of this stuff is just manifestations of fear, your "lizard brain" projecting out reasons to not do a thing, because if you never do it then no one can judge you on it, right? Procrastination is sneaky sneaky.
    Mur Lafferty has had five agents. FIVE. And she's amazing.

  • Daniel Boone says:

    Nice video Alexa. I enjoy your videos. Keep smiling I love your enthusiasm.

  • Katlyn Duncan Author says:

    Yes to this video!! I always cringe when aspiring authors talk about stealing ideas and editors forcing you into a new story completely. I’ve had 7 editors over 12 books and none of them have made anything more than suggestions for me to change… if I wanted. I hope aspiring writers will be able to take a breath and realize that these things don’t really exist and they write the books of their hearts because Im ready to read them! :0)

  • Hiba M Khalbous says:

    #1: My friend showed me a scene and a novel idea that inspired me. I re wrote that scene, added scenes of my own, and even depended heavily on the plot she explained to me. And then showed her.
    She thought it was my own ideas.
    Even if someone literally steals your characters and plot, they'll quickly go down a completely different path you won't even recognize it. Stealing ideas isn't stealing stories.
    (Ps: don't hate me btw. I showed that to no one else, it was just an experiment)

  • Elliot Pole says:

    I canhandle negative reviews, what is driving me bonkers is that people might not want my books at all, and I mean any people. Got a fourth manuscript done so far, just kind of scary how many more of these I'll ahve to go through before anyone is interested.

  • Vince Knox says:

    Your makeup has been flawless lately!

  • LaviniaAlexandra says:

    Can chapter inequality be a amateurish or looking bad in a manuscript?
    My draft has chapters of +20 pages and chapters of barely 5 pages.

    Btw thanks for all your videos. You can’t imagine how helpful you are to young people wanting to write

  • True Blue Sonic Hero says:

    You don't know how badly I needed this video. These things have been weighing on my mind a lot lately.

  • Katrina Reid says:

    I have a similar concern to the "perfect agent complex" except that it's more about: I have a NA manuscript which is part of a trilogy, and I'm drafting a standalone YA while brainstorming a standalone NA. So! It would make the most sense to try to write the NA standalone (because it's "more likely to be taken" for submission) or the YA standalone. But! The NA trilogy, first book manuscript is the one I'm workshopping. It sounds like I'm just screwed any way I slice it lol.

  • Tam Chronin says:

    re: "Sacred Piece of Art"

    My grandpa was a professional artist, and my dad ran an art gallery. Even artists face criticism, and their pieces are consumer products. It's very similar to writing, except artists don't get editors to make things look good. If the work of art comes out crappy, it just never gets bought because it doesn't appeal to anyone. My grandpa threw away or painted over so many things he'd done, you'd be shocked. We can edit. Artists just trash it and start over. (Digital art is different, of course. That can be edited, like writing. But, that's where my experience is lacking, since my grandpa didn't start playing around with digital art until about five years before his death, and he was in and out of the hospital a lot in that period. He never made a satisfying transition to digital art.)

  • Abbee Black says:

    I've seen each of these worries dozens upon dozens of times in various FaceBook writers group. All of these people worrying about these things are the reason I'm not in those groups anymore.

  • Sarah May says:

    Thank you Alexa, It helped me a lot

  • Carly Olsen says:

    Looking too far ahead is something I'm guilty of. I'm writing a YA graphic novel but I am nervous about eventually querying agents and publishing companies that are solely YA. But I think I'll put that worry to the side and just focus on the now. Thank you for this video. I didn't know I needed it until I was watching it.

  • JAMation says:

    After watching this I realize I might be my own worst critic because a lot of these things crossed my mind and then I laughed at myself for thinking my dumpster fire of a story was going to go somewhere. I will say that one of my fears, which I hope isn't true, is that I won't get any better. I know the more I write the more I can learn, but since there's no "grading" system on novels I'm afraid I won't know if I'm learning to write better, or learning to write what will sell.

  • Wordsborn says:

    I don't have any of this worries. Thank God. When I saw the title, I was like, hmmmm, Aunty Alexa gonna rant about her son, today.

  • Sin&Tonic * says:

    I needed this video more than I'm prepared to admit.

  • Armstrong Hawkins says:

    "Nothing is universally loved…" Lord, don't I know it!!! Great video.

  • Dal Cecil Runo says:

    Your videos always help me. Thank you for taking the time to upload all the real deal about publishing. You inspired me to start my YouTube channel and also, it was because of all your info that I decided to pursue traditional publishing.

  • Ashley Raye says:

    As a novice writer, I think my biggest worry or fear is that my writing just isn't good enough, and that my ideas could be better executed by someone else. Not a fun mentality to have, but I assume it'll lessen with time and experience. Great video- thanks!

  • Samantha Glover says:

    Loved this, Alexa! I have worried about so many if not all of these things at one point or another. It's nice to hear that they're not worth worrying about.

  • Eruvandi B. says:

    I remember when I first started writing I was chatting with a friend online who wanted to share about the book she was writing and my mom was like, "You should tell her she shouldn't be sharing her idea in public like that, and don't you share yours!" Since then, I've learned exactly what you said, that ideas where cheap, writing is hard. Thanks for the great videos!

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