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3 Common Writing Mistakes (& How To Avoid Them!)

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

KWE Publishing Newsletter - 04/13/23

Unlike math problems, which often have definitive answers, there's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to writing issues, and a problem for one writer might not be for another.

That said, we've seen writers struggle in a few specific areas before—and we've been there, too! That's why we want to share some of the most common writing mistakes we see and how you can avoid them.

And while we can't promise that we'll be able to totally eliminate your writing woes (we're not miracle workers, after all!), we do think that you'll find some of our suggestions useful.

Problem # 1: Overthinking the first draft.

Your first draft is for getting rid of those blank pages, getting your ideas out on paper, and playing around with structure, flow, plot, character development, and themes. This can be kind of terrifying for a perfectionist.

The lack of structure can make you feel like you're not in control. Instead of writing, you might spend most of your time stuck in your head, and suddenly, a lot of time has passed and you're still looking at a blank page.

Solution: Write your first draft without restrictions.

Give yourself permission to use a first draft as a place to play. Don't be afraid to experiment with new methods or techniques, explore new ideas, and push yourself a little!

Remember, you're not submitting your first draft as your final manuscript. Just write what you think and feel; don't worry, there'll be plenty of time to revise and edit later on!

Problem # 2: Waiting for inspiration to hit.

It's hard to write when you don't feel motivated or inspired. Being in a "flow state," or a state when the words just pour out of you, is amazing. Unfortunately, you won't feel that way whenever it's time to start writing.

You might be tempted to just wait until you feel like writing. Maybe something will inspire you and you'll be able to start writing again...right?

Solution: Create a schedule and stick to it.

Even though writing is a passion for many of us, that doesn't mean we don't have to push ourselves sometimes, especially if we're writing a book. Having a schedule can help you stay consistent, even when you don't feel like it.

On days when you're really struggling to write, try to get something down on the page. Just the act of writing can sometimes give you the motivation you need to continue. And if you end up disliking what you wrote, that doesn't mean you have to keep it in your book.

The more you write, though, the better of a writer you'll become, so it's worth it to create a writing schedule and stick with it.

Problem # 3: You're worried about creating something "perfect."

It's easy to get caught up in making endless edits after you've gone through several rounds of revisions. After all, you want your book to be absolutely perfect.

Solution: Let go of the idea of perfection.

Nothing is ever 100% flawless. This can be a scary realization, especially when it comes to your book. After all, you want your book to be flawless, right?

The good news is that you're often your own harshest critic, so what you might perceive as an issue could be something others don't even notice. You want to make your book as amazing as it can possibly be, and that's something you should strive to do! However, know that you sometimes have to give yourself a deadline and finally step away from Google Docs or Microsoft Word and send your book off to be published.

If you're still not convinced, then consider this: if the author(s) of your favorite book never stopped editing and revising, you'd never have that book in your hands. Your book could be someone's future favorite, but they'll only get to see it once it's published!

These writing problems might feel like they're impossible to overcome sometimes, but you're definitely not alone!

Do you find yourself struggling with any of these writing issues? If so, you'll want to check out my forthcoming book, From Mess to Message! It launches May 11 but I've sharing it exclusively with you, faithful reader! Click here to get your copy now for .99...and read more about it below!

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