There are vast amounts of courses, classes and seminars on writing. Heck, there are 90,000 search results for writing books on Amazon.
But despite that, most people don’t experience success as a writer.
Thousands of screenplays and manuscripts are written each year. But only a handful of them sell. And even less are produced or published.
Self publishing and new film markets like Netflix have made success easier than ever. But even then, the numbers are a little disappointing:
Nearly 80% of writers make less than $1,000 per year with their writing. 786,935 books were self-published in 2016. And over 600,000 of them hardly made anything. Over 150,000 of them made $0. Yikes.
Now why is this?
The truth is there are a few problems that most writers face when they have the idea of: “Hey, I think I’ll write something!”
In working one-on-one with my coaching clients, I’ve noticed the same set of problems pop up over and over again.
In fact, I have experienced many of them myself in my own writing career. And I wanted to share what those problems are so you know you’re not alone in your struggles as a writer.
Reason Why Writers Fail #1: They Don't Believe They Can Succeed
Hands down, the most common reason don’t succeed at writing is they don’t believe they can. I’ve met dozens of people at writer’s groups who don’t believe they have what it takes to be a writer.
They have a passion for it. They have a desire for it. But for some odd reason, they simply don’t believe they can do it.
This belief stops a lot of people right at square one. They don’t pursue their passion to write, and instead spend life their life at a day job they absolutely hate.
Without belief in yourself and your writing abilities, you’ll never make it to the finish line.
And a big reason many writers don’t believe in themselves is…
Reason Why Writers Fail #2: They Don't Have a System For Writing
If I asked you to build me a rocket ship that could fly us to the moon, would you be able to do it?
Unless you’re a rocket scientist, chances are you wouldn’t even know where to begin.
You know that it’s possible. Many other people have been able to do it. But you don’t have guidelines or instructions to follow. You don’t know how to overcome the challenges of building it. Even though you know the destination, you’re not quite sure how to get there.
And the same thing goes for a writing.
You can’t just wake up one morning and say “I’m gonna be a writer!” and then expect the first thing you churn out to go down in history as one of the all-time greats.
If I asked you to write an Oscar winning screenplay or Pulitzer Prize winning novel, most people wouldn’t know where to begin. They’d have no plan or course of action for reaching that goal.
To write successfully, you have to have a system. You need a system for creating your plot. You need a system for creating your characters. You need a system for writing dialogue. And so on…
Luckily, you’ll be able to find them here.
But even though some writers have these systems, another reason they fail is…
Reason Why Writers Fail #3: They Don't Have Any Support
Many writers don’t have a support system in place to help encourage them along. They don’t have a group of people they can rely on to provide support when the going gets tough.
All too often, our “normal” friends don’t understand what we writers go through. They don’t understand the tough decisions we have to make, or the frustration we have to deal with.
And they really don’t understand the fear of rejection we face when we share our work with others.
They just don’t get it.
And unfortunately, some of those same “friends” don’t believe in you or your ability to write, either. Ouch.
Sure, you may not be the next Ernest Hemingway or William Goldman, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have success as a writer.
When thoughts of self-doubt creep into your mind, the last thing you need is someone saying you’ll never make it.
So many writers stopped pursuing their dreams because they didn’t have anyone to believe in them.
They didn’t have a system of support from other writers who understood them.
Writing can get lonely. You spend so much time in your imaginary world, and none of your friends can come with you. You feel like they don’t understand what it’s like to be a writer.
But there are many who do. And you can find them here.
And locally too. There are more local writer groups than ever. And if there isn’t one, it’s easy to start one and make new friends.
If you don’t connect with fellow writers, you’ll likely fail because…
Reason Why Writers Fail #4: They Don't Have a Mentor
No matter what you’re looking to become successful at, you need a mentor.
Watch any YouTube video on the subject. You’ll see that many millionaires have mentors. Even many years after making it.
The key to success in anything is to find someone who’s done what you want to do, and model them.
And by model them, I mean replicate their actions and behaviors for success. Do as they do, and write as they write.
Two heads are better than one. And we all need someone to run our ideas by every now and then. That’s where a writing mentor can help.
No matter how unique your problem may be, you’re not the first person to experience it. By learning from someone who has overcome that same challenge before, you can overcome it too.
As writers, often when we ask our friends for help all we end with is bad or useless advice.
Ever tried talking about a writing issue with one of your friends? Only to have give you a blank stare with no idea what to say? Or offer some half-wit advice that doesn’t help you anyway?
Trust me, you’re not the only one.
Without a mentor or support group to rely on for help, you’ll be all alone in trying to reach your dreams.
When you start to have self-doubt after hitting a challenge you don’t know how to overcome, it’s easy to give up.
And that leads us to the next reason why writers fail…
Reason Why Writers Fail #5: No Discipline or Commitment
This is one of the biggest problems that affects people in all walks of life, not just writers. It’s a lack of discipline and commitment.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will the book you’re working on.
I’ve met plenty of aspiring writers who gave up on a book they were writing because thing became too hard. For one or all of the reasons I listed above, somewhere along the line they threw in the towel and gave up.
To succeed as a writer, you need perseverance. You need grit. You need a stick-to-it mentality. You have to keep writing until you type “the end.”
Sure, there are some shortcuts and secrets to help catapult your success to the next level. I intend to share as many as possible with you.
But I didn’t find those secrets out overnight. I spent years writing tons of drafts, reading dozens of books, and studying hundreds of movies.
If I had quit at any point along the way, I’d be just another writer that never made it. I don’t want that to happen to you.
I’m not going to lie, writing is hard.
But with a system for writing, support from peers and mentors, and discipline to see it through, you’ll gain confidence. And that belief in yourself will fuel your success.
So don’t give up. Don’t give in. There is a path to success. And you can take it. It can be yours.