What is the most difficult thing about writing?

If you follow the agent Peter Knapp on Twitter, you’ll notice that every now and then he opens a special window for authors to submit their query / sample pages. If you submit on these days, he’ll write back with personalised feedback as to why he accepted or rejected your query. I got my reply back this morning and while he gave me some excellent feedback, all I could think while I was reading it was, WRITING IS HARD! 

He mentioned that I have a tendency to create “I [verb]” sentences, and flicking through my first chapter… yep, he’s right.

I’ve come to the realisation that coming up with ideas, creating characters and getting the story down on paper is the easy part! It’s everything else that is hard. The editing, the querying, keeping your morale up, staying motivated, constantly improving. Writing is hard work!

What do you think is the most difficult thing about writing? Because I’m full of ideas, I can churn out the words, I can create pretty good dialogue and believable characters. Everything else I’m still working on… writing can be a pretty disheartening business sometimes.

About Jodie @ Words Read & Written

Book blogger & aspiring author.
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75 Responses to What is the most difficult thing about writing?

  1. j1m says:

    hardest part for me? marketing/pimping my badself. i’m still happier in the words than reality. 😉


  2. rlsharpe says:

    Rejection is pretty hard, but another hard part is having to stop writing, especially when you are on a roll, to do life things, like pick the kids up for school or fed them.


  3. T.D. Hutch says:

    The hardest part? Writing.
    The hardest part? Doing something else thinking about writing.


  4. dustomundo says:

    Excellent question, Jodie!

    For me, it’s actually sitting down to write and sticking with it. I’ve begun three projects (one of which is a LONG novel,) and I’ve yet to finish a single rough draft.


  5. shegyes says:

    This was an excellent post to read, and while I don’t have twitter, I am interested in learning more about Peter Knapp now. The name sounds familiar, but it’s not clicking in my head as to why.

    For me, getting the ideas from my head and onto paper is the hard part. I tend to play the whole story out in my head in movie format, but getting that movie down on paper turns into the real challenge.


  6. Paul J Gies says:

    Getting. People. To read it. Even for free.


  7. The hardest part for me use to be completing a project, but I finished one book and while it’s still not easy I don’t view it as impossible any more. I’d say the hardest part now is a tie between finding the time to write and where to put all the commas. 🙂


  8. Corianne says:

    Definitely getting started! Sometimes I’ve been planning a story for weeks in my head or on paper. I know there must be some time that I must put the proverbial pen to paper, but then I will keep putting it off, because I will start critiqueing my own plot/characters/premise before it’s even written… sometimes we’re our own worst critic.


  9. Plot. I’m good with characters, dialogue and setting a scene, but half the work for me is coming up with the structure of the beginning, middle and end.


  10. Widdershins says:

    Knowing you’re only at ‘The Beginning’, when you really want to be at ‘The End’!


  11. Mark Cameron says:

    Working with a great editor has been the hardest–and most rewarding–part of my writing journey to date. Currently, my editor is challenging me to allow more “emotional honesty” to find it’s way onto the page… i.e. not to allow any filters to get in my own way. I think that will serve me well on my blog as well.


  12. athling2001 says:

    Motivating myself and keeping my ego out of the mix when it wants to say ‘you think this is good?’ Great Question!


  13. Anthony Schiavino says:

    That’s the thing. It’s a process to get to that point you never can reach. That’s writing just as much as laying words down. It’s also much to do with opinion as well as self-confidence. This may not be wrong but submit to another and you’ll get a different response. Write. Learn. Write more.


  14. Shari Risoff says:

    Great question. Getting started is tough but finishing is my downfall. My perfectionist brain never believes it’s really finished. I guess that is what makes me keep doing it every day.


  15. nymuse88 says:

    Nice! I’ll have to Follow him, because that would be very helpful. I’m pretty sure that my biggest grammatical issue is “tense”. Ugh! Yes writing can be hard sometimes, because you are hard on yourself as well as the dealing with rejection. I was an actress in NYC and it’s about the same thing. Still you have to admit, sometimes, it can make your stronger.


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