What Makes the Writing Life Hard?

What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer?

Leave your answer in the comments so we can all commiserate together.

(I like hearing how things are for those on the other side of the desk—hopefully it helps me take better care of my clients!)

Have a good weekend…

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  2. Christine says:

    Keeping the secret! I get so excited to tell the story of these characters in my head, but if I blurt it out of my mouth too soon, I loose the inspiration to put it on paper.

  3. Suzanne says:

    Living next to a Starbucks that is not open 24 hours a day makes life difficult for me.

  4. Jo Michaels says:

    Getting out of bed every day, looking in the mirror, and telling myself, “I CAN! KEEP GOING! Never give up, Jo! Someone will find you!”

  5. nuku says:

    As an unpubbed writer who has yet to experience the ‘horrible’ side of being edited, critiqued, and the whole lot that comes with being one of the ‘chosen’, can I say writer’s block?
    I’ve tried that thing where they say to write random for a few minutes and then the ideas will flow. Well somebody forgot to turn on the tap.
    I think the only thing that’s worked for me is seeing the encouraging words people write for others. I imagine the same being said to me, and I get the strength to carry on.
    Am I cheesy, or what?!

  6. D.C. Spell says:

    Not quitting. Quitting. Being edited. Trying to explain why I have to write.

  7. Nikole Hahn says:

    Pitching. I don’t do it well. That’s the most difficult aspect of writing.

  8. Natasha says:

    I would say the hardest part is not feeling supported. You pour your life into your work, you’re excited, hopeful and it’s almost like a baby to you. When no one wants to buy it, it’s a little bit depressing. I’m still hopeful because I know there’s a lot I have to push through to get there, but it’s like a slap in the face. I would love to help support new writers like me! Is there a website for that?

    • Jo Michaels says:

      There should be. You just parroted my thoughts exactly. Luckily, I have a VERY supportive boyfriend who pushes me DAILY to succeed. It is difficult to believe in yourself when no one else seems to. I know a few other authors like you… But, chin up and keep going!!! If you believe in yourself hard enough, someone else will have an easier time believing in you 🙂

  9. MJ says:

    Unfortunately, I produce my best writing when I’m under pressure. The adrenaline rush keeps the ideas flooding into me.

    I need to channel the energy that I get when I’m working on a deadline into my daily writing life.

  10. Ellen Halter says:

    The hardest thing about writing is having to think of new tricks and worrying that some day I’m going to run out of them.

    Of course, I always worried about thinking up meals & somehow I’ve always managed to come up w something.

  11. For me at the moment – learning the balance and time management between the pesky day job and the writing. I’d sit at the writing desk all day if I could but unfortunately still need to bring in a paycheck 🙂

    • Natasha says:

      I feel the same way! I write on my lunch at work and I feel like I’m tearing myself away from my computer. I write best on my lunch though, maybe because I look so forward to that precious hour of writing. I have a hard time when I’m home with all the the duties staring me in the face.

      • I hear you! I work remote, though, so I am always in my home office. I have a desk for writing and a separate desk for the office – but the tempatation is always there :)Ugh!

  12. What a great post! Extending the analogy, reading would be like a trip to Battersea Dogs Home, where you might see something that you like enough to take on board…

  13. I agree with James R. Tucker.

    The writing life isn’t that hard at all when compared with other occcupations.

    Keep in mind that I failed English three times when I was working on my Engineering degree and I have still managed to make a great living from writing for over twenty years. And by working only three or four hours a day, sometimes one or two.

    In fact, the writing life is a great life. It provides me a lot more freedom than most any other occupation can.

    Ernie J. Zelinski

    Best-Selling Author, Innovator, and Prosperity Life Coach

    Author of the Bestseller “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free” (Over 150,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)

    and the International Bestseller “The Joy of Not Working’ (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

  14. nuku says:

    The waiting is hard. Not waiting for a publisher or agent to respond with their critique, but waiting for the words to write. This usually happened when I reach the end of a book and want a good jump off point, or when I am writing the last book. I’m currently stuck on the last book in my series of 7, and it’s been a long time waiting for the writer’s block to clear.

    I breezed through the first 4 books in a few months, numbers five and six took a little more time. But seven is trying to drag me down. My inner editor makes me want to scream. “You need to end this right. Make people cry for more. Don’t end sappy, cruel, or lame. And don’t even think about a cliff hanger, it’s the last of the series for crying out loud!”

    Then my logical side kicks in. “Why are you writing this if you don’t even have an agent or publisher? Why bother?”

    Because I LOVE to write! I have several notebooks scattered around bursting with story ideas I’m eagerly waiting to write!

    I don’t care about money or fame, I just want to share my stories with people.

    So, yeah, waiting is the hardest part. But faith makes it easier.

  15. Beryl says:

    When I forget that writing is a gift and think it’s all up to me.

  16. I love writing. I do. And I don’t find anything particularly hard about it.

    Yes, my back hurts after 6-9 hours in front of the computer.

    Yes, my eyes burn at the end of a long day of writing.

    Yes, the rejection sucks.

    Yes, deadlines make you want to pull your eyeballs out.

    Yes, the monetary difference between the bestsellers and the rest of us feels like cruelty.

    But at the end of the day….

    It’s better than digging ditches.

    I mean I know people who have to actually work for their living. Construction workers, compliance officers, hell, I know a guy whose job it is to stand in vats of sewage to his chest with a brush on a stick that uses to keep the filter and drain open at the bottom of the vat.

    Yeah, writing isn’t hard at all. 🙂

  17. Julie says:

    Summoning the self-confidence to keep writing, consistently.

  18. Glenn says:

    An earlier post referred to an article written by Garrison Keillor where he pontificates on how writers like to whine.

    The multitude of comments here would suggest (to me) that Garry has missed the mark. And a perusal of a previous blogpost will show that most folks here are not pretentious professors who harrumph, but are hard-working folks who often take on the task of writing after spending all day teaching classrooms full of kids, driving trucks, serving breakfasts, fixing cars, or whatever.

    And I don’t believe we all go about whining about the 14 drafts we had to go through – we only mention it in this blog because we were asked.

    I don’t know who Keillor has been hanging out with but I know that verbal diarrhea is easy to write – anyone can spit up. The hard part is making it look like a souffle.

  19. What makes the writing life hard for me is fighting the spiritual battle in my mind that often comes when writing and sharing faith-based material. May all the writers responding to this post have a wonderfully blessed weekend! Thanks Rachelle!

  20. Writing, pouring yourself out on that page every day, is life draining work. But beyond that the most difficult thing about being a writer is, “life”; friends, family, the world, and the press of time. Life continues around you, making demands, while you’re caught up in another world. Writers must often be reclusive, lonely people, not, altogether, social creatures.

  21. umm.tamadur says:

    The nagging feeling that is always present, that something, somewhere, is not right enough. Be it the way you express a particular thought in your writing,the direction your plot is going, or the peculiar taste in the tea your having.

  22. Graeme Ing says:

    Bearing your soul to the world. Taking your inner fantasies and creations that you’ve lived with for years and unleashing them upon the world. Too much emotional energy goes into a book and it can be dinged by a single bad review. Maybe mine is a particularly fragile ego.

    That said, I’ll brave it all to bring enjoyment to just one reader.

  23. The endless rounds of editing and revising, not to mention getting your beta readers to respond with more than a it’s great or sucks remark.

  24. Marti says:

    Getting a 39 and a 59 on two out of three of the Genesis contest evaluations. Wonder if I’ve got what it takes to make it.

    • Hang in there, Marti. I’m sure that must feel discouraging. Give it a few days, then try again. Hopefully they gave you some helpful comments that point you toward specific things you can work on.

      Here’s the thing: at least you submitted. At least you had something to submit. That’s something hopefully you can feel good about.

    • Nichole says:

      Marti,

      I feel your pain. I didn’t expect to get sparkling results on the Genesis submission, but I wanted to do better than I did. My confidence has been shaken and I’m now picking up the pieces. I’ll get them all put back in place and continue working, but I now realize just how fierce the competition is and how much I need to grow in my craft. May we all take the criticism constructively and be grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow.

  25. Amy Keeley says:

    Knowing that if I really put as much effort into my writing as I want, I’ll lose everything else I’ve built in my life, burn out, and end up drunk in a ditch, never wanting to see another blank page again.

    Or something like that. ;p

    Seriously, the worst part is editing. If I do it right, it’s also when the story really comes alive. For me, anyway. Makes no sense, but it’s true.

  26. Reba says:

    I have to say the self-marketing and self-promotions. Getting out there and getting those new readers, while keeping all the former readers. That’s hard.

  27. Reba says:

    I agree, uncertainty, it’s a bummer.

  28. Heather says:

    at this point, framing my writing life around my architect life, which is more than 8 hours a day most of the year.

  29. Working a day job to pay the bills. though I like my job, it takes up so much of my time. Then I come home and catch up on social media and try to get some work done.
    It’s like working 2 full time jobs. I have no life, I’m perpetually exhausted, and I know I’m not progressing very quickly. Evenings aren’t my best time, but that’s the only time I have. Obviously, I haven’t got my novel published … yet.
    I try to keep a positive attitude though. I love writing! It’s not just my calling, but my spiritual practice and my therapist 🙂
    Thanks for the opportunity to rant. It feels so self indulgent, a delicious bit of chocolate. Hmmm … Gotta go get some. Brain food 🙂

  30. Peter DeHaan says:

    Like many others, it is balance and time.

    Though I do have time to write every day, I wish I had more time to write. But keeping life in a good balance means that I need to spend time doing non-writing activities.

  31. Maureen says:

    Get myself out of the way, and start. Just Start Writing.

  32. Norma says:

    Doubt !!!

  33. Otin says:

    What makes it hard for me is that I put all the work into a story and then it’s eventually judged on a one paged query letter. How many times have we seen a trailer for a movie and thought, “Eh, doesn’t seem that interesting,” only to find out later that the movie was amazing.

    I’d definitely say the query letter is the worst part.

  34. Jude Bown says:

    Balancing brain space and energy for creativity and the business of writing.

  35. Amanda says:

    Its funny, many of these posts center around acceptance or rejection, about time and loving what you do. Aren’t these the bench marks of anything we do that is creative?

    I had a professor in college who taught painting. He had crazy wiry blond hair and always had paint smudges on his clothes and face. He called his much younger wife ‘love.’ Anyway, he started every semester by saying, “Brian surgery is easy. Working in math or science or being the CEO of a company, those are all easy. There is a right answer and a wrong answer. You do a good job or a bad job and everyone agrees on the results. Being a painter (or in our case, a writer) is HARD!”

    I guess I think of that when ever I get discouraged and then I smile.

  36. Right now? Trying to keep track of all that is going on before my book releases.

    Erica Vetsch described it so wonderfully when she said it’s akin to being pecked to death by chickens….only it’s fun.

    Just a lot of little things to keep track of!

  37. Remembering why I started – on the days I want to stop.

  38. Eric says:

    Personally I find the not writing part of my life difficult. I have all of these stories all clamoring to be told but I have to, in some way, work on one project at a time. So the times that I’m not writing because I’m dealing with the other aspects of my life (my family and job)I feel guilty that I’m not at the keyboard.

  39. Patrick says:

    Hardest thing about being a writer? Finding the time to keep a consistent writing schedule around my full-time job keeping up my place, Grandkids, animals, and first and foremost, keeping my marriage working.

  40. John Stipa says:

    That the list is long should tell me something, but here’s 3…

    – isolation
    – subjectivity
    – getting great reviews but the inability to gain wider awareness

  41. Tina says:

    Taking time away from my children in order to write, without feeling guilty about it. That is by far the toughest part. Rejections don’t often keep me up at night, but wondering if I should have spent more time with my boys that day does. More and more often I find myself sacrificing sleep to write, and then I’m a less patient mom the next day. It’s extremely tough to balance.

  42. Walt Mussell says:

    Realizing that no matter how much historical research I do, there will be mistakes in my manuscript that I miss in my edits.

  43. Nancy says:

    1) The pressure to succeed. People saying “you need to write a book” over and over has actually made me fear that I’ll be the tone deaf kid whose mom tells everyone she’s the next Celine Dion.

    2) Finding people for a writing group who are actually serious, talented, and not psycho. (THAT’s a story for a book!)

  44. marion says:

    “Down time.” Those times when you’re not working, you can’t work. You beat yourself over the head. You rail against writers’ block.
    All that time, your subconscious mind is hard at work, figuring it all out.

    I was talking to a theoretical physicist recently. He’s a Ph.D. candidate. He spends hours thinking, or “not working”. It’s how he gets his ideas–and it’s what he’s expected to do.
    In a retail store, customers look at you funny as you stand there, surveying your section, trying to visualize it with new eyes, to see a better way to display the merchandise. Why aren’t you working, when you’re getting paid?!

    I think this is one reason why writers aren’t respected, and why we don’t respect ourselves–because we spend so much time “not working”, “doing nothing”. And that’s hard work!

  45. Christie says:

    Finding the time, the subjectivity of approval and acceptance, and staying true to yourself while seeking to gain readership and hone your skills.

  46. Jeanette says:

    What I recently learned from a friend is that I’m trying to hard to think of what to put/write/change.

    She said to stare off into a corner of a room and clear your mind. Not meditate, but think of nothing(hard to do). Then when you re-read a section your working on, you’ll have a clear mind and hopefully you’ll see where it needs to be fixed and run more smoothly. I think it’s time for me to give it a try. : ) Happy Friday all.

    • Amanda says:

      thinking of nothing at all IS meditation! People strive for years to attain a meditation practice where they can achieve complete thoughtlessness. It is a wonderful place to start anything! 🙂

  47. Jill Kemerer says:

    Wow. So many comments–and I nodded at them all.

    For me it’s trusting in God’s plan.

    I know He has my publication future all mapped out, but I struggle to trust it really WILL all turn out. And then I wonder, when?

    But I realize it doesn’t matter. This is part of my life. Writing, waiting, yearning, living–it’s what makes up my days. Publication won’t change that. I’ll still be writing, waiting, yearning, living.

  48. Dead Air

    I can handle rejection, I can handle horrible critiques. The hardest part is not hearing anything useful.

  49. The fact that very few of my family or friends see me as an author…and even fewer visit or comment on my blog. That is difficult for me. I was hoping for more encouragement, but, knowing it’s what God wants for me right now is enough!
    MakingTheWriteConnections

  50. Ha! Right before I started my work today, I posted on Facebook: I decided I like the *idea* of writing more than the actual act of writing. So there you go…

  51. Voni Harris says:

    Life: Our family, though very strong in Christ, is going through a TOUGH time. When I sit down to write, it seems like I’m dabbling, playing, when I have real-life crisis going on around me.

  52. 1. Waiting. Need I say more?

    2. Knowing in my bones that my books have a market, but being told by every publisher they don’t know where to put them on the shelf.

  53. Just getting brave enough to share something I’ve written or to write a reply to a blog such as this that I’ve read for awhile, but feel too much of a fledgling to enter.

    Making myself start writing when work, family, lack of confidence—all easy excuses not to just do it.

    Telling myself that I’ve done all I can; it is time to send off some queries and face the music. . .and everything that has been written already!

  54. Lisa Jordan says:

    Juggling the day job with a writing career and trying to find balance in writing, marketing and social media.

  55. David Todd says:

    It’s a toss-up between:

    Difficulty in maintaining a community

    Not having a close family member who cares

  56. Cortez Law III says:

    Trying to break new ground with an otherwise successful genre(s)of stories amidsts a narrow market niche.

    Receiving an email within days after submitting a query letter knowing a quarter well, half well, three quarters well and full well, that’s another rejection letter.

    Gimme another hit of the communion grape juice now!

  57. Knowing whose criticism to heed and whose to weed out.

  58. Jennifer Major says:

    Holy frijoles Rachelle, this is as busy as your St Patrick’s Japanese Haiku-a-thon!!

    And just as informative.

  59. Jennifer Major says:

    The first thing was admitting that *I AM* a writer. Realizing that validation doesn’t come from a 5 book deal and a my own personal font.

    I sing, but my ability to sing doesn’t hinge on a sold out night at Carnegie Hall with Adele as my opening act. I am a singer, because I sing. I take care of my voice before a performance, I practice drills until I go insane from “la la la”. Then when it comes time to use my voice, I am ready and willing. (And nervous!) The highest compliment for a choral performer is “stand behind me, you’ve got this, I don’t”.

    The same goes with being a writer. I practice, I work at it, I ask for helpful critiques, I want to know how to improve and ball park a phrase so that people want to read it over and over again. One of the highest compliments for a writer is “are you going to write more?”.

    I know somewhere down the line, perfect strangers will read my work.

    It’s the imperfect ones who reject it that make my life difficult.

  60. Procrastination.

    When you get stuck, anything is better than working and I always have a nice variety of excuses to choose from including ‘it’s research’ or ‘I’m waiting for an important email’ or ‘I must just take this phone call’ or ‘a cup of tea would be lovely to keep hydrated’ or it’s important to have a break and get up from my desk’ right through to ‘I can’t get started if the office is a mess’.

  61. Jill Lefforge says:

    Fear.

  62. Kristen says:

    I’ve probably spent to much time reading about economics, because the phrase that comes to mind is “the inefficiency of the markets.”

    The process of finding an agent takes ages, then for the agent to find a publisher takes ages more, and then getting the work to the appropriate readers not only takes ages but seems impossible because of the sheer volume of books available.

    It’s crazy and chaotic, and my inner economist just thinks there ought to be a more organized and orderly way to do this.

  63. I can deal with hacking out time to write. I can deal with rewrite after rewrite after rewrite (that is, after all, how we improve). I can deal with occasional writer’s block and frustration. I can even deal with rejection. (It’s only one person’s opinion about one piece of writing, after all.) What drives me nuts is having a finished product that I know is good…and still not being able to find a market for it. (Once an editor wrote, “Good story. Unfortunately, we just purchased one on the same topic.” Aargh! Another wrote, “This is better than 95% of what I see, but I don’t know how to market it.” Double Aargh!!)

  64. CG Blake says:

    Great question, Rachelle, and you’ve clearly tapped into a lot of excellent feedback here. For me, the most frustrating thing is getting through that first draft. You want it to be perfect, but you hvae to realize at this early point you are in the process of discovering what your story is. This is where writer’s block comes into play. You hit a dead-end and you just stop. You can’t move forward and you don’t know what to do. This is where you have to take a step back from your work, and then maybe try something new, or several things, and see what works for you. Though a lot of frustrations have been expressed here, writing is a rewarding and fulfilling calling.

  65. Anna Labno says:

    1. Finding time to write
    2. Sorting through folder of notes

  66. Oh, where to begin. Keeping track of all the necessary rules and techniques that make your writing better. Giving your “baby” to someone whose job (as critiquer or editor) is to slice it up. Looking at your wounded child after you willingly gave it over for slaughter. Tending to all its wounds. Okay, I’ll get off the baby metaphor. Managing the balance between growing a platform and shameless plugging. … But worth it!

  67. It’s hard for me to prioritize my writing when being a SAHM/Homeschooler with 2 young daughters…and currently a deployed husband! Yes, prioritizing is the most difficult for me…and plotting! haha 😉

  68. For me, it’s a combination of things: 1. Geurrilla writing and 2. Isolation.

    I’m a high school teacher who gets paid a stipend because it’s my first year at a school (a.k.a. I have to pay for my own health insurance and get paid significantly less for the classes I teach) and also has five part-time jobs in order to pay for student loans and other such things. I have to use any spare time (it can literally be five minutes) in order to write or edit. If I want longer time, this means that I have to give up my one night a week that I set aside to spend with my friends. So, I’m either isolated or scrambling with very little ability to balance. Luckily, next year this will change when I have regular full-time at my school and will be able to let go of the other jobs. I am looking forward to balance. 🙂

  69. For me, it’s the balancing act/time management issue. I am trying to get a handle on how much time I should devote to marketing published works, finishing my current novel, entering short fiction contests, blogging, maintaining social networking sites (a subset of marketing, I suppose), reading the work of other authors, oh- and being a wife and stay-at-home mom. I feel like I do 800 jobs, but none to my satisfaction!

  70. Writing consistently.

  71. Ann Bracken says:

    1. My boss – doesn’t he know he’s interrrupting a conversation between the characters in my head?

    2. My family – do they need to eat EVERY day?

    3. Church work – isn’t it enough I wrote the lonely widow into the scene, do I need to visit her too?

    4. Civic duties – Those teenagers don’t really need supervision during their social activity, do they?

    5. Social Media – hmm, maybe that’s where I should write my book.

    6. Friends – I’m sure I used to have some…

    7. Rejection – but, but, but, I’m wonderful! Oh, yeah, I guess that should be revised.

    8. Books – must read the precious.

    The most difficult thing is balancing all my blessings, including the love of writing.

  72. Gayle Swift says:

    The most difficult thing for me is to resist editing while I’m in “download” the first draft mode. Intellectually I know it makes no sense to polish a section that might be the first casualty or Revision # 1. Nonetheless,I find myselft constantly tempted to indulge in polishing instead of plowing ahead with 100% commitment to capturing draft 1.
    Here’s another true confefssion: Periodically, I like to eat dessert first.

  73. The hardest thing is the insecurity, the yo-yo feelings that come with writing. One day you love what you wrote, and then three days later you’re embarrassed you told your dog that you wanted to write.

    And even though the emotions often don’t make sense, they don’t leave. Just this week I was blessed to be a Genesis semi-finalist but with that accomplishment comes doubt that I can go any farther and belief that I’m no good. The more you learn in this business, the more you realize you don’t know, and it messes with you.

  74. Nancy Graves says:

    Let’s just say I’m not a strong “juggler”. Although I LOVE writing (more than anything) and I’m even OK with rejection and the time frame realities of publishing, honestly, the hardest part is keeping the writing ball moving in the midst of everday “necessities”. In short, time management. If I had my druthers, for the most part, it’s the only ball I’d be holding! : )

  75. Getting my kids not to interrupt every ten seconds!!!

  76. Van Vasko says:

    My biggest struggle is finding quiet that lasts long enough to get the work done. I don’t live alone and those I live with don’t respect my need for quiet. Writing (my first and so far only) manuscript was fairly easy because it just came out of me, but the editing process is much more involved (for me) and requires more solitude and reflection. Besides that I have no idea if I am on the right track with my writing; it’s so hard to be objective… and developing a platform, finding something to say and being consistent.

  77. Sundi Jo says:

    Disciplining myself to do it.

  78. Melanie says:

    Not knowing if my book idea is good/bad/boring/appealing… until I spend tons of time on a proposal. 🙁

  79. Megan B. says:

    Something I forgot to mention in my comment… My stories are my babies, and I want what’s best for them. I want to see them published, but in the right place. I want them to be appreciated.

  80. Ti says:

    Folks that have no idea what I’m doing, assuming that sitting at my computer means I’m doing nothing much.

  81. Folks who call during the day and say, “This will just take a minute. Promise.” And it doesn’t, of course.

    And then there’s this gem: “Good thing writers don’t have to go to a real job.”

    MmmmHmmm. 🙂

  82. Megan B. says:

    From the perspective someone working on short fiction…

    Finding the right publication for the right story is tough. I’ve got stories that I love and want to share, but it’s a challenge finding the right place to submit them. Most publications have their own tastes, and there are so many of them. They say “read an issue to get a feel for what we like,” but if that means buying an issue, it’s not realistic to do this with all of them. And online journals seem rather hit or miss in terms of quality, which brings me to my next point…

    It can be hard to judge whether a publication is worthwhile. I want to get my work out there, but if no one will see it, is it worth it? I am torn between wanting to get my stories into pubs that people have actually heard of, and knowing that those more prestigious journals are very tough to break into. Having only been published once, I am still a beginner and should probably be trying to get my foot in the door, as it were. So which pubs are the right ones for me to submit to? I struggle with that, and I know that no one can give me the answer. I have to just keep researching venues and, to a certain extent, crossing my fingers.

    That is what I currently consider hardest about being a writer.

  83. sandra gardner says:

    it’s opening that vein, day after day …..

  84. Plenty of volunteer publications, but no acceptances for a paid piece – after ten years of writing and submitting.

  85. Susie Haught says:

    Finding time to sleep. And one must sleep to escape rejection. And one must escape to stay sane. And one must stay sane to write, and one must write to stay sane-vicious cycle of loneliness, fear, time, distractions, self-doubt…but when that one sentence arrives on the page that you have no idea where it came from and by God, it’s GOOD…makes all the frustration worthwhile. Or at least that’s what the little voices in my head tell me!

  86. Jill says:

    Waiting. And waiting. And waiting some more. Now I’m getting older, now I’m getting older, now I’m older, still. 😉

  87. Sandy Nadeau says:

    I originally learned about writing over 20 years ago. now I have the time and all the rules changed. Now one has to fit in the right mold for the right subjective opinion of what you love to do. It’s much harder now to keep up with POV, staying in POV viewpoint, get crits (which are also subjective), do your proposal right, oh but this person wants it this way, One sheets (subjective), platform, no one cares about unpublished writers….then after all that work, rejected anyway. yep, needed to vent today.

  88. 1. For me, it is truly balance. I could write 24/7 if I locked myself in a room with no other distractions/responsibilities/loved ones to consider. Not being a hermit, I must find balance.

    2. Then there is the marketing/promotion aspect. I find it challenging to call attention to my books without feeling like a braggart, pompous or pushy. I find it so easy and enjoyable to promote other authors and their works as opposed to my own!

    Conversely, I am so humbled by the emails I receive that consistently repeat, “I loved your book(s). I can’t wait for the next one!” This propels me into continuing to create. Will be writing as long as there are even a handful of folks who genuinely love my work. Driven by the fact that my writing has the potential to benefit and inspire. Blessed to be writing!

  89. Janet Smart says:

    The hardest part about writing is getting a publisher to really look at what you have written and actually getting paid for writing.

  90. Jillian Kent says:

    Writing a POWERFUL story that will keep readers coming back for more.

    Making each successive story better than the last.

    Dealing with what I call, “Not good enough syndrome,” which is self-imposed and leads to fear.

    Finding a way to get the right amount of time to write the powerful story that will be done by deadline. Is that one book a year? Two?

  91. Elizabeth Kitchens says:

    That is takes a lot more time than expected, a lot more work than expected, and a lot more criticism than wanted to get published.

  92. The hardest thing for me right now is being stuck in the mulberry bush dance:

    I’m trying to improve my platform. I have to have a strategic enough platform (large) to justify a publisher approving my book, but in order to expand my platform I need to be promoting a book. Arg!

    So the vindication in it all…just write. Write what I love and love what I write; I’ll never regret that! 🙂

  93. Doug says:

    The trying to improve kills me. It is so easy to just move straight ahead without taking into consideration that didn’t work last time.

  94. Right now I struggle with isolation.

    And I still fear my platform is too small. (Fear of rejection)

    Also I find it tedious to search for places to write for (periodicals, websites), then write a query and wait for weeks or months for that yes or no.

    Maybe this is why I keep blogging after 7 years. 🙂 I put words out there and find satisfaction knowing I encouraged others.

    (PS I enjoyed reading the comments. Now back to work..)

  95. Balancing writing, family, and my full-time job. Also, the insecurities it brings.

  96. Hey everyone I posted my reply before reading all of your responses and see I am not alone! Some wonderful brilliance in this group. Many gems to chew on today. Great question Rachelle and thank you to all of you.

  97. Melissa Tagg says:

    Serious answer: Juggling! Juggling time between my day job and my dream job. And also juggling emotions.

    Slightly-less-serious answer: Fighting the very real danger that is writer’s squish. i.e. the physical symptoms of a dream which has me sitting more often than not. 🙂

  98. Trying to figure out “the best” route to go – traditional, self, POD, e- [which platform(s)], print, or combinations thereof, etc., and which of many providers is “the best” to go with.

    I know nothing is really “the best,” depending on each circumstance, but still, decisions have to be made. That’s hard.

  99. I was a ‘hobby-writer’ with a far-off, maybe someday dream of publication, for many years as a stay-at-home mom and filled notebooks upon notebooks. It wasn’t until I decided to call myself an author and pursue that ‘for real’ that it became a problem. Suddenly I find myself struggling to make myself work on my book. SO I guess self-discipline is the hardest. Of course, since beginning to take this seriously we have also added the newly necessary pieces of the author-to-be puzzle such as blogging and twittering, etc, to the ‘to-do’ list so that could be part of it too.

  100. I am in the very early stages of my “other writing career”. I’ve written for years for corporates and causes. My work’s always been really well-received so I figured moving more toward my passion for story writing would be easy. It isn’t and your post today has struck a chord because just this week the words “This is really hard” have been floating around in my head. For me it’s really two things (and I haven’t even started to try and get published!) … It’s first, finding the time to focus on my writing in peace and inspiration. My writing mentor, author Jake MacDonald says you have to write every day. For me that’s impossible so I tend to blitz and I think the work shows. The second challenge I’m having is really finding the story. I have lots of ideas floating about in my head space but I am frankly very surprised at how much difficulty I’m having actually telling or creating the story that will resonate with readers. When I actually get focused on writing the words, they’re good, but weaving them into a marketable story is a real challenge.

  101. Avery Lindon says:

    The nagging voice that won’t let you settle for “good enough” and pushes you for “perfect.” Characters with their own opinions who won’t let you put them in the box you’ve so lovingly defined.

    In other words, first drafts.

    • I love first drafts. That’s when you get to let it all hang out. No limitation on the creativity. No need to dig for just the right word. If the word or phrase doesn’t pop into my head I make a not to come up with something cool and move on. Revising the first draft takes some wrangling, but I LOVE writing the first draft – best part of the experience (of course I say that now. I may change my mind when I actually get published)

  102. Jan Britland says:

    Wow, by the time you read this, you will know everything that is hard about writing. Since my stories run like movies in my head as I am writing, sometimes it is hard for me to wait for the next movie to start! For me that is the hardest part. Other than that,
    I think writing is the most rewarding profession you can do. Not only do you get to create everyday.. people pay you for your creation.
    Forget the rejection, it’s just someone else’s oppinion. If it comes from your heart just do it. You will know when it is right.

  103. Cathy says:

    Time, when you have small children who are still home with you 24/7.

    Also, lately…having a place to write (see small children, above.) I’ve tried three of our local libraries, and they are all so noisy that I’m left baffled, as to why.

    Researching and writing a historical memoir about events that happened 100 years ago? More fun than a human should have. Trying to do it in 15 hours a week, in noisy libraries? Exasperating.

  104. Fiona Valpy says:

    It’s not the writing! It’s getting people to read what you’ve written. Promotion is the difficult and time-consuming part.

    Speaking of which, here’s my novel in case it’s of interest… a light-hearted romance set against the backdrop of the French wine industry:

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Fiona+Valpy

  105. Wayne Stiles says:

    For me, it’s the balance between pushing through the first draft without editing it and knowing when the editing is done to publish the monster. Then you get your book back from the publisher . . . and find a typo. Typos remind me that writers too are jars of clay.

  106. My wife.

    Every time I write a romance, she thinks I’m going to leave her for the female character.

    First I was leaving her for a black woman, then a Jewish girl, and now a Muslim woman.

    I’m seriously considering writing a robot erotica 😛

  107. Alise says:

    For me it’s balancing the need to get out and do stuff to have something to write about, and then finding the time to write about it. I get that screwed up regularly.

  108. Lack of money – that is lack of food and money to pay the essential bills.

  109. One of the comments I noticed was “rejection”. I am learning (slowly) that I need to select the people who read (critic) my work. I’m not talking about my Mother, but it needs to be someone who likes (loves) the genre I write. In other words, I wouldn’t ask someone who is enamored with historical romance to read my mysteries. I’ve also learned not to take to their words to heart. They are critiquing my work, not me.
    The most difficult part of writing, for me, is edits….ughhhh….

  110. Jo says:

    OMW, Adam, how about writers thinking alike? See my reply to Jennifer about how I take photos from the back of the bike when we tour South Africa, the country of our birth. I’ve also been doing this in Africa, although it’s a bit more difficult; often third-world nations are very superstitious about you taking their photos so I have to be a lot more circumspect. In West Africa and later in the Sudan, (North Africa) – both primarily Muslim – where we lived for seven and two years respectively prior to our stint in Kenya, public photography was a serious offence.

    As you can see, we have lived all over Africa and this is what I to write about.

    Thanks again for your comment and encouragement.

  111. Isolation is hard and the tedious day after day after day. One of the worst right now, for me, is the constant writing and then reading back over what I’ve written knowing it isn’t “right”.
    But there, for me, is where God’s call comes in. Without knowing that He called me to write this piece, there is no way I’d endure day after day.

  112. Lori Potter says:

    So far, it’s getting through those blank patches when I still have 1000-1500 words to write for one of your sample chapters but I suddenly become stricken with a wicked case of writers block for like, 2-4 weeks! Then, of course, I start to doubt my ability to write all the chapters once the commitment is on…

  113. Sarah Thomas says:

    The temptation to compare myself to others. And it’s a double-edged sword–not good when comparision makes me feel inferior and not good when it makes me feel superior. Yuck.

  114. Jeanne T says:

    So many of the points mentioned above resonate with me. Lately, it’s been the mind games. Will my story be one people want to read? Will I be able to make the characters likeable? Can I do this well? Not putting too much pressure on myself to make my writing perfect in the first draft. Perfectionism has no place in crafting my story, otherwise, I’ll never finish writing it. Seeking to do my best is my aspiration.

  115. Josh C. says:

    Self Doubt. Sometimes I wonder if all the time I spend writing is wasted and could be put to better use.

  116. I could say marketing/promo but really, I don’t have to do that-not really, in the big scheme of life. But since I will always write, no matter the end result – the sacrifices I’ve made in time away from family and friends (even if it’s just my distracted thoughts) sometimes gives me pause.

  117. Wow…so I guess I’m coming from a different perspective. When I read the question I immediately remembered a column addressing the question, written a few years ago by Garrison Keilor. Garry said it better than I would hack out halfway through my first cup of coffee…here’s the link:

    http://www.salon.com/2006/05/03/keillor_39/

  118. Marielena says:

    Ditto to all the above … and why do we do this? From an upcoming blog post:

    “Everyone says they want to write a book. But few do. Fewer still can write a really good book. We strive to do that. It may take years to create a story that will be sold, read and savored. Or to write a story that may never see print. Some ask why? Why go through all this for so little?

    Ah. But it is not so little. It is everything. Writing is our gift. It is our blessing to others and our intimate connection with them. We would have it no other way.”

  119. Joe Pote says:

    I think the hardest part of writing is the transparency of it all.

    When I write, whether a book or a blog post, it’s not just words. I’m putting my thoughts, ideas, perspectives…part of who I am…out there for everyone to read.

    Then…when someone clearly does not get my point…or responds harshly, I expect myself to not take it personally.

    That’s tough to do…being transparent while not taking it personal…

  120. gabe says:

    Without a doubt – it’s doubt.

  121. Right now as I learn to navigate the waters of social media and self-promotion, time is the greatest challenge. The writing often gets put to the last unless I just do a sweep across the desk and say enough is enough. I had to do that yesterday. And I did what writers are supposed to do: I wrote.

  122. The hardest part about being a writer for me is remembering to keep my focus on being a writer. Giving myself over to the process the comes with writing is wonderful. It’s the self-importance that sneaks in when I start believing that others should understand that I am as awesome as I think. LOL

  123. BK Jackson says:

    Losing most of the productive hours of your life to your day job and trying to scrape together what bits of energy you have left afterward (which are further diced up by all the OTHER things you have to cram into those few hours) to create great stories.

  124. Love the honesty!

    Aside from the obvious, the waiting and things often being out of your control, I’d have to say how easy it is as a writer to lose perspective. (Those times are hardest for me.) Though people can lose perspective in all professions, writers end up saving themselves a lot of grief by learning how to regain perspective early on in the writing journey.
    ~ Wendy

  125. Stephanie M. says:

    Time.
    And then you wonder why you feel driven to write at all and if it will mean anything at the end of your life. Or is that just me?

  126. Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?

    I’ve been an Infantry officer, a carpenter’s helper, a school janitor, a warehouse supervisor, a business owner, an IT guy, a dean…. Oh, and I’m a writer. Being a writer is the fun, easy one comparatively.

    • Huzzah!

      Thanks for that. I, too, have worked jobs that felt like “work.” The kind that you have to hire a forklift operator to get you out of bed for in the morning. Writing – even the “worky” parts, is cathartic, liberating and fulfilling.

      Having climbed warehouse pallet racking, stocked shelves, worked on the family ranch, assisted in veterinary surgeries, cleaned kennels, slung drywall and laid tile…to actually write for a living is like living in a Jimmy Buffett song.

      • Corinda Marsh says:

        Love your attitude, Adam! I’m an old broad who has worked at so many jobs, I can relate. I love writing, but not the rejections. My struggle with time is different…don’t want it to run out before I finish.

        • Don’t EVER finish, Corinda. Leave ’em wanting more!

          • Corinda Marsh says:

            Thanks, but I was referring to MY finish line, not the novel. The best comment I had on my novel was one woman who was angry because it ended. She demanded to know what happened to the characters. Still no publisher though. I’d like to think I will make that goal one day.

  127. Shauna says:

    1.Comparison. Wow, Look at her blog! Great professional picture of her! She is a GOOD writer! Oh, she has 3 books published! And she tweets too. Then I look at my stuff and wonder if I should be doing this at all. (Admittedly, I struggle with this in other areas as well).

    2. Fear of failure. Telling folks “I’m taking a stab at this writing thing” and fearing that in the end I will have nothing to show for it.

    3. Being unable to compose an email or blog comment without editing it for 15 minutes.

  128. Self-doubt and loneliness.

  129. Can’t think of anything after just winning an honorable mention in the 2012 Loft’s McKinght Award Children’s Literature Contest except not being fast enough to get all my ideas down on paper.

  130. kiff says:

    the fact that who know takes priority over what i wrote.

  131. Jenny Hill says:

    You can schedule time to write, but you cannot schedule a time to be inspired!

    • Sure you can, hon. Inspiration can’t be forced, but it can be generated.

      Drive to the beach or the mountains or to a local park. Watch the people and the nature…creation drips with stories waiting to be told. Wring them out, filter them with your own personal God-given filter and share them, share them, share them…

  132. Sherrinda says:

    Fear and doubt. I’m always wondering if I am like one of those singers on American Idol who CANNOT sing but thinks they can. lol

    • Jenny says:

      Sherrinda – This is exactly what I have said countless times! Am I even on the right track, or is everyone around me shaking their heads behind my back wondering when I’ll get a clue, give up the dream, and move on to something I am able to do? Fear & doubt.

      • Sherrinda says:

        I guess we keep writing. We keep learning and growing in the craft, hoping to one day have something that someone wants to read. Enjoy the journey…that’s what I keep telling myself.

    • Kimberly says:

      Yes! I have no idea if I’m any good! Just because my mother says so doesn’t make it true;) I need a literary Simon Cowell. Only nicer.

  133. Amanda A. says:

    Being a busy student who barely has time to get A’s, much less write as much as I would like.

  134. The hardest part of the writers life is interruptions. Sigh.

    • Some are better than others. My 2yo just ran up to me and said: “Stop writing, Daddy, and give me a hug!”

      • I would much prefer that interruption over my latest one. I tried to open my lap-drawer but it was too full of pens and pencils, and business cards and coupons, some of which had expired in 2007.

        So here I am cleaning the desk drawer instead of writing, or researching, or other favorite project things.

  135. Kelly Marino says:

    Self-promotion and marketing!

  136. For me it is finding the amount of time I want to devote to writing. As a teacher I bring so much work home to grade I often lose time to write until the summer. This is something I need to rectify and soon.

  137. Donna says:

    Keeping the day job while writing the first book burns my time and energy, especially because the “paycheck” job involves writing, too. One must pay the bills…

  138. Learning to be patient. Every step of this journey calls for more patience than I believe most people possess. That’s why so many give up on this dream.

  139. Rejection.

    Because you can’t stop, so you have to keep facing it, again and again and again.

    • A quick “no” is better than a “maybe.”

      Give Louis L’Amour’s “Education of a Wandering Man” a read. One of the most poignant pages is a list he kept of rejected or accepted stories. One of the most prolific writers of the 20th century was rejected more than he was accepted. But he still wrote every day. When he passed away he had hundreds of published works and boxes full of unfinished work.

  140. Camille Eide says:

    The best thing about being a writer:
    Time.
    The luxury of time to collect and polish your words until you’ve written exactly what you want to say before anyone hears you.

    The hardest thing about being a writer:
    Time.
    The time waiting for someone to hear your polished words and not knowing if anyone will like or understand them.

  141. Jo says:

    Interruptions. When I do finally open the document and start to write, I’m interrupted. Another thing: when I’m out in the field and/or travelling, I am inspired about a scene and “write” it in my head. When I get home and sit in front of the keyboard, I cannot even BEGIN to think what inspired me…(Jo, Tanzania, East Africa)

    • I carry a small notebook with me everywhere, it only takes a few seconds to write down a thought (on the occasion that I have one…) and then I can go back and put it in the MS where it belongs.
      Tanzania?? Cool!!

      • Jo says:

        Jennifer, thanks for your comment:I do take a notebook along these days, as Tanzanian roads are tarred and quite smooth. Under recently we lived in Kenya where the roads are horrific; you hardly manage to stay in your seat, let along trying to do anything like send text messages on your phone or write in a notebook!

        When we go on leave to South Africa where we actually have our home, my husband and I tour the country on our BMW motorbike. Of course I cannot take notes but I do take many photos in the ride with my point-and-shoot camera. This helps me to write articles which I ‘ve done regularly over the past two years. Just looking at the photos takes me back to the feelings, thoughts and story I had at the time.

    • Jo…do you take photos of that inspiration? Carry a small video camera like a Flip or a DSLR with video capability? When I’m in the field taking notes I carry a camera and a notepad. When I get back to the “office” i separate the actual content photos from the “notes” images.

      I learned to do this from too many times of getting home and wondering what I was thinking at the time.

  142. Suzanne says:

    Not getting enough feedback from editors, and agents as to why your manuscript didn’t make it.

  143. K.L. Parry says:

    It’s the doubt. It creeps in and just takes hold of me sometimes. It’s not so much doubting my work. But it’s doubting that it’ll ever see the light of day. Have the years I’ve investment, the sacrifices I’ve made been for nothing? That’s what troubles me most. I do my best not to think about it.

  144. Darrell says:

    I’ve been a professional writer for more years than I care to count. The toughest thing for pros is writing without a deadline or paycheck. Very few of my colleagues write for the joy of it. I guess the point is, no matter how long you’ve been doing it, or how successful, facing the blank page remains a formidable task.

  145. Addy Rae says:

    The distance between your vision and what you have the skill to write. I know what I want to say, but what I have the skill to say is something else indeed!

  146. sandra lynn says:

    That there’s no regular paycheck to count on

  147. Jill Farris says:

    Turning away from “the tyranny of the urgent” and being faithful to my calling in spite of my self-doubts, the rejection of others and the isolation.

  148. For me it’s making the time to write and doing it. I love doing it and never have writer’s block, but making the time and having the energy to write . . . usually I just have to make myself do it no matter the odds.

  149. Leanne Bridges says:

    I have to say that I don’t find the writing life hard.
    I love the challenges it brings completely.
    I love how it has forced me to create a sturdy sense of self that is not shaken by outside input, and that I am constantly improving because of the time I put in, and the time others put in to critique my work.
    I feel so lucky to have such a clear knowledge of what I want to do with my life, and the motivation to do what it takes to fit it in amongst everything else.
    It’s a real treat for me. I hope it’s still a real treat for me in five years, ten years and thirty years time.

  150. Perhaps the lack of feedback. Unlike a lot of authors, I live too far from a city to be in a professional level writers group. My book club loves everything I do, but they just think I’m hot looking (I’m kidding, I’m kidding!).
    How do I know if my book is good and my query sucks or if my query is fine and my book idea is terrible?
    I’m almost finished with my next book and here’s the punch opening of the query-

    After a failed suicide attempt, a bullied teenager gains strength from unlikely friends at a group home. Taking place in Boston’s North Shore, “Hatched on the Moon” is a __Don’t know yet____ word novel for the young adult reader.

    Now I’m not going to ask for critique’s on Rachelle’s site, so please don’t do that. The point is, I have no idea if it’s good or not. That makes the business end of writing a huge nebula of star farts.

    • I thought that said *not looking*.

      Which is good.

      So is “A huge nebula of star farts”. You have excellent prose for YA stuff!!

      • TY, Jennifer. This is probably because that part of me that likes to play never grew up. When the rest of the guys wanted hot rods, I still wanted to be a knight. Maybe that’s why my first car was a Charger? (Well, that or 500 dollar sticker.)

  151. Neil Larkins says:

    Ditto Victoria: Being a writer.

  152. Jeanette says:

    The hardest thing about being a writer is going over your book countless times with changes etc. and to get it top notch.

    • agreed! For me, it’s especially hard to deal with impatience. The impatience of it never being the way I want it to and the endlessness of it all.

    • I couldn’t agree more, Jennette!

    • Glenn says:

      For me that’s one of the best bits – I love fixing the stuff, and that fact I’m bothering to fix it usually means I’m on the right track.

      Although, there are times when it seems like I’m trying to stuff a live octopus into a plastic grocery bag on a windy day. That I don’t like so much.

  153. JC Emery says:

    I’ve been writing long enough to know that I can write well enough. And I know that my writing won’t be everybody’s bag. The rejection isn’t hard for me, it’s the actual writing. It’s the finding/making time to write. My life (like everyone else’s) is filled with plenty of “have to” stuff that the “want to” stuff gets the back burner, and a prolific writer that does not make. Making progress in my book has been most challenging, and so for me, the hardest part of being a writer is the actual writing. I’m terrified that I’m not doing myself justice.

  154. M V Miles says:

    Having a place at home when the enviroment is always changing…..

  155. 1) Having to stop writing and go to my day job.

    2) All those #$%!! clocks and calendars that run so fast when I’m writing and so slow when we’re waiting to hear from editors.

    3) Catching myself dispensing advice to others based on the experiences of my fictional characters.

    4) The creeping fear that I’m going to die of old age before one of my novels gets published.

    5) The creeping fear that once we sell these things I’ll be so successful that I’ll blow a gasket trying to make deadlines.

    6) The creeping fear of creeping fear.

    7) All those friends I love but who don’t have a clue when it comes to writing or publishing. I love ’em all, but they don’t get it.

    8) Sometimes I feel very alone. I envy people who have a circle of other writers close at hand that are all on the same wavelength. On the upside, I have plenty of angst with which to feed my characters. 🙂

    9) Having to stop writing and go to my day job.

    D.

  156. Finding beta readers and critique partners. Every crit group or partnership I’ve embarked on has fizzled. Very few people I know, if I know any, write anything in anything remotely similar to the genre my current projects (one revision, one first draft) are in. I have to beg and plead and wheedle to find people willing to read for me and when I do, when I’m ready for them, they are too busy.

    That’s the frustrating part, the part that’s hardest for me–operating without feedback, without objective eyes.

  157. Angie Dicken says:

    So many great answers! The hardest thing is the waiting…waiting for answers from agents and editors, contest results, ideas to flow!

  158. Finding balance and time. Do I work on my online presence or wash the dishes, do I read a craft book or take a shower, do I work on my manuscript or go outside and play with my kiddos, do I read a work of fiction or fold the laundry, do I stay up late into the night to write or do I go to sleep? And will the work pay off? Yes. Nothing worth doing is easy.

    • Silvia says:

      This. The constant minute choices between writing and everything else. And feeling guilty when you don’t choose writing, and feeling selfish when you do choose writing. Everything else (social media, query letters, rejections, waiting – write something new as you wait) is part of the writing life, and it’s okay.
      But the daily struggle FOR writing is hard.

    • We now need a headset we can where so that it’s possible to do laundry and talk-type our social media at the same time.
      It’s probably just as well. With my ADD, I’d tell people I was busy wringing my new book.

  159. Alicia says:

    Never quite knowing if your writing is good enough even when people tell you that it is. In one word…uncertainty.

    • Glenn says:

      Uncertainty – self-doubt.

      Having just completed my first novel, I’d have to say the hardest part was not knowing if I could make it to the finish line – in fact, half the time I didn’t know where the finish line was – LOL!

      Even when the writing was going well, I wondered if the story would appeal to anyone besides myself, or if it was just an exercise in futility – as y’all know, a novel is huge commitment of your time.

      I’m happy to say that my novel ended up being all I hoped it would be – now I just have to convince someone that it is publishable.

      As for the next book – well, if I start one I now know I can finish one, but I’ve a feeling there’s a fresh batch of uncertainty just waiting to be unpacked.

      • Having to second guess the rejection letters. Was it really “not for you” or was the query not up to par? Or maybe the plot didn’t grab you, or maybe the characters weren’t to your liking or maybe you were just too busy the day you read my query or maybe it was….or maybe…maybe…

        • Sorry Glen, I meant this to be an individual comment, not one attached to your’s, though I do agree with your’s too.

          • Glenn says:

            No problem Karen – always nice to get mail in my inbox.

            I agree with your comment, also – though I’ve only received one so far and the novelty hasn’t worn off, yet.

  160. Beth K. Vogt says:

    I’m definitely hearing echoes — repeated refrains. I’ll throw my voice out there:
    Lately, the hardest thing is knowing I have a deadline (tick, tick, tick) and fighting my way through all the interruptions (I’m sorry, family, but that’s what you’ve become) so that I can hit the deadline.
    How often do I say no to writing to meet my family’s needs? How often do I say no to my family to accomplish what I need to so I meet this must-be-met deadline?
    And yes, this is living the dream!

  161. Charise says:

    All these! But I came here to say the split between art and business. I suppose it’s good switching from right to left brain spheres but it’s very difficult!

    And when my agent makes me cry. ;)))

  162. Amber Argyle says:

    Trying to balance everything and keep perspective, especially during a dealine (which I’m under right now).

  163. Nikki Owen says:

    Getting up at often 4.30, 5a.m is a hard part of writing. Only because it’s so tiring and hard when the alarm goes off. Once I’m up, coffee made, laptop on, it get better – and it’s worth it to fit extra writing time in. And, I have to admit, I do enjoy it. Thank goodness for my coffee maker!

  164. The uncertainty. Of whether it will sell to a publisher. Of whether it’s any good. Of whether it will sell to readers. Of whether it has substance and meaning. Of whether I will still like it myself in 90 days, much less after it’s in print. Of whether I’m working on a manuscript when I’m too tired to do a good job. Of whether I’m doing enough on the business side of the writing life.

  165. I’m a mom with really young kids. I feel guilty when I spend hours at a time on the computer instead of spending the time with them. I guess it’s a matter of balance and time. Prioritizing when I write and when I put other things first.

    • I can relate! I have four little ones ages 7, 5, 2 & 2 and I feel such guilt when I spend time writing while they’re awake. I try to do most of my writing during naps and bedtime, but that’s the worst time of the day for me to put my best effort forward – I’m usually exhausted by then.

    • Jeanne T says:

      Agreed. Trying to balance kid time with writing time is tricky!

    • Heather Hart says:

      I can totally relate to that! 4 young kids, homeschooling 2 of them, balance and time is a real struggle!

  166. Many times the long stretches of time between any kind of publication success. How we have to keep plugging away when there hasn’t been any encouraging news for awhile.

  167. Having your entire book/career hinge on a query letter.

  168. D.M. Henry says:

    Not losing heart when you pick up the newest book on the shelf and read the back and feel like you’re reading a synopsis for the book you have been working on for ten years.

  169. Allison says:

    Time……Self-Doubt …….Fear……Time……did I mention time?

  170. Julie Farrar says:

    The isolation. Not everyone lives in a hotbed of writerly types. The internet helps some, but still it’s difficult to find a writing tribe that fits my genre when it’s such a random search. That’s one reason I’m considering a low-res MFA.

    Focusing. My non-writing life goes in so many directions on an average day, that it’s hard to shut it out and focus on writing one idea for an hour. I’m trying to do the getting up early thing, but I’ve had some health problems that make morning not always the best time to write. But then after breakfast my day takes off like a rocket so it’s hard to re-focus when I have that block of time to write.

    Social media. ‘Nuff said.

    • I agree with a lot of the points made in the comments so far, but for me, right now, it’s the isolation. Sometimes internet “relationships” are not enough. You want a live voice to encourage you (for whom you can reciprocate).

    • Allison says:

      Wow, I so agree with all three of these. Very well said.

    • For me, too, the isolation is the worst part. I yearn for someone I can connect with who understands me as a writer and the ups and downs that go with being a writer.

      • Margaret Oliver says:

        I have friends who know I am writing without a regular job and they understand. Some of my friends have an idea of what I am writing and some don’t. As for relatives, I can’t talk to them about it because they would not understand how I don’t have a regular job and what my subject matter is about. It is pretty intensive, my subject that is. I read lot and that becomes my escape.

  171. The self doubt. Definitely the self doubt.

  172. To second (and expand upon) two comments already above.

    1. Finding the time. With a day job and three kids, there simply are not enough hours to write. Especially since (in my case) I literally write so much in my head that getting a chance to “brain dump” is hard.

    2. The rejections. Certainly, there is a fair amount of bruised ego involved. But it goes deeper. A book really is like a baby. And getting a rejection letter is the equivalent of showing off your newborn and hearing, “Eww! Put that thing back inside!”

    My $0.03

  173. C.T. Blaise says:

    Fatigue, eyestrain, waiting, telling everything in your life good-bye while you run with an idea.

  174. Staci Eastin says:

    The waiting. Such a long time elapses between when you do the work and when the feedback comes.

  175. Eric James says:

    Not writing. Or when not writing, having to deal with a sclerotic publishing industry that can’t get out of its own way.

  176. Amy says:

    Rejection and waiting are both difficult, but one of the hardest things I’m dealing with lately is how subjective the industry is. One critique partner might love a piece, but another hates it. The hardest thing can be knowing which way to turn when you get conflicting advice.

  177. Heather Hart says:

    I would say finding balance. Am I writing too much and ignoring my other responsibilities, or am I focusing too much on marketing and not enough on writing… there’s just soooo much to balance!

  178. Those days when you just don’t have it, but you need it.

  179. Wendy says:

    All the pressure (of writing a draft, of revising, of publication, of self-promotion…)

  180. F.J. Thomas says:

    Finding enough time to write, especially when you work full time and you have a farm like we do.

    If not the lack of time, then rejections to queries. For me rejections wreak a lot of havoc and can make me doubt my ability, my goals, the project I’m working on and can really bring me down in ways that other events or rejection just doesn’t. It’s tough to pull your boot straps back up and get back to writing or to maintain a belief in what you’re doing when you receive rejection after rejection. There’s nothing that messes with your faith in quite the same way!

    • Angela Brown says:

      Time is a definite issue. As a full-time employed, single mom, I have a deep passion for writing but putting for food on the table and keeping a roof over my daughter’s and my head have to take priority…which is necessary but sucks big time when I want to be writing, fleshing out new characters, new ideas.

      And the rejections don’t help either. With all the subjectivity, we writers trying to break in – especially through the traditional route – experience some interesting trials. Of course we can’t help wondering why this writer or that writer gets selected over us but we press forward, determined to accomplish our goals against all these various obstacles.

      • Margaret Oliver says:

        I too am a single mother raising a daughter and writing my first book and its exciting and challenging but I see progress daily. I have been fortunate to stay home but as an encouragement, I live off a small income as in child support. I am determine to succeed and so shall you.

        • Good for both of you. I have read the story of JK Rowling as a single and am totally inspired. I remember hearing Barbara Kingsolver say she would write for a few hours in her closet when her kids were in bed. I thought, if they can do it, it’s possible.

    • Lori says:

      AMEN to this one! I agree – trying to fit in what I love with the earning of actual income – until what I love IS the income.

    • Debra Dunbar says:

      I agree with the time problem. Corporate job, 3 kids, plus we have a farm too. I need to clone myself.

    • Time! Working full-time, 3 kids — 2 still at home (elementary school!), husband, being an entrepreneur — the list goes on and on.

      Having the time to write is definitely my nemesis.

    • Nathan Perkins says:

      I can ditto the farming.

      I’ve got to say you’re a brave woman, Rachelle, to invite authors to vent about anything. But my venting will be brief, because of what I will vent. Though the many facets of my life fuel my writing material and inspiration, they also require a lot of time. This time of year, I will work about sixty hours a week outside of my writing. I just got called to come into work early this morning. I will acquiesce because I could really use the money. Well, thanks for letting me vent. I’ve got to go now.

  181. David Palmer says:

    The belief that the writer must suffer for the art. I saw my greatest improvements once I relaxed and viewed each writing session more as an exploration and less a struggle to express.

  182. I think it’s the isolation, which makes me a little paranoid that all my ideas are awful and nothing will come of this. Thank God for blogging and online community. I can’t imagine how much more alone I’d feel without it!

    • The roller coaster of everyday life:

      I write it. I love it. I’m gifted and destined to be published.

      I read it. I suck. I’m a hack. I should get a job at the 7-eleven.

      One critique: It’s amazing. I couldn’t put it down.

      Another critique: Your story makes no sense, and your characters lack depth.

      Sometimes I want to jump off the roller coaster, but alas, at the end of the day, I love to write. So I’ll keep riding the ride.

  183. The subjectivity. One person loves it, another hates it. It makes it difficult to know where I’m truly “at” in my writing skill.

  184. Lorelei says:

    The utter pointlessness of it all.

  185. Lindsey Bell says:

    Rejection. Definitely rejection…

  186. Victoria says:

    ha. the writing, obvi.

    • MariaB says:

      Yes, the writing. Pouring out your heart and soul, bleeding on the page while knowing that your book may never sell. Hours upon hours of writing, revisions, and editing all the while with the realization that it may not be good enough. That’s why you have to love it, or at the very least have a love/hate relationship with it.

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