Skip to main content

5 Writing Challenges All Writers Face (& How to Deal With Them)

In response to the most common challenges we writers face, here are a couple of techniques to help you can use to stay the course and keep writing.

Being a writer is challenging at times. It’s not just the writing. Over the last two years, I’ve written a nonfiction book, built my platform, worked on my website (more than once), hosted book talks, and now I continue to write for several websites as a guest expert in the area of self-help and women’s issues.

(Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Waiting for Inspiration to Strike)

My writing challenges vary and can be more or less on any given day, but they generally fall into five categories.

1. Distractions, when the kids or my husband seem helpless. They really are not.
2. Feeling overwhelmed, when the demands are more than I can handle some days.
3. Crickets, when the audience is too quiet. It can take time to build an audience, and I know that my work is out there in a sea filled with other impassioned authors.
4. Feelings, when readers share their personal stories and my heart aches for what they’re going through.
5. Negative feedback, when a mistake is made (and they happen to everybody) or when someone doesn’t understand my message or completely disagrees.

In response to these challenges, and with a lot of trial and error, I use a couple of techniques to help me stay the course and keep writing.

STOP GIVING IT AWAY_final

Stop Giving It Away: How to Stop Self-Sacrificing and Start Claiming Your Space, Power, and Happiness by Cherilynn M. Veland

IndieBound | Bookshop | Amazon
[WD uses affiliate links.]

How to Deal With Writing Challenges All Writers Face

Stack the deck.

A good friend of mine, who also happens to be a seasoned reporter for a national newspaper, gave me this simple technique of mentally stacking the deck into my personal success plan.

How I stack my deck: I make sure my kids have a place to go and something to do. I go to my favorite coffee shop and sit down with my computer or journal and my favorite coffee drink or tea. I say my meditations in the morning and work out to get the oxygen flowing. I wear an outfit I feel good in. I turn off my cell phone and set a limit as to how many emails I can check before I dive in.

Build a personal firewall.

A computer uses a firewall to protect against virus attacks so why not create a mental firewall for yourself? My book, Stop Giving It Away, covers boundaries and how to use them to make life better and less stressful. Your firewall is one of the most powerful boundaries you can put into place considering the energy, creativity, and commitment that goes into everything you write.

How my firewall works: It’s a simple visualization where I put myself into a glass phone booth and type away, no matter what sounds (including moaning and groaning from the children) go on around me.

Your firewall might be a closed-door, a mantra that reminds you of why you write, or a simple, “No, I am working right now and can’t be disturbed. Please help yourself.”

5 Writing Challenges All Writers Face (& How to Deal With Them)

My firewall protects me from getting discouraged by that post that doesn’t have any comments or the person who completely disagrees with my ideas about women and the culture of self-sacrifice, which inspired me to write my book in the first place.

While I’m on the subject of self-sacrifice, it’s worth mentioning that we can become so involved with our writing that we neglect either ourselves or our family and friends. If you find yourself turning away shooing off what’s truly important, priceless in life even, more often than not, you may be sacrificing too much for your craft.

Cherish the time you have with your kids if you are a mom. Cherish the time you have with your significant other if you have one, or your mom, your grandpa, or a sweet friend who actually really needs you right now. Cherish the time you can take for yourself to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

Fearless Writing William Kenower

If you love to write and have a story you want to tell, the only thing that can stand between you and the success you’re seeking isn’t craft, or a good agent, or enough Facebook friends and Twitter followers, but fear. Fear that you aren’t good enough, or fear the market is too crowded, or fear no one wants to hear from you. Fortunately, you can’t write while being in the flow and be afraid simultaneously. The question is whether you will write fearlessly.

Click to continue.

Tags
terms:
4 Tips for Writing a Modern Retelling

4 Tips for Writing a Modern Retelling

From having reverence for the original to making it your own, author Nikki Payne shares four tips for writing a modern retelling.

Faint vs. Feint (Grammar Rules)

Faint vs. Feint (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use faint vs. feint in your writing with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples. Plus, we answer whether it's "faint of heart" or "feint of heart."

6 Books to Cozy Up With This Winter | Book Recommendations

6 Books to Cozy Up With This Winter

Here are 6 book recommendation perfect for winter reading.

12 Things to Consider When Writing Fight Scenes in Fiction (FightWrite™)

12 Things to Consider When Writing Fight Scenes in Fiction (FightWrite™)

Trained fighter and author Carla Hoch shares 12 things all writers should consider when attempting to write effective fight scenes in fiction.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unreal Character

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unreal Character

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character turn out to be less than they seem.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2022 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

Here are the final steps for the 15th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript. Here are some tips and guidelines.

Valeria Ruelas: On Teaching Tarot, Brujeria, and Witchcraft

Valeria Ruelas: On Teaching Tarot, Brujeria, and Witchcraft

Author Valeria Ruelas discusses the process of writing her new book, The Mexican Witch Lifestyle.

What Is the Hook, the Book, and Cook Query Pitching Technique for Writers?

What Is the Hook, the Book, and the Cook Query Pitching Technique for Writers?

Find out what "the hook, the book, and the cook" are in relation to writing query letters and pitching books to literary agents and book editors. This post answers the question of what each one is and how to successfully assemble the pieces.

Romance Retellings of Literary Classics

Romance Retellings of Literary Classics

Author Chloe Liese makes a case for the romance genre being the natural home for retellings, and shares some tips on how to write a successful romance retelling of literary classics.