#WW Writer Problems 1–5

22 Apr

#WW Writer Problems 1–5

If you’re on my Facebook, then you will be familiar with today’s content. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been sharing little cards that I make called Writer Problems. I only have a few out, but I decided that I wanted to share them on here too. So today was born, and hopefully, more days like today will follow. Basically, I’ll be sharing 5 cards at a time and explaining where the inspiration came from (because there are too many hilarious stories that go on behind the scenes of these), and I think many writers can probably relate to my writer problems.

Adding this information since I received an email requesting it: I highly encourage you all to share these photos if you want! Never be afraid to take anything from my website. In fact, I love it! But please give credit to one of my websites. If you want to use these photos, for instance, please don’t crop my website name out. Thank you!

Writer Problems #1

No matter how many times I press SAVE, I still think I’ll lose the entire document when I close it (even though I use a flash drive).


I’m currently working on…well…so many projects. Like most authors. But I have a problem. I’m a very neurotic person – very superstitious, very particular, and I have my rituals and my fears and they practically control my life. ::takes big breath:: So, one of my OCD issues is closing documents. I can’t. Whenever I am working on something – like a novel – I seriously struggle to close the twenty documents I have up at all. Even though I also save every five minutes, which is a problem in itself, I say a little prayer before I ever close anything. On top of that, I’ve been known to reopen everything after I close it just to check. And then I save it anything. And I might open it again. It’s exhausting.

Writer Problems #2

Eureka! I have a new idea! Now if I could only finish my other ten ideas… 


This goes back to my first problem. I never read one book at a time, and I never write one book at a time. I’m constantly working on different projects at the same time, so it isn’t rare for another project to sneak its way into my schedule. I’ve found that it’s both a blessing and a curse. My biggest issue is picking which novel to write next.

Writer Problems #3

Strangers catching you staring at them because they look like your characters.


Oh, goodness. On top of being neurotic, I’m always rather awkward, and one of those things that I tend to do (which often gets me in trouble) is staring at people. A lot. Even if people don’t look like my characters, I’ve found myself staring at someone that I WISH was one of my characters. You would think that I would get better at hiding my stalking eyes, but…I haven’t. I just stare. Creepily from my corner. Taking notes.

Writer Problems #4

Having nightmares about your novel during writing, editing, publishing, and after publication.


It’s sort of like having the classic dream of showing up at school in your underwear. It happens – even though you’re no longer in school – and I find it’s even more frustrating when you’re out of school and have dreams like that. I have dreams of never finishing novels that are already finished. I have dreams of being called the shittiest author of all time. (But I think Honest Trailers already gave that to someone…) I have dreams of characters never coming out and talking to me again. Ah! I could go on and on about all the dreams I have revolving around books, but my heartbeat is racing.

Writer Problems #5

Hearing a song that inspired a novel…and now all you want to do it WRITE.


This particular card had a funny backstory to it, but I first have to explain how I make these. Basically, I pay attention to my everyday life, and when something reminds me of a writer problem I have, I create these. So, I might not even be going through what is on the card, but I will be going through something similar. For instance, in this case, I was doing the dishes, accompanied by my handy iPod mini – it’s green – and I Follow Rivers by Lykke Li came on. For those of you who listened to the 8tracks soundtrack for Take Me Tomorrow, you will know that this song heavily influenced my writing time, so just hearing it, made me want to go work on that trilogy. I struggled to continue washing the dishes, and it reminded me of times I’ve been out in public at an event and heard a song like this, which made it difficult to even concentrate at all. Writing consumes you.

Have any of these writer problems affected you? Have any funny stories to accompany them? Share below! And let me know if you want me to continue these cards and stories in the future. If you like them, be sure to follow me on Facebook because that is where I share them first.


43 Responses to “#WW Writer Problems 1–5”

  1. The Opening Sentence April 22, 2015 at 4:00 am #

    Number 5 happened recently. Not a song, a whole album. And Down Goes the Sun by Canadian band Au4. I was already planning the third Toten Herzen novel and then heard this album. The idea it provoked was so strong that I might be writing two novels simultaneously this time next year.

    • Shannon A Thompson April 22, 2015 at 8:19 am #

      I think that’s amazing! Just the idea that one piece of art affects another – Wow! I could go on about that for days. I love finding music that correlates with the novel’s tone as I’m planning it out. Thank you for sharing your story about #5!

  2. The Story Reading Ape April 22, 2015 at 4:41 am #

    Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Ever had these problems? 😀

  3. Charles Yallowitz April 22, 2015 at 5:30 am #

    I have something similar to #1, but it’s shutting down the laptop. I’m always afraid it won’t turn on again like what happened a year ago. Any deviation from what it normally does makes me start to panic. #2 is basically the story of my life, which is why I do the ‘if I remember the idea after a few days then it gets jotted down’ tactic. I still have a collection of notebooks with stories concepts that I might never follow because I lost interest.

    Love Honest Trailers, but I’m always concerned about ‘worst book ever’. It seems to be a title that somebody always has to steal. For example, we had ‘Twilight’ and then ’50 Shades’ turned up. Maybe we should retire the official phrase before something truly terrifying is created. 🙂

    • Shannon A Thompson April 22, 2015 at 8:23 am #

      Haha thank you for sharing your stories with these writer problems! I agree about the “worst book ever” award, and Honest Trailers definitely still has a place on my YouTube subscribers list. I hate shutting my laptop down too. It’s so funny considering I always save everything on my outdrive and in an email, so that I won’t lose it anyway, but I once had my computer turn off in the middle of writing and lost the entire thing I wrote that day. Seemingly harmless to a non-writer. It was devastation for me.

      • Charles Yallowitz April 22, 2015 at 10:11 am #

        I also like watching ‘Everything Wrong With’ when I have the time. Though they’re usually pretty long.

        I do the same thing with saving on a drive, email, or something off the main computer. Though even those can fail at times. In college, (admitting old age here) I had my stuff on floppy disks. Left one in the computer lab and never found it again. Nothing is perfect, so I guess we just have to be careful.

  4. coldhandboyack April 22, 2015 at 6:22 am #

    I love these. Very creative.

  5. Oloriel April 22, 2015 at 7:03 am #

    I can totaly relate to the documents thing, especialy the opening after everything is saved. In all honesty, I think I do it about 5 times minimum.

    • Shannon A Thompson April 22, 2015 at 8:25 am #

      Haha yes! I think one of the best things about theses cards is how many writers I’m now meeting who do exactly what I do and more.

  6. barbaramonier April 22, 2015 at 7:31 am #

    Really nicely done, Shannon!

    • Shannon A Thompson April 22, 2015 at 8:25 am #

      Thank you! I’m glad you like them, and I appreciate your feedback. :]

  7. Sam April 22, 2015 at 7:39 am #

    I love Honest Trailers! Nice cross-reference. I have problems growing my fingernails out because I can’t type with long nails! It makes it look funny when I try to get a French manicure. Thanks for sharing!

    • Shannon A Thompson April 22, 2015 at 8:26 am #

      Honest Trailers cracks me up! Glad you like them too. I know what you mean about the nails too – although it only happened to me once during my aunt’s wedding. I never forgot how much more difficult it was to type. Back to stubby nails for me. :]

  8. Jonathan Vernon April 22, 2015 at 7:41 am #

    What fun! They could form a comic strip, or a comic show 🙂

    • Shannon A Thompson April 22, 2015 at 8:26 am #

      I’m really glad you like them! Thank you for your honest feedback. It truly helps!

  9. amreade April 22, 2015 at 8:15 am #

    With regard to #3, I advise mirrored sunglasses. You can stare all you want without creeping someone out. And don’t get me started on #1. Or #4. Yes, I think most of us can relate to at least some of these. I don’t have a problem with #5, though. Not yet, at least. 🙂

    • Shannon A Thompson April 22, 2015 at 8:28 am #

      Oh! Mirrored sunglasses. Awesome. They reminded me of these “spy” glasses I had as a kid. They had mirrors on the inside at the sides so I could look behind me (like a review mirror). They were so much fun. I’m glad you thought these cards were fun too. Thank you so much for your feedback and comment.

  10. RoboticRAven April 22, 2015 at 9:10 am #

    My version of # 1 – I will save every five minutes to my flash drive, documents, and a special documents folder. About once a month, I email the document to both of my email addresses, just in case. I also email it to a friend in case something happens with my accounts. About once a year, I make the font smaller on my entire document and print it out, which gives me about 250 pages front and back. That way, if it does get deleted, I at least have a relatively up-to-date version that I can use to retype the entire thing.

    • Shannon A Thompson April 22, 2015 at 9:12 am #

      Now that is a plan! Love it and I completely understand it too. 😀 Thank you for reading and sharing your story about #1.

  11. Let's CUT the Crap! April 22, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

    Number one resonates with me when my laptop began to act up and then OneDrive.
    Love your cards. All uniform and professional looking. Keep it up. 🙂

    • Shannon A Thompson April 23, 2015 at 11:34 am #

      I’m so glad you love the cards! I’ll definitely keep making them and sharing them along the way. :]

  12. brennquenn April 22, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

    Number 5. Dear lord. All the damn time.

  13. Tricia Drammeh, Author April 23, 2015 at 10:10 am #

    I have all these writer problems. Every. Single. One. I don’t have trouble closing documents, unless I’m at a very critical point in the manuscript. Then I don’t want to shut down my laptop at all. I’ve lost work before, so I’m a compulsive saver. I’ve got a flash drive and I also move files onto our desktop. Still, I’m afraid I’ll lose all my stuff. Just a little paranoid. 😉

    • Shannon A Thompson April 23, 2015 at 11:35 am #

      Oh, ESPECIALLY when it’s an important scene. A fantastic add! Thank you for reading and sharing your stories about writer problems.

  14. Mallee Stanley April 23, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

    Problems? These points are what keep us going

    • Shannon A Thompson April 23, 2015 at 7:43 pm #

      The title comes from #writerproblems – a popular hashtag that started inspired for me to share mine. And yes. 🙂 They do keep us going.

  15. JK April 24, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

    My answer to #1 OCD…
    1. Use the dropbox app on your computer. Keep your documents in dropbox. When you save it updates on the servers and any other computers you are linked to.
    2. Sign up for an automated backup service like CrashPlan. My files are backed up nightly to a remote secured backup with automated versioning based on update date.
    3. Periodically copy the document out to another folder with a version/date attached.

    I feel safe now 🙂

    • JK April 24, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

      PS, I am not suggesting you do one of these things. Do ALL of them!

      • Shannon A Thompson April 24, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

        I do love those suggestions! Funny thing is I already do most of them. I have OneDrive, and a MyBook, and I’m still a little paranoid. ;]

  16. theowllady April 24, 2015 at 6:50 pm #

    Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.

  17. aurorajeanalexander April 27, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

    Reblogged this on Writer's Treasure Chest and commented:
    A humorous list of writer problems, written by Shannona Thompson. Read it, I’m sure you will recognize the one or other situation… 🙂

  18. aurorajeanalexander April 27, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

    I just love this list and reblogged it.


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