6 Most Common Writing Challenges & How to Deal with Them
Updated: Jul 8
Most people see writers as these lucky individuals who are liberated from tedious nine to five jobs. Seems like a stress-free, perfect job. The truth is somewhat different. Writers have their problems, just like any other worker. Considering that much of the writer's results depend on unpredictable creativity, the challenges can be very tough to face.
Instead of being in despair because once again you are stuck with your next piece, you might as well try to find a solution to your problems. The following list of common writing challenges will help you recognize the situations in which you (often) find yourself in. Along with the suggestions on how to face them, your writing challenges won’t seem as unbeatable as they did before.
1. Writer’s Block
Here’s the writers’ worst nightmare. That terrible obstacle in your mind that prevents creativity from rushing in is famously known as writer’s block. Unfortunately, most of us experience this sooner or later. It’s crucial that you deal with it quickly before it leads to bigger problems such as depression or giving up on your career as a writer.
Solution: Relax, get some rest, and forget about writing. Enjoying life and acting as a curious observer can spontaneously evoke creativity once again. You can also try to exercise since being physically inactive doesn’t get enough blood flow to your brain. Increased blood flow (that comes from exercising) increases oxygen levels in your brain and stimulates brain activity.
2. A Balance between Self-belief & Self-criticism
Self-belief and self-criticism are states of mind that writers know very well. However, they usually don't come together. At one point you well like you're on the path towards creating a masterpiece, and in the other, you want to erase everything you've written and give up writing for good. None of these extremes is beneficial for your writing.
“There is a necessary dichotomy in every writer’s brain: we need a certain level of self-belief to put our work out into the world, but also a healthy dose of self-criticism to ensure its quality,” said David Gaughran, a writer, blogger, and indie author.
Solution: The key lies in the balance. This isn’t easy to achieve, but you need to be mentally strong. David shared his advice, “The solution (like the problem) is in your own head. You don’t need that critical voice when writing the first draft. Vomit up the words until you hit The End. Then you can be critical.”
3. Lack of Willpower
You have the time. You have the idea. You have everything you need to write. Then why can't you get yourself to do it? There is no excuse for not writing, but you still can't make yourself do it. All you feel like doing is to lie in bed, feel bad about yourself, and repeatedly question yourself: Why don’t I want to write?
Solution: To get your productivity up and running, you should change your place of work. Instead of trying to write in a short distance from the bed, go to a coffee shop. Do this immediately after you wake up. Don't give yourself time to start overthinking whether you feel like writing or not. Simply get your laptop, go to a café, and let caffeine do its magic.
4. Inability to Focus
Creatives are capable of juggling multiple ideas in their mind. That mental multi-tasking can be as useful as it can be problematic. Multi-tasking, in general, divides your focus. That’s what happens to your creative brain. A writer at TrustMyPaper and the owner of the blog FlyWriting, Kristin Savage, said that focusing is her biggest challenge, “I can transfer from deep writing mode to looking through the window and daydreaming in a second. I don’t even know what triggers that focus shift, but it negatively affects my writing.”
Solution: Eliminate distractions when writing. Turn off the phone, isolate yourself, and make sure that nothing can defer your focus to something else. Relaxing music for improved focus can also help some of you.
You are a writer, not a marketer, and we get that. But somehow you need to do both. Even though you hadn’t signed up for marketing when you decided to be a writer, it is an inevitable part of this job.
Ashley Farley, a blogger and best-selling self-published author of Her Sister’s Shoes opened up about her biggest challenge as a writer – social media. “I’m sure you’ve heard this time and again, but social media is the biggest challenge I face as an indie author. There are countless opportunities for an author to interact with readers and other writers online. Too many, in my opinion.”
Solution: Choose one or two (maximum) social media or marketing channels that you want to focus on. Pick the channel based on your target audience. For example, Ashley said that she chose Facebook and Goodreads because that’s where women her age are (her target audience).
Perfectionism in creatives can be a blessing and a curse. There is nothing wrong with doing your best to perfect your writing. Writing and rewriting until you’re satisfied with a result can turn you into a great writer. However, if you let that perfectionism consume you and make you miss the deadlines (consistently) that’s when it becomes a huge problem.
Solution: Understand that there is no such thing as perfection. Liking or disliking someone's writing is a subjective perspective, and you can't satisfy everyone. Look at it like this: even if you release your work and you get some negative feedback, it can help you be a better writer. There is nothing to fear.
As a writer, you must have faced at least one of these problems. They walk into our lives in a moment, and then you have to find a way to get them out. You might not be able to stop these challenges from happening, but you can at least give your best to fight them. Persistence and determination is a trait that every writer needs to have. Those traits, along with suggested solutions, can help you beat these issues and possibly prevent their return.
Bridgette Hernandez is a Master in Anthropology and a freelance writer. She found her purpose in writing as it gives her an opportunity to exchange ideas and share her knowledge with others. Currently, she is working as a contributor writer at SupremeDissertations, ClassyEssay, and BestEssaysEducation. Bridgette likes to expand her fields of expertise by attending international conferences and taking courses on different subjects. In her free time, she volunteers at a local animal rescue.