Five Challenges Writers Face

Now that I have your attention. Everyday, writers face challenges that keep them from the page. 

1. Distractions: These can include telephone calls from friends, those emails in your inbox, or the fox that crosses the yard in front of the window of your work room. Limiting distractions is something every writer must learn to control. I remember speaking to a writer and hearing how whenever anyone flew into town, they called him to pick them up at the airport, after all, he was just sitting around at home. Teach those around you that your writing time is valuable and a job that you take seriously. Then train yourself to quickly clean your inbox and keep focused on the page.

2. Fear: We all face fear at sometime in our life, whether it's related to our writing or driving in an unknown city. The best way to deal with fear is to move forward and get your thoughts on the paper. Later it can be edited by you or the professional you hire. Don't worry about grammar or format, worry that you can't type fast enough to get it all down and keep going. 

3. Negativity: I remember someone asking me, "Don't all writers only have one book in them?" "No," I snapped. "The saying is everyone has one book in them. Writers have multiple books, several poems and a number of screen plays." If only I had time to flesh out all the story lines that cross my path. Remove yourself from those who tell you it can't be done, and instead surround yourself with positive thinkers.

4. Procrastination: Putting off until tomorrow what can be done today is not the way to live your life as a writer. Writing is hard work and it requires effort. Don't put off your writing project, instead sit down now and get started.

5. Perfectionism: So you finally get your story down and then you go back and edit and change and edit and change and edit and change. Perfectionism can stop a writer cold. Of course, you can always find a slightly better word choice, it's just that at a certain point in time you need to move on. 

Don't let the five challenges stop you from achieving your dreams. Instead, sit down and get to it. 


D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and a co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, House of Glass, Book 2 of The Exodus Series was written with coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole and, Perception. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.  

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at

You can also follower her at or on Facebook


Kathleen Moulton said...

Oh, #1!

I am homeschooling my last child (12 years old) and have been a very busy SAHM for 30 years, educating 8 children. And it's so true how I am seen as always available.

Even with only 2 at home (1 in college), it's taken me almost 2 years to make the transition to a writing routine. Much of it has been me taking the needed steps to let people know I am not available on certain days but even then, I still feel guilty!

Great post!

Karen Cioffi said...

Jean, great post. I think #1 is one that hits everyone. It is a struggle as a wife, mother, grandmother, and writer, among other things, to keep all the balls in the air.

Kathleen, WOW! Homeschooling eight children is an amazing accomplishment in and of itself, one that you should feel very proud of. Hold fast to your writing time. Don't feel guilty. You deserve your writing time.

Magdalena Ball said...

So true Jean, and many of these distractions can take insideous forms. honoring that writing space (which is also honoring ourselves) is the only way to get work done.

Heidiwriter said...

I'm guilty of nearly every one--especially procrastination!

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Great post Jean. I think all writers struggle with these along the way. That's why I think having "protected" writing time is important.

DMS said...

Excellent advice! I can definitely get distracted and I am prone to procrastination. :) Some days I am better at getting past my distractions and other days... not so much.

Shirley Corder said...

Yes Jean. So true, especially #1. I guess that's why it's #1! Why is it when my son says he "works at home" people respect this. (He has a home-based office.) But when I say I work at home people look confused. "You work? I thought you were a writer!" Sigh. I guess it's a case of education . . . of your friends and family. Hmm. Maybe that would be a good post sometime.

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