Wow Can Writers Make Excuses to Not Write…
Of course, those who have taken the Killing the Critical Voice workshop we offer every month know that if something you have made up in your head is keeping you from writing, that is critical voice winning.
Critical Voice has one job, and that is to stop you from writing.
Creative Voice is always positive.
Critical Voice is always negative.
So for some reason lately, I have been hearing some amazing excuses to not write.
Now granted, we all have health and family issues that stop the writing. Those are not excuses. Those are reality and we come back to writing when the world allows us to.
But let me give you some examples of these excuses.
One example a few years ago is that I got a letter from a writer back when I did the challenge to publish 70 major books in one year and I did that. The writer was quitting because there was no point in them writing because they would never be able to do what I did. They were comparing themselves as a beginning writer to me, a 40 plus year professional fiction writer and editor and known for being one of the most prolific in the world.
Yeah, that comparison stopped the writer cold. That’s why you should never compare yourself to any other writer for any reason. Period. Just be yourself and do your own thing.
Took me a bunch of emails to talk that writer off the ledge. (grin)
Another family of excuses I hear all the time is that I’m not selling many copies, making any money, so why bother writing?
Equating sales and money with enjoyment of writing means you are more than likely in the wrong art form. Or need to change your attitude. And the extension of this into writing to market and then not selling much is a killer.
So the writer has turned the writing into a “job” that isn’t fun and not working out by some imagined timeline the writer put on success, and so the writer stops writing.
There is not a week that goes by that I don’t hear that “Not Selling Enough” excuse and sadly nothing I can say to them. Writers who are stuck in that excuse have one hope and that is to just write for themselves and for fun and stop watching numbers, sales, reviews, or idiots who want you to promote.
And even more sad, most of the writers who use this excuse do not have the twenty books published under one name needed to even start discoverability.
Either bring the fun back in or stop. Pretty black and white in that excuse.
This excuse is always a stunner to me… The excuse I hear is that the writer hates rewriting so they are not writing new books anymore. That is Death by Rewriting Myth. Nothing I can say and I never really try. That rewriting myth is so, so deep in so many writers because they don’t understand why major writers say they rewrite when they really do not.
But here is a real capper today (that the smart writer has already worked their way through and is back writing). This excuse is, “I heard someone did 50 some books in one month using AI, so what is the point of writing my own work anymore?”
My response was that a monkey can type 50 books in a month, does not mean the books are any good at all or that anyone will read them.
Right now AI is a tool for writers to learn over time. It might help us like computers did, it might hurt many. Jury is out. But markets are slamming the doors on AI written stuff and killing accounts and blocking writers who use it too much in a story or book.
I heard five writers complain in the last two weeks that Amazon shut down their accounts and the writers were using AI. (Using a monkey would have been better in those cases. (grin))
I am sure a lot of things will change over the next few years as to notice requirements of what is AI and what is not. And we are not even talking copyright issues. Some idiot who doesn’t know copyright (all beginning writers) thinks they can sue because they think someone took their work and will soon discover they do not own the copyright to the work.
Or at the next stage, you have a fantasy series that you used AI on and you want to license it to a gaming company. Oops, the gaming company can just take the books and do the game without paying your because you do not own the rights to AI work. Too bad, so sad.
No matter what, AI will not have the human voice we all put into our work. If you are a beginning writer and think the words are all that matter, you have a long way to go. Those of use who understand real fiction writing and what readers want are not worried in the slightest about AI writing tools. And most of us will never bother to use them.
But to use AI as an excuse to not write??? Got a hunch if this one writer had that fear hit them, it is hitting a lot more.
Fiction writing is an art form. Computers can imitate or copy, but never create anywhere near an art form level.
(And if you expect me to put through in comments some argument about what AI can and can’t do, I won’t, because at the moment I flat don’t care. Take it to Twitter where no one cares either, but they will argue with you anyway.)