Life isn’t a series of tidy little silos, with everything tucked away into their respective containers. It’s a messy, interconnected web of chain reactions, constantly shifting, changing, and growing. Writing spans all of it, especially when fictional characters are involved.
It’s so easy to say, problems with writing can be solved by practice and persistence, but reading and writing won’t always work. When they don’t, your writing problem may not be a writing problem. It may be a you problem.
In other words, you’re the protag in the middle of your novel, trying to take down the antag (IE become a better writer) without having vanquished your inner demons yet. You’re stuck in Act 2, and won’t get past it until you sort out what’s holding you back.
For me, that challenge is relationships, whether romantic, platonic, or familial. I’ve always been alone, have never had that one close friend I’ve known for years, and don’t trust anyone. Consequently, most of my characters lack the human interactions that makes them truly human. I don’t intentionally leave them out, I just forget about them.
Learning from films and novels will grant a very different understanding when compared to experience. Right now, my experience pushes me toward independent, self-sufficient characters who prefer isolation and question the motives of everyone they meet. This isn’t a bad thing until every character has such a personality.
I can’t go back in time to change my childhood and give me a life-long best friend, but that doesn’t mean I can’t start learning now. And who knows–maybe writing through this challenge will help me break my own social isolation.
What kind of deep-rooted challenges do you face, in writing, art, or anything else? Or have you already overcome it?