Emotional Hurdles For New Writers #writers #amwriting

As a newbie writer I am constantly trying to jump over emotional hurdles in order to progress.

I am calling them hurdles  because if you don’t jump them you will end up falling down and hurting your writer self.

They are emotional  because each one has the potential to bring on tears / sobbing / a low mood / a spot of soul-searching.

  1. Showcasing your writing to strangers. This was a tough one for me. It’s such a scary thing to do when you first start out. Starting a writing blog helped me jump this emotional hurdle.
  2. Getting your first piece of negative feedback. Fall at this hurdle and you may never get back up. You have to overcome this and see the feedback as a learning. Some reviewers have never been on the ‘how to give feedback constructively’  training course so you have to put your emotions aside and look for the learnings. This hurdle is definitely one you can jump. You just need to be brave.
  3. Overcoming your first period of writer’s block. The first real period of writer’s block was really difficult for me. I think this can either make or break you when you first start out. Keep turning up everyday and praise yourself for squeezing out a few words. You will clear this jump, may take a bit of time though.
  4. Announcing to family and friends that you are a writer. I struggled with this and still try to keep my writing separate from friends and family. It’s a tough one because careless comments from them can make you fall at this hurdle. I still get careless comments from people close to me but I am learning to sigh loudly and mentally cross their names off my book signing list. A huge ‘I don’t care what you all think’  leap is needed for this one.
  5. Coming to terms with the fact that writing is subjective and not everyone will like your writing / story / novel. A biggie for any newbie writer. This goes against your daydream where everyone in your street is praising you after reading your book. Once you have come to terms with this its easy to jump.
  6. Coming to terms with the fact that your first draft is shit. I have written 80,000 words of literary wrong on a first draft. I know how it feels when you read it back and it doesn’t sound like the best-selling novel in your head. You need to dig deep and find your inner writer strength. You either start work on the second draft or shelve it for a bit. You can jump this hurdle.
  7. Fitting your life around your writing. This is a tough one. You realise that to make writing work you need to have some discipline and dedicate some time to it. A tricky one to jump if you have an amazing social life.
  8. Accepting that you have weaknesses as a writer. It’s not easy coming to terms with this as we newbies start out thinking we are amazing writers with no weaknesses or faults. Pierce that newbie bubble, move on and jump! We all have weaknesses.
  9. Not winning your first writing competition. A tough one as you will use it as a yard stick on how you are progressing. As you didn’t win you will see it as a huge failure on your part. Best to pick yourself up from the literary floor and leap over this one.
  10. Realising that you need social media to help you promote your work. If you are going to get serious about writing you will need to promote yourself on social media. Its time to take a deep breath and get yourself onto social media my newbie writer friend! Get jumping!

You can clear these emotional writing hurdles. They are all achievable. Good luck out there newbie writers 🙂

I get the feeling there are new hurdles to jump once you get your first book out there!

photo credit: Upsplash

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Still waiting for the Sleepless in Seattle film sequel. Romcom Author. Book Blogger. Mum of teens. Owned by a golden Labrador.

111 thoughts on “Emotional Hurdles For New Writers #writers #amwriting

  1. So true – you are such a talented writer and so many do and will continue to love reading material which you produce. 🙂 xx

  2. This is so true! I’m reblogging 🙂

    You’ve probably read on my blog my experience with my dad. I’m copying below:

    “A little-known fact about writing your first book: unless you inform others of your intention well in advance, you might find yourself in an awkward position. Like, when you present your manuscript to your parents so they can read it. A couple of months later, when you ask if they have read it, your dad will go, slightly annoyed, “no, I’m re-reading Martin’s books right now, so it’ll have to wait.”

    Then, a further couple of months later, he’ll call you late at night to say, “great book, son, with some fantastic ideas! I was totally hooked. A page-turner; kept me up at night. You know what this guy did? He took historical elements from ancient Greece and created a space opera with them.”

    And you’ll say, after a brief pause, “what guy?”

    To which your dad will reply, in a confused voice, “why, whoever wrote this. There was no name on the manuscript.”

    Now, what I should have said, of course, is something along the lines of “it’s not really a space opera, dad, but more of a dark epic fantasy; a dystopian metaphysical thriller with strong sci-fi elements, where the heroes face tough moral dilemmas, discovering themselves in the process.”

    But no-one talks to their dad this way, right? So all I said, once I managed to stop laughing, was, “I wrote it, dad. But I’m super glad you liked it even before you knew that.”

  3. I had to laugh at “80K words of literary wrong.” Because I wrote 100K words of literary wrong aka my first novel. Great way to look at the obstacles in our writing life.

    1. Yay!! Sue Coletta! LOVED YOUR BOOK BTW. It made me want to give up writing it was so good. I have so much respect for you now. Let me know when the Sue Coletta Fan Meetings are!

      1. You are too funny! Glad you enjoyed Marred. This comment made my day. 🙂 NEVER give up writing, my friend. You have too much natural talent and a fantastic outlook on life. Are you on Goodreads?

      2. Yes but don’t go on much (I hear you taking a sharp intake of breath as I probably should be on there more). Do you want me to do you a review?

  4. Reblogged this on DeAnna Ross and commented:
    Dead on thoughts about the hurdles in becoming a writer. With Nanowrimo fast approaching now is a good time to become aware of the things which lay ahead of you aspiring writer!

  5. I was reading through your list and I realized that I have actually crossed over all of these. I guess this means I am not quite the inexperienced newbie anymore that I think I am.

    1. I am still classing myself as an ‘inexperienced newbie writer’ as I think people let you off if they think you are new / just starting out 🙂
      Happy Friday Allie P and have a great weekend

      1. Hmmmm you have a point…

        …and I did read some of my earlier drafts…

        Yes! I am definitely still a work in process. Have a great one yourself!

  6. Love this! I definitely hit these hurdles all the time, especially showing my work to strangers. It just boils down to feeling exposed. I also never seem to fit my life around writing sometimes, so when I do write, I feel rushed and panicked. I also have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that I am bad at it, and the only way I’ll get any better is with practice. I have been making an effort for more time these days. It just makes me sleepy to wake up at 4 a.m., but it’s worth it!

  7. Wow. A serious post and so incredibly relevant. Those are big emotional hurdles that writers eventually face. And years later they can still sometimes tweak a cringe or tear. Some will be a constant balancing act. Great post 🙂

  8. Preach! I’ve stumbled and dragged myself over all of these hurdles — but they keep coming back, which necessitates more stumbling and dragging. Whenever I get really down, I pop over to Amazon and read a few good reviews of my book, to remind myself why I should keep going. Usually it works. Sometimes a nice slice of chocolate cake is also necessary to get me out of my funk, lol.

    1. I just want a book out there – sigh! I don’t care anymore about future reviews, I just want to write a book. I do keep jumping over hurdles though, maybe one day! Sigh! Thx for reading and the blog follow 🙂

  9. I’ve jumped quite a few of these (more successfully than the real hurdles in PE class, I might add). I’m still experimenting with sharing my writing – online is fine, mostly, next step is real people (you know what I mean – I know people online are real, they’re just not there in front of you real). Happy Sunday. 🙂

  10. Great list. Even though I already “know” these hurdles are out there, they still trip me up from time to time. So it’s nice to remember, “Oh, thank God, I’m not the only one feeling this way!”

  11. I go up agasinst hurdles #2, #4, #7 & #8 on a regular basis. #4 brings back memories when my mom practically held an intervention because she thought I wanted to go to college to write music. All I did was filled out a college survey, stating that I was interested in creative writing and taking music as an elective. Learned to keep my mouth shut about my writing aspirations since then.

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  14. These are all SO true!! I am also, regretfully, feeling some jealousy when other writers are given the recognition I so want!! We all want to succeed, but some days it is hard to sit and watch others living your dream!! Am I the only one??

  15. This was an excellent and pretty well summed up post of a writer’s life. I think the hardest part to swallow for me was the #4 syndrome. It’s odd, but you will find that some of those closest to us, just don’t get it, and aren’t really interested in what we do. Oh well, right, we won’t invite them to our celebrations. 🙂

      1. That’s it! I can tell you many author friends and I seem to have gone through the same wonderment. Those milestone moments when we publish our first books or get a great review, can only be appreciated by a fellow writer. The entities from our everyday lives, who usually have no conception of what it takes to be a writer, don’t understand our lives, so don’t expect them to, and don’t let them burst your balloons either. 🙂

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  17. This is a funny one – I don’t know if it’s just the culture of encouragement that exists today, but when I started writing novels (24 years ago, with no social media), I didn’t think I was an amazing writer with no faults at all, not for a minute! In fact, I was sure I was just kidding myself that I could ever write anything that someone would want to read. The one I really DO remember, though, was the nerve-wracking experience of showing my work to someone else – eek!!!! And one of the hardest things is when the wonderful novel in your head isn’t like the crap on the paper… !!

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