My Three Biggest Struggles When Writing

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We all have those things that grate at us. Those obstacles that inconvenience our greatest of ambitions.

It may come as a shock to all of you reading this, but I too am only human and thus am not above such disadvantages.

As a person born into the human race, I’m already designated my own sets of flaws and those flaws can create impediments in my life both emotionally, physically, and mentally. This is normal. This is what we all go through. However, when I started writing, I realized I had a whole new set of struggles and problems that I didn’t even know existed until I took up this gig.

1: Distractions

I did pretty good in school, up until maybe tenth grade when I started failing in math. But most other subjects I aced and excelled and never had a problem paying attention or focusing on my studies. So it came as a surprise to me now that I’m an adult and trying to start a career in writing just how distracted I get by everything.

The internet has been no aid to me in this endeavor mind you. An endless plethora of information and activity, you could easily lose yourself for hours. One minute it’s 9 am and you’re just briefly checking your Twitter feed and the next minute it’s 6 pm and you’re watching a YouTube tutorial on how to make a paper hat.

I know. I’m weak.

But I’m happy to say I’ve learned to deal with this through scheduling and taking notes. To avoid the chance of being distracted, I write down on a sticky note what it is I need to research. I then continue on as far as I can with my story. I have set times for when I write and a set time for research. Once I reach my word count goal, I then pick up my notes and do the needed research.

As for outside distractions, I usually play some classical music to drown out any noises and sit in my writing place. If the distractions are still to much, it must not be in the cards today and I go find a cave to meditate in for three weeks.

2: Self-Doubt

This is something that I know we all have from time to time. Unfortunately it can be a real problem for me as it steals my motivation. I question my self, my abilities, and everything I’ve ever known.

I can’t say there is a “cure” for this. Or at least, I can’t say I found it. Self-doubt lingers there and comes up at the worst times, but when it comes, I have discovered methods for fighting it.

First, I read. Looking at the works of others gives me inspiration. I feel more confident knowing these people were all once where I was- unpublished, unknown, and probably really confused.

Second, I keep a list of my goals. When I start to feel uncertain, I reread that to myself. It keeps me on point, reminding me what I should be focused on, and what it is I’m striving for.

3: Overload

I have trouble sleeping. No matter how hard I work physically my brain goes and goes and goes nonstop, which tends to keep me up late. I’m always thinking about what I could do, what I should do, recalling bits of information I heard here and there, and forming ideas for stories, art, or whatever it is I’m currently dealing with in life. I tend to find myself multitasking on various projects, sometimes even working on editing one story while writing two or three others. I keep going and going until eventually my mind get’s so overworked that I throw my hands in the air and find myself binge watching TV just to get my brain to turn off.

Obviously, not a healthy lifestyle.

However, as of late, I’ve been doing much better thanks to the power of scheduling. Routines may sound boring, but trust me, if you have a mind that tends to impatiently overwork itself then a schedule is your best friend.

Whenever I get a new idea, I write it down. I put it in my binder where I keep all my writing stuff and I go back to what I was previously working. I plan at the beginning of the week which story I’m going to be working on and a set a word count or amount of time for each day.

Trust me; organization is key. You might not like it at first, you might rather roll with it and have a billion and ten excuses why you can’t adhere to a schedule, but trust me, it makes life easier.

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So there you go. My top three biggest struggles as a writer. Maybe you can relate. Maybe you have other ways of coping that work better for you. Or maybe you have other obstacles you face. Feel free to tell me all about it in the comment section. Maybe we can all help each other.

If you expect life to be easy, challenges will seem difficult. If you accept that challenges may occur, life will be easier.

Rob Liano

The Jigsaw Heart

Have you ever opened yourself up to someone, maybe telling a secret you kept for years or a hurtful memory from your childhood. During the entire time you feel scared. You wonder how this person is going to response with something that’s very meaningful to you. Will they laugh? Will they look down on you for it? Will they even care?

The reason you feel this is because you are literally pulling a chunk of your heart out and handing it to that person, trusting them to do the right thing with it.

That’s what writing feels like.

Now I’m not going to defend poor writing. I’m not even going to advocate for people to stop criticizing us because let’s be honest, we need it. But for those who might be wondering why it seems writers are stubbornly sensitive about their work, here’s the basic truth about us and most artists in general; when we write, we’re not just stringing a story together. We’re not just throwing words on paper. Those words have meaning, sometimes deep meaning. Bits and pieces of our very being rearranged into another form.

When I started on my first book, I tried to create a character that was suppose to be modeled off my dad. But as I wrote he started to develop into someone else. And I was fine with that at first. However, it wasn’t until I finished the story and was working on the edit that I realize his flaws and fears were something close to mine own. Unintentionally some of my struggles, issues I was dealing with at the moment, were running congruently with that character’s.

Through writing, I discovered myself.

You can’t write something that you don’t know, which means your limited to your own experience or knowledge. Sometimes that means what you are, your fears, perks, flaws, and deepest thoughts, will bleed through on paper. It’s a beautiful thing, but it can be uncomfortable.

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Putting yourself out there for people to pick apart and critique is never going to be an entirely fun experience. We discover stuff about ourselves that we either didn’t know about or were in denial over. But as painful as it feels when it’s happening, it can be a rewarding thing when it’s all said and done.

So if you’re a writer, keep writing. One day you’ll step back and look at your work, something you spent your time on, something you created with your own mind and ability.

And it will be beautiful.


Because it will be more than just a work of fiction. More than just a story. Everything you cherish, everything you know, incarnated in ink. And maybe just like me (and many others) you’ll learn a few things about yourself. When all those little pieces start coming together, you step back, and see the bigger picture.

And it’s you.

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.

 Ernest Hemingway