The 5 Toughest Things About Writing

Obviously, I like to write. It’s what I do for my day job and what I do in my free time (you know that because you’re on my site). It isn’t always easy, though. There are certain things all writers face at one point or another, so, my fellow scribes, I’ve distilled all your frustrations and neurosis into a handy five-point list.

5. Getting started 

Much like going to the gym, your first obstacle is actually getting started. There are several things that stand in the way of getting started but, in my experience, there are two things that really keep me from working: distractions and lack of ideas.

I just wanted to use this picture again.

Unfortunately, nowadays, everyone writes on laptops…which also have access to the Internet–probably the greatest distraction in human history. It’s easier than you think to waste half an hour  watching music videos from the ’90s when you intended to get something done. But it’s not just the Internet. There are also TV and video games, which distracted generations of people before Internet was even a thing.

Of course, in the previous construct, there’s a subtle implication that you have something to write about. That’s not always the case. There are some days, weeks, even months, where inspiration is plentiful, you know, like bad grammar in Youtube comments. But there are other times when it’s like trying to squeeze blood from a stone.

I find the best cure is to start typing anything, even if it’s just a stream of consciousness. Secondly, if you have what you believe to be a sub-par idea, work on it anyway. It might turn into something else (read better) entirely. It’s not like you have to publish everything you write either.

4. Routine

Once you have the creative juices flowing, it’s important to establish some semblance of a routine. Unfortunately, I’m terrible at following my own advice.

I know that I write better in the morning or late at night, and I usually stick to that.  In the morning, I write for work, which leaves the evening for my blog. The afternoon generally turns into a wasteland of ineffectualness.

Consistency is a problem, though. Ideally, I try to publish at least two post a month. That’s a kinda nebulous goal, though. It leaves a lot of room for procrastination and good ole’ fashioned laziness.

I want to move to one post a week with a hard deadline of Sunday night. A weekly deadline has two key benefits. First, it gets you writing more,which subsequently improves your writing. Secondly, people are more likely to follow and/or visit your site if they know it will be updated on a regular basis. Exposure is important. The more people who see your work, the better.

3. Criticism 

Criticism can be good. Advice from an editor, another writer or some other creative type can help refine your work. But that’s not really what I’m talking about. I’m talking about Internet criticism, the kind of cold disrespectful criticism that makes you cringe.

Peruse the comments sections of most articles online and you’ll find some of the most sexist, homophobic and generally offensive statements (usually poorly spelled and punctuated) you’ve ever read. They’re things no one would dare say in public, and, well, that’s kind of point. The anonymity and distance the Internet provides makes it easy for people to say those things because they can’t see the impact of their words.

There are also less extreme comments that are equally unhelpful. I’m talking about “that Internet guy.” You know the guy. He always has to point out every minor mistake even if it’s only technically wrong and doesn’t invalidate the piece, because he already made a Hot Pocket and fed his mom’s cats, so what else is he going to do all day?

I should make it clear–these types of interactions are minimal on WordPress. I estimate that 98 percent of the comments I get are supportive and constructive. That’s the great thing about this particular site–there’s a feeling that everyone is in this together.

2. Doubt

Doubt is something I don’t think writers will ever really escape. Comedians often talk about how they have an innate need to get up in front of people and show them what they’ve created, in hopes of some sort of approval.

I think there’s some of that in writers, but with that need also comes a certain amount of neuroses. That’s why I can rewrite one sentence 10 times and never really be happy with it.

Don’t misinterpret that, I love writing, and I feel good while doing it. But when it comes time to share what I’ve written, I’m never 100 percent satisfied with the finished product. Even when I receive praise there’s a voice in the back of my head that saysdid he really like the article or was he just being polite? 

Doubt can be useful, though. If you’re never 100 percent satisfied, it means you’ll never stop working.

1. “Finding your voice”

This sounds like terribly clichéd advice, but it’s true. It takes time to develop your own style and to sort through your various influences.

For a while it will seem like you’re merely imitating your favorite writers, but eventually you’ll identify what does and does not work for you. You’ll develop a flow and vocabulary that are all your own.

Then you’ll be a writer.

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195 thoughts on “The 5 Toughest Things About Writing

  1. I am really feeling this today! Good to know I’m not the only one. Congrats on the FP!

  2. heycrin says:

    Awesome post, well written but such an easy concept. Why didn’t I think of it. And I completely relate… I’m terrible at the ‘routine’, and thinking that people will hate me and refuse to return if I put a comma when there should be a hyphen. It’s just that hard.

  3. Thanks for your post. It really encouraged me to carry on writing, especially the section about “doubt”. I’m never satisfied with what I write either, mainly because I’m new at it and because I’m writing in a language that isn’t my native language. But I’m enjoying it a lot, and I guess that’s the main thing.

  4. This is a great post, it is just as valid for the occasional personal blog writer, like me, and hopefully it may help readers overcome some of these barriers. I think to me, the getting started bit is the most difficult, actually coming up with something to write.

  5. Srini says:

    It sounds like I wrote this. I feel exactly the same way.

  6. Thanks for the tips.I am trying to start writing and this will help me a lot .If you can please review my posts and tell me how i am doing

  7. Agree with Amanda…”I’m not the only one…” Nice, well-written post!

  8. Something I used to be good at…routine. Unfortunately my boss decided he now needs me to work day shifts one day, night the next, ad infinitum. Early in the morning, late at night seems to be a crucial pattern for writers – but now my two year old has decided to start waking up at four am, and I sure as hell am not waking up before then.

    Struggling to write during the day, but quietly optimistic,


  9. rxwhore00 says:

    I give this post… some-sort-of approval! *nerdy thumbs-up*

  10. Very nice post! I can relate myself to the 5 Toughest Things About Writing. Haha. I realized that I’m not alone anymore when it comes to writing blogs. Thank you! 😀

  11. Doubt has been the most serious obstacle for me. I have so much I want to write about, but sometimes I doubt whether it’s worth sharing.

  12. Gregoryno6 says:

    Number 5 is Number One for me.
    Distractions? I refer to my computer as The Magic Toybox. Every time I open it, a new distraction appears.

  13. Daniel says:

    “I should make it clear–these types of interactions are minimal on WordPress. I estimate that 98 percent of the comments I get are supportive and constructive. That’s the great thing about this particular site–there’s a feeling that everyone is in this together.”

    Haha, try running a gaming blog on WordPress. You get to see some pretty “interesting” comments waiting in the moderation queue.

  14. heartsong93 says:

    I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!! =D I’ve just started up a blog and it feels like a whole new adventure into the UNknOwN! I’ve always loved writing, so I can relate to pretty much everything you said…it’s nice to know I’m not the only who feels like that sometimes…
    Anyways THANK-YOU so much for this post =) I’m now officially your follower…hehehe

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  16. Naomi Francis says:

    Hahaha, you have summed up my pain!

  17. Susana Weber says:

    Love it, Burk! I’m a new blogger who only wanted to share images as an artist and photographer… and didn’t see the writing ‘thing’ coming until it hit me in the forehead. Your advice is welcome and reassuring. Please share any thoughts you have on my own humble offerings if time and interest allow… much appreciated! And congrats on the FP! :))))

  18. Nice! I was posting about twice a week until going on back-to- back vacations. I’ve been somewhere between “I have nothing to write” (which is completely untrue) and “I’ll get to it tomorrow” (which is completely ridiculous since I have time now). Routine is just something that I crave and shrink from at the same time. You know what though? People can do hard things, and that includes me. I am going to post something TODAY. Thanks!

  19. APOML says:

    Some good morsels here.

  20. amelie88 says:

    Really good advice for all writers! And I think getting started/finding inspiration are the hardest things for all writers. Currently trying to find inspiration for a new blog post at the moment!

  21. thomlucci says:

    Very nice–and very true. I am a retired print journalist, and have done much writing, 95% news, 5% editorials. I have had some articles published in magazines and won a few local awards, but now at my laptop (lol) I have ideas popping in and out of my head frequently that are pretty good ideas–I just have difficulty sometimes getting motivated.

    Since I no longer have a deadline biting at my butt like a pit bull, motivation is sometimes–like a carrot dangled out in front of a donkey; it’s always there, but I can’t get to it; it keeps itself just out of reach.

    Retirement does have its drawbacks. LOL!

  22. essaylove says:

    I’ve always loved writing, but I’ve recently started writing on a weekly, if not daily, basis, and holy cow, is it a whole other animal!

    When you said how writing can be like trying to squeeze blood from a stone, a bit of me twinged inside because that’s what I’ve been feeling lately. Its like I’m past the infatuation stage, though I’m still very much in love. So, I feel ya brother and thanks for the great post!

  23. Tourism Oxford says:

    This is brilliant. Thank you for writing it.

  24. jamielynne82 says:

    Excellent read. As mentioned by everyone else, thanks for writing it (well) and sharing it.

  25. I have, just recently, published my first work. It’s encouraging somehow to know that the struggle to “get started” doesn’t really go away. I don’t feel so bad about the stacks of research and half finished manuscripts in my office. I do find a great deal of pleasure “in the zone.” That can be researching or writing. I shall make note of your site and drop back by now and then.

  26. csd5 says:

    very nice blog, best sentence was “trying to squeeze blood from a stone” and for the doubts part I recommend you read , its interesting too.

  27. kavswitch says:

    This is a great one…. i have trouble with starting my article and then it just flows on automatically…..but the best point is distractions…which am sure keeps happening to everyone 🙂

  28. HackCandid says:

    Hey, I’ve just discovered your blog and you’ve completely summarised my feelings about writing. I’ve wanted to be a journalist for as long as I can remember but actually getting around to publishing my first blog entry involved so much procrastination and deliberation! I can completely relate to your feelings about the doubt that is inherent in all writers – the thought of inidividuals reading my work (particularly those close to me) makes me break out in a cold sweat but obviously I still want readers! I really hope you follow your own advice and get around to posting once a week – my aim is twice a week because I only work part time! – I’m looking forward to reading more!

  29. Have really enjoyed your blog. More posts on writing, please! =)

  30. E. Raven says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. And, I love the illustration you used under #5! Great blog.

  31. Redge says:

    A great read. I agree with “writing for writing’s sake.” I have a fair number of drafts that I frequently review. Individually they appear to be minimal and, though they themselves may never be published, collectively they have spawned other posts that were.

    … and when I’m not writing, I look to see what others are writing about – case in point.

    Excellent points and suggestions – thanks for sharing.

  32. Rochelle Karina says:

    Well said! And the more “on your own” you are (ie: writing for yourself, freelance or spec writing), the more important it is to find the motivation within yourself.

  33. SandySays1 says:

    Shared your post with my human who writes – He added #6 that is having internal courage and honesty to realize when something isn’t your best, hitting the delete and starting over.

  34. Lauren says:

    Dear Lord 🙂 The one on getting started is so me. I’m so easily distracted, it is ridiculous. Love this piece, tis’ well written.

  35. jmsabbagh says:

    Thank you for the insight ,great post.My regards Jalal

  36. Venom says:

    You have described everything I’ve been feeling about writing for the past month or so! Very nice article =) you deserved that “Freshly Pressed”!

  37. Anita Miller says:

    I wish I could write… I paint instead. All the steps you listed apply to artists, too! Carve out a time everyday and paint/write something! No excuses!

  38. I’ve faced all those things too, believe me. Great post. Love the accompanying photos.

  39. Establishing a routine is the toughest one on your list for me! I struggle with writing what I’m “supposed” to be writing (for work) when I’d rather be writing what I want to write about.

  40. Stephen Tan says:

    Good blog! I wish I could write too… If only I could spend more time writing. You make me envious. But I can’t quit the day job just yet.

  41. I can relate to most of this though my desire keeps me going through doubt and the way always seems to be forward. I am recently published on amazon. My fantasy novel ‘The First Warrior’ is the first in a trilogy which took five years to complete. If not for the encouragement I received from my close family it would have been a lot harder. Support of this kind is a big factor. I naturally want it to be a big success and now the big doubt is ‘does anyone even know my novel exists yet?’ I had some good news yesterday: I have made a few sales! However, I need reviews by readers who enjoyed the novel and saw something in it they could relate to. I am now blogging, partly in the hope of letting people know about my novels: I believe many writers blog and do facebook because they naturally want recognition and the publicity that all novels need. Wishing you every success, Stephen Eardley, blogging alias, The Crazy Quill’.

  42. Marie' says:

    Thanx Burk! I really needed this……

    • Just received your reply: thanks for the insights. I wonder what you think about ebooks? The sages of the electronic age tell us that the days of the printed page may be numbered. Do you perceive electronic publishing as an evil to be defended against or is it the path of truth for newcomers like me? Many of whom quickly tired of banging their heads against the walls of traditional publishing houses from what I have read. If the writing itself is demanding serious ‘blocks’ are sure to start when you are ready to publish? Steve, Blogging as The Crazy Quill.

  43. nice points – i think we can all relate to these. keep up the good work 🙂

  44. anniekins85 says:

    I think what you have written is brilliant very much true. I’m not a writer and I’ve no talent for writing either (I had a bad english teacher) lol. My point is people like me admire and love to read what people like you enjoy to write because we dont have that ability or talent/skill whatever way you wish to put it. As for doubt well the world could use a little more doubt in my opinion.

  45. Nancy Turner says:

    This is great! I often find myself starting to write something, but I rarely follow it through to the end. Maybe it’s like the marathon runner’s brick wall? This is a great inspiration, I’ll tackle writing challenge again, thanks! And, congrats on getting ‘freshly pressed’. 🙂

  46. starlaschat says:

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! Lots of really good points about writing. I think your right about people enjoy knowing when you will be posting next. I’ve been posting on Mondays and Thursday’s. I have found that seems to work well for me as it gives me a few days to think about what I would like to post. I can’t believe it, but I use to post every day. Hard to imagine now. In some ways I think it was good for me, because it forced me to write or to have something ready. Grammar for me has been really rough I almost quit blogging because of it but than I realized don’t give up just try harder. :+)

  47. Amrnda says:

    Nice! This writer can sooo relate.

  48. Definitely needed this. Now I feel guilty enough that I might sit down and churn stuff out this afternoon. Also, weekly post deadlines are good when your life has structure. A few months ago when I was still in school, I had two hours on one particular day that was “blog time” but in the summer, it’s so hard!!!

    Good post. Love the pictures 🙂

  49. Jose M. López says:

    Nowadays we see images instead read to understand our enviroment and maybe the youngest people adapt quickest than other.

    I don’t we should not write but is obviously clear that every minute we do change.

  50. fredphillips says:

    Excellent blog and well summed up! I especially agree with your advice to, ‘just start writing.’ Every time I find myself stuck, I do just that, and ‘boom,’ the next thing you know, ideas flow forth. I also get great ideas while sleeping and walking (I try not to do both at the same time), so I strongly advise daily walks … with pen & pad or recorder handy, of course! Cheers!

  51. burkpkrohe says:

    Thanks for the support everyone!

  52. Didie says:

    Thanks for this post! It actually portrays what I’m living through everyday… but thanks for the advices! Especially the first point!

  53. Interesting thought from Jose M Lopez: do we change from moment to moment or are we just bewildered by the constantly changing high-tech world around us?

    ‘The more that things change the more they stay the same’ has always been true. You only have to look at nature in balance to see that with each season.

    Only now nature is having a hard time because of the modern world we are all caught up in like it or not?

    Younger people, being younger, may well be better adapted to new demands, made largely on our attention. Plus it is all they have known,being born to it. However, does that mean there is no value in taking time to read a book, maybe even a nostalgic one? Look at when John Carter, Warlord of Mars was written and that has just been made into a great movie!

    There will always be the classics?

  54. iRuniBreathe says:

    It’s good to hear that doubt is useful to keep us motivated to improve what we write. I publish, but often wonder if it was complete enough to let it go.
    Great thoughts on why writing is hard. Congrats on the Freshly Pressed!

  55. Marek Lach says:

    Wow! I feel inspired now, thanks!

  56. mars6995 says:

    You described challenges I seem to face daily, even currently. And the part about that Internet guy with the Hot Pocket and mom’s cats to feed was hilarious. Nicely done!

  57. All definite obstacles… mine is also weirdly… the follow through…. I get an idea and get all excited about it… and start planning and by the time I have an idea all worked out… I am bored with it. One might also argue that in that case they weren’t very good ideas to begin with…lol.

  58. I totally agree with everything you wrote. I so often write and re-write my posts because I think they don’t make sense. I have the doubt thing going on too. I don’t think that people want to read what I have written or that my writing does not sound as good as this person or that person. Since I decided to blog with a 30-day challenge, I’m writing more and it is starting to feel a little better. I guess the saying about practice makes perfect is somewhat true. My writing is not perfect, but I know that if I continue, it will get better with time. Thanks for a wonderful post.

  59. Ann says:

    Wonderful post! Don’t have any doubt because I am saying this from my heart. 🙂 Loved all your ideas! The post is so inspiring! I am sure it must have helped many other bloggers. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  60. Hattie Horn says:

    This is what I needed to read today. Nice, clean and clear. Thank you very much.

  61. Great post! So true to the core!

  62. KevinD says:

    Great post and congrats on hitting the FP page. I think routine is the trickiest for me. On the one hand, I need to keep the routine going; otherwise, it isn’t a routine. On the other hand, as a writer, I work within a home currently enslaved by the despot I call my one-year-old son. So, my routine needs to occasionally give way to long nights of teething or sunny days in the park — less I find myself in a marital gulag. It’s that balance of being able to bend while not breaking. To you and the other writers here, I say good luck.

  63. Congrats on the FP!

    And this is an awesomely true and laugh-filled post. I hear you!

  64. Julie DeNeen says:

    I needed to hear this today.. Thank you!

  65. I know that feeling, bro. ((: But I’m going to be honest, even after reading this, we’ll all go through these 5 things once again!

    Oh, I remember this particular scene in Midnight in Paris where Hemingway told Gil that he hates his writing even if he hasn’t read his book. He said that because the book might not be great at all so he’d hate it, or it might be really great and for that he’d hate it.
    I think that happens to every writer, but of course we can’t hate our ‘literary idols’.

  66. Daniel Undem says:

    Great Post. My problem doesn’t’ lie so much in the writing, but in the editing. Or at least that’s what I tell myself when I am procrastinating by surfing youtube.

  67. Interesting post – so many writers have these problems.Practical, relaxing summer writing courses from Writing Magazine Agony Aunt and author Diana Cambridge – Read comments from students of her courses there…workshops held in a lovely book-lined airy studio in Bath.
    Follow-up workshops and advice by e-mail too.

  68. Fantastic post! Great pointers … thank you! 🙂

  69. Congrats on Freshly Pressed! This is a great post; I particularly liked your post about writing something, anything, even if it isn’t your best idea. So true! I struggle with this all the time; I don’t want to write anything that isn’t going to be the next bestseller. Thanks for the insight!

  70. urban bamboo says:

    Reblogged this on urban bamboo and commented:
    Great article on writing from Burk Korhe.

  71. Great post, just the advice I was looking for, thank you from the new girl on the block who’s having a bash at airing her musings and ramblings.

  72. Alexis Marie Chute says:

    I really enjoyed this read! Thank you! I feel encouraged by your points on the tough aspects of writing: its nice to know I’m not alone and that there are solutions to work through these challenges.

  73. colby010 says:

    this is a great article makes me feel that I am not the only one. I am beginning the process

  74. abichica says:

    I love your post.. and its as if you are in my mind!!! SO true!! 🙂

  75. Hit the head on the nail about this serious matter. Deadlines and Discipline are my nemeses.

  76. Jade Jarvis says:

    Great post! I can definitely relate to this post. I’m also a professional writer, who drives herself crazy overanalyzing my work. It takes me forever to post because I become absorbed with fixing every sentence 100 times. Eventually, I exhaust myself and just click “publish.”

  77. Sony Fugaban says:

    I’m so glad I read this beautiful article. Let’s see if I may be able to “digest” these things in a few days. Howbeit, each of these is a mouthful.


  78. “You know the guy. He always has to point out every minor mistake even if it’s only technically wrong and doesn’t invalidate the piece, because he already made a Hot Pocket and fed his mom’s cats, so what else is he going to do all day?”

    Haha, I LOVE it!

  79. evamdare says:

    Now, I could be a writer too. Thanks a lot for boosting confidence!

  80. LaCaraVita says:

    I’ve had a book in my head for 5 years..I need to get it out! Good advice 🙂

  81. Great points, good advice. I’ve found that a great way to avoid the internet temptation is to go to a café that doesn’t have internet. Hard to find nowadays.

  82. paulbowler says:

    Great hints and tips on writing. I agree, the internet can be a big distraction at times. Thank you for some good advice, these points have really helped boost my confidence about writing.

  83. gamesfemme says:

    Great post! I’m still in the process of slowly discovering what ‘works’ for me when it comes to establishing a writing routine. Having easy internet access on my laptop is definitely a problem. When I know I need to get something done, I turn off my wireless connection to keep myself off of Twitter, etc.

  84. Catethulhu says:

    I just stumbled across this by accident, but I’m glad I read it. It makes me feel like I’m not the only one. (even thought I know I’m not, feeling and thinking are important distinctions.) Good piece, and so true. My biggest problem is that I’m always so easily distracted.

  85. pezcita says:

    I can tell you’ve been blogging for some time, because you have keen insight into the unique challenges we all face. A post a week feels like a lot sometimes, espcially when you have nothing to write (or in my case draw).

  86. Well said! I’m one more writer chiming in to say I agree with pretty much every word.

  87. Jenna says:

    What a great post. As an aspiring writer, I could connect with what you’re saying – especially about the distractions and the doubt. Happy writing.

  88. Russ Roberts says:

    I’ve experienced all of these five areas in my past career as a broadcast journalist. I never had a problem of finding something to write about, since there was always something happening making the headlines. I found a routine helpful…it gets you into a schedule for writing. Once you begin moving your fingers on the keyboard, ideas will flow. I found keeping a notepad handy…you can add ideas as they come. I even have one by the nightstand in the bedroom, in case a rare flash of brilliance overtakes me just before retiring. I’ve jotted down many ideas at this time–none of them, unfortunately were brilliant. Now that I’m in a semi-retired state, my daily news blog is part of my morning routine before I tackle the usual daily routines of housework, running errands, and doing volunteer work. I find the discipline of keeping a daily blog reinvigorates my life. One can’t afford to let the mind rust. Do your best. Some days will be better than others. Oh, yes, find a quiet place to assemble your thoughts. Distractions can wear you down and stiffle the creative process. Overall, this was an excellent post. Great advice.

  89. Generation 26 says:

    So true! I’ve started and stopped and even never started a bunch of great comic and book ideas all because I didn’t have the guts, was afraid to show it, or didn’t know where and how to start

  90. Tom Smith says:

    Burk, to borrow an overused phrase-“you’ve hit the nail on the head”! Thanks for delivering a great blog on something that all of us “wannabe” writers suffer through 😉 Well done, sir!

  91. So simple and so true. I have worked through Doubt by writing something every day. You’re right, it works. I am lucky to have articulate Criticism from my writing group. Getting started and Routine are challenging every day. The good days are when I write in spite of them. I hope I get a little closer to my true voice every day.

  92. Charlotte B. says:

    Awesome post! 🙂

  93. sb says:

    Routine! That’s my biggest issue. I’ll try to set a schedule, and stick to it – but things come up! I’m busy! I have work! I never know how to handle sticking to the routine then with other things constantly battling for attention. Criticism though… That’s my favorite part of writing.

  94. Mirror MUSES says:

    Routine is difficult for me… mostly because I have so much going on. Summer is usually my writing time, since I’m a teacher; it’s much easier to establish some sort of routine when my schedule isn’t so chock full! It would great to start a writer’s group. I’ve written 2 novels that I’m working on getting published– a daunting task/chore for me. But I’m plugging away!! Never give up, right & believe in your voice. Best of luck w/ your writing. Check out my blog when you have some time. 🙂

  95. Janet Allen says:

    “…a wasteland of ineffectualness…” – I love this! Mostly, I live it. Thanks for the great advice.

  96. Writer Jobs says:

    Great post thanks. I really enjoyed it very much.

    Love writing? We would love for you to join us!

    Writer Jobs Available

  97. Our best advice is write what you enjoy and don’t try too hard to please the audience. Everything we write is for our own enjoyment and to make ourselves laugh. Fuck the haters.

  98. 1stpeaksteve says:

    #3 is something that to me is almost unwarranted. I wrote a post about forums on my site. These days, anonymous commenting has become a staple in almost every online site. It was created to add interaction but it has become a venue for people to make cruel, racist, or lame political remarks and most of the time it has nothing to do with the subject matter.

    Look at Youtube and look at the comments for something as simple as a music video or a family vacation. Is this enhancing the experience in anyway or getting anyone involved?

    Good post!

  99. Nawaal says:

    You know what I hate? When I have a train of thought about my life, and I hold it in my head thinking, yikes I have to keep this to myself lest I find myself being looked at funny. And then along comes an article or post or in this case Blog, wherein someone correctly verbalizes and pens all I have been holding inside. And its as though its some kind of divine inspiration sent message, telling me, hey look you’re not alone! So whip yourself into shape ok? Thanks! Needed a bit of motivation! Btw this is the first time I’m on this site ever…

  100. Audrey says:

    Writing is tough! Writing well is even tougher! And most people just don’t get that. Glad that you do, and it’s clear from the comments that you have lots of people on your side. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  101. Great post. Thanks for the advice. I’m suffering from the dreaded “Procrastination bug” at the moment. Hopefully I’ll recover soon 🙂

  102. Reblogged this on penandthink360 and commented:
    An awesome piece that should be about the pit falls of freelance work and working from home.

  103. Kayla says:

    Story of my liiiiife!

  104. Thank you for letting me know I’m not the only one with those issues! Especially the doubt part. I even stopped writing for a long time because I thought I had nothing to say that anyone would want to read. Since writing on WP, I have found that to be untrue. The biggest thing that helped me was participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time in November last year; my problem was I edited as I wrote and would get totally disgusted at what I was writing. NaNo made me just write without editing so I could keep up with the daily word count. Best thing that ever happened to me. Now I write and don’t edit until I’m done.

  105. I loved it! I have wrote poetry on my blog for a while, but just recently started to write stories…..totally different playing field. But oh so gratifying. My niche is romance, and I am currently writing a spiritual paranormal adult romance…..I have never been more challenged, but never had so much fun! Thanks for your insights here….you speak truly and I enjoyed the read….

  106. clientsi says:

    Great post indeed. I used to write all the time and am just getting back into it and am doing my best to read everything I can about it. I am loving blogging and finding it easier to write poetry and casual paragraphs than work on my book that sits there taunting me. Thanks for the insight!

  107. I think to some degree writers are innately perfectionists, hence the “doubt” portion. I can proofread something 100 times that I think is my best post yet, but still not think it is a solid 100% A+. But what is then? I think a lot of the fun in writing is also the evolving part that goes into it- as a writer but also as a person. I learn new things about myself all the time from writing, and that in turn helps create my own “voice” even more! So needless to say- I enjoyed this article. 🙂 Thanks!

  108. dreager1 says:

    Yeah, getting started is probably the toughest part! Because after that you’ve already got an idea of where to go, but when you first start you need to think of something that will really catch your readers!

  109. Mae Long says:

    You summed up all of my thoughts exactly, especially doubt and routine. I’m really self-concious of my writing, and I never actually believe anyone if they say they like my story. And routine, oh boy, I seem to always talk about writing, but rarely ever do any. I feel like I should print out this article and tack it above my laptop. Cheers!

  110. selfab says:

    This post is wonderful, it’s all solid advice that I’d recommend to anyone looking to brush up on the craft. One piece of advice I’d add though, if you want to be a writer … Read! Read a ton of stuff! There are too many people out there who want to write bestsellers and “literary” works who can’t just pick up a book and read it for fun, and I think that of anything, that is the most instrumental part of becoming a writer — an unabashed love of the written word, even when it’s not your own.

  111. I looked at the routine section and hung my head in shame. Well said.

  112. hanif says:

    Nice one. Actually its quite obvious. However, it is usually the obvious that I myself in particular fail to observe.

    I guess my main issues are “routine” and… d’oh! its all of it I guess.

    I also write for a living, and that’s a bit more easier because there’s the pressure to write. Not that its without any of the above. However my blogging is worse than that because there’s almost no incentive/pressure whatsoever.

    Congrats for being FP’d & thanks for the inspiration!

  113. keep your youth forever says:

    Wow… story of my life – so much frustration!! This is brilliant, thank you 🙂

  114. meromusings says:

    Great post for a beginner like me, thanks for sharing!!

  115. l0ve0utl0ud says:

    I agree with your points – I still haven’t got the hang of a writing routine yet!

  116. Red Toenails says:

    I agree with all of the points. I had an interruption that lasted a while and am just getting back to writing. Boy and it’s kicking my butt! Thanks for the post.

  117. Good pointers in there Burk…and some serious chess going on.

  118. Islamopedia says:

    ‘The Internet–probably the greatest distraction in human history.’

    I couldn’t agree more and I hope you don’t mind me using this as a quote on my twitter feeds with reference to you as the author.

  119. Eddys says:

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  120. Great post! Congrats on FP!

  121. Very good advice for the aspiring writers.
    Please keep writing.

  122. Cher Burk, i enjoy my time read your blog, its simple and easy to catch your point, Thank you to share a writing passion to us a=).

  123. Matt Mason says:

    It’s too bad I can only click “like” once, because this was the kind of refresher I needed. Thanks!

  124. “Unfortunately, nowadays, everyone writes on laptops…which also have access to the Internet–probably the greatest distraction in human history.” I like to solve this problem by writing with quill pens on scrolls. The quality of work yielded using this technique is well worth the extra trouble. I find that I have not once been distracted by instructional guitar videos while quill pen writing.

  125. tssharp says:

    Routine – ah – I’m my own worst enemy. Tonight I have a few hours to myself – I could either work on my novel, or play a few hours of uninterrupted Xbox. I know what will win…

    Great post. Well done on the Freshly Pressed, I like it when it throws up an interesting blog.

  126. GYM? what is this GYM?

  127. sehrahmusic says:

    Thank you for sharing your ideas on writing! It’s always motivating to read other writers thoughts on writing. 🙂

  128. thedecafdiva says:

    Great post! I am currently trying to relaunch my freelance writing career and I am running into some of the same obstacles.

  129. Mr.B says:

    Great post it turned out to be just what I needed to read at the moment. I’m an aspiring writer with a hard deadline of 10 months, it can be terrifying at times.

  130. joycejournal says:

    Oh my god.. You are so riiiight! I feel you on this one!

  131. trcapromo says:

    I would have to agree on many of your points. The getting started issue can be a real challenge, especially in fiction writing. Not so much for non-fiction though, at least in my opinion.

  132. Liza says:

    Awesome advice! Finding my voice is the hardest part for me. I feel like right now I’m mouthing out in different languages 🙂

  133. jenniesisler says:

    This is such great advice. I’ve been a writer all my life and I have to say that Doubt is my biggest inhibitor. #5 I have conquered by simply handwriting the first drafts of my poems/stories/blog posts. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  134. Alex Jones says:

    In my experience I have found the WordPress community to be the most friendly and positive of readers/bloggers. Rarely have I had abusive comments.

  135. melicusg says:

    Cool post! I just started up my blog today and put on a post. exciting times and a perfect time to read your article!

  136. Kelli says:

    Burk, I have been struggling all year to post again…and today I just forced myself to log on and see what happens. First thing I saw was your post…now I’m going to just start writing…Thank you. Congratulations on a well deserved Freshly Pressed!

  137. I have just published my VERY FIRST BLOG POST and then I find this. Just what I needed to read. It has taken me for EVER to pluck up the courage to do it. Re: 1. “Finding your voice” I heard a really good expression on that topic just this week which was that “It’s not about finding your voice, it’s about giving yourself permission to use your voice”. Which is what spurred me on. Great post, thanks.

  138. thedenude says:

    This was a very good post about issues that writers face, but I think it overlooks a large point. Some of my best writing comes from times I was striving for absolute, unflinching honesty and clarity. Many times, we have something to say, but then we write what we think others will like. This usually results in bitter disappointment. On the other hand, if I am being honest with myself and my writing, then it does matter if other’s read it, because I know that I said what I wanted to say in the clearest way possible.

  139. Roshni says:

    Awesome post. Loved it. 🙂 And the part about doubt being good is so true. I always strive to write something better than what I’ve already written. And I enjoy the process. 🙂 Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  140. foreigninput says:

    i liked not just because im polite (not too polite lol)…but because number one is on point! Sometimes staying in a shadow feels comforting because you feel close to what you can consider as ‘good’..but the idea of finding my own voice sounds pretty awesome..great post!

  141. kposh says:

    great post! its a great reminder for writing, i can relate to all points!

  142. Thanks for all the info. As a recent writer to the blogger world, I will definetly use these points.

  143. This is great. As a new writer embarking on a mission to “get myself out there” this was very helpful to me 🙂 Thank you.

  144. justm3lly says:

    Thanks for your post! It’s great.

  145. Rob says:

    Point 2 – Doubt – nails it. Concise and accurate. Good stuff.

  146. pepaqua says:

    Reblogged this on livingleanandinthegreen and commented:
    Great blog about inspiring yourself to write! Something I need right now, haha. ^_^

  147. sirlexicans says:

    Hey there 🙂 I’m actually an aspiring writer myself … I don’t have a job – I’m a student – so I’m curious to find out what exactly you do for a “living.” I don’t exactly know what to expect when I graduate … Are you an author , journalist or neither ? And whats the job like ?

  148. jlarew says:

    I liked this article and I think anyone who writes can relate. The comedian reference brought up something I can relate to. When I create something I also want the immediate reaction to my work. Problem is, as a writer, the paper (or screen) acts as mediator between you and your audience and you don’t know what their reaction is unless they tell you. Kind of frustrating.

  149. Elizabeth says:

    This is perfect! It’s exactly all the things I have gone through to write! My worst is lack of ideas, I’ve gotten on a schedule of sorts and at least try to get on wordpress daily, that often helps spark some sort if idea.

    Great post!!

  150. ruthgerada says:

    Thank you so much for inspiring me today! I just started writing and I really have lots of doubts when my boss says I did well!Now I know I’m not the only one who feel it!
    More power and may you inspire more writers!

  151. Currently dealing with #1 and 2.
    Thank you for this post.

  152. thesahmpress says:

    Fantastic blog! I couldn’t agree more!

  153. First, congrats on Freshly Pressed. =]

    Second, there is absolute truth in this post. I think you should add “Finishing” to the list, though. =P I can’t count how many writers (including myself) have issues with finishing what they start. Though, that could largely be a product of “Doubt.”

    Thanks for a great post!

  154. Love this! And so one point. By the way, I should be writing, right now!

  155. Jade Bennett says:

    So very true on all points here. But I’m thinking that you should wrap up with “wrapping up”. Personally, I have huge problems actually concluding my stories. I have issues bringing the world to a full stop and tying up loose ends, so that’s definitely one of my biggest issues with writing.

  156. After this post and all the great generous responses, I hope your doubts are squelched- at least for today! Great work that hits home for all of us who write with the hope of connecting with others.

  157. Shane Peltzer says:

    Awesome and so on point. I think another part of writing that is hard is to pick something you feel passionate about writing about, but also being able to write about it in a way that isn’t like you are selling it or coming across like a douchebag.

  158. “where inspiration is plentiful, you know, like bad grammar in Youtube comments”………best simile EVER. Thank you.

  159. Maahir Shah says:

    I think as a writer, each of us are very close to the article we are writing. Maybe too close to see it neutrally. As a result, facing criticism can sometimes be difficult. And, even if we do face criticism well, we might not be able to see it with a different perspective because we are too close to the article.

  160. Alyssa says:

    These are really true. For me the top 1 on the list is getting started. I have the topic and ideas in mind…but then when I’m about to start, just couldn’t figure out the right words to say; it’s like I’m totally blank. 🙂

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  161. Akanksha says:

    Reblogged this on The Reasoning and commented:
    nice read…enjoy!

  162. Even if this isn’t for me I thank you for posting this. Kinda give me hopr in blogging. 😀

  163. aimeerebecca says:

    Thank you! This has really opened my eyes 🙂

  164. wmabel217 says:

    Thanks so much…as someone new to Blogging…this was so helpful. I have gotten to writing somethings out long hand, because my computer can be such a distraction…games, news, research, and email….ok, really it is Facebook, but who wants to admit that…lol

  165. So verrrrry true! Thanks for the reminders…

  166. raynebair says:

    Trying to find something to write about is really one of the hardest. Anything I think to write about, I feel is useless or meaningless to everyone else, so why write about it. And I’m not good at getting my thoughts into words, so it’s even harder for me, as a non-writer, to find things to post on my blog. Maybe that’s why it’s been so lacking in content for so long.

  167. hannahbanana says:

    Amen! Absolutely love this!

  168. stephenis says:

    Great post. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing.

    I would, however like to point out that there is an unexpected cure to the condition whose symptoms you list.

    The cure is a healthy dose of Narcissism. If administered properly (never ever allowing yourself to write about yourself) the narcissist suffers from none of your listed ailments.

    He has lots to say of course, and is always eager to say it, without fear or doubt of his unbelievable greatness. Who, can distract him from his, most narcissistic expressions? No one and nothing. Immune to any criticism, he types on, furiously demonstrating his obvious superiority.

    Now couple that with all your current literary strengths (which are still present in your narcissistic personality) and you have a non-stoppable writing machine.

    Go on, try it.

    or read some of mine at

  169. ashliesocialight says:

    Boy did you hit the nose in this blog. Thanks for sharing your tips on writing. I’ll admit my biggest problem is procrastination and doubt. This is because I’m self educated in journalism and sports. So finding my voice and expressing my thoughts, educated opinions, and humor can be difficult at times, and more times than if perfer. I’ll follow your blog in hopes of gaining inspiration and helpful writing advice. Till next time!

  170. […] The 5 Toughest Things About Writing ( […]

  171. aww. Thanks for this. Great advice for people just starting to write… 🙂

  172. ghellieace says:

    I’m really happy that I’ve stumbled upon this post. 🙂 I used to love writing before. But as time goes by, it seems like I’m losing this passion for writing already. I totally agree with you when you mentioned that there are times when it’s like trying to squeeze blood from a stone. It does feel like that for me most of the times!:( Thank you for this inspiring post, anyway!:)

  173. kayfroebel says:

    Thank you very much for sharing your tips. Although to some it may seem obvious, to me it is like a breath of fresh air. I am not the only one that struggles with the things you mentioned. The part that rings truest to me is your comment about keep writing. I write fiction and short stories, and that is something I embrace wholeheartedly. I am really glad you made that point. In fact my blog was started for that exact reason, my in-between writings while I am exercising my mind.

    Thank you again for posting this!

  174. karilee says:

    Wow! I really like what you wrote and its very helpful. I just found this site 2 days ago and I keep writing and then changing what I’ve been writing and then….I delete the whole thing deciding that I’ll start over fresh. Lol.

  175. Rick Majercik says:

    I really enjoyed this entry. Well done! For all the new writers out there, check out “Writing Down the Bones.” I found it very helpful.

  176. Reblogged this on Self-Mastery|Concepts and commented:
    This is a reblog of an excellent post by Burke Krohe… I feel his pai… Enjoy!

  177. writingrenee says:

    I love writing on paper what I am going to type for my blog, unfortunaltly, my writsts give a bit of a problem, so It’s easier to type (and accidentally lose what I just wrote). Great post!

  178. sqeekchair says:

    “Finding your own voice” punctuates the uniqueness of a writer just as much as a vocalist. Example: Bruce Springstein v Bocelli- massive vocal and style differences. Writing is a wonderful process, I find it therapeutic to release my “inner child’s” so to speak. Writing can be much like “acting,” in the sense the author can give all our “inner characters” an authentic outlet and create worlds outside of the mundane. We can create situations and mix them up. I write with my gut instinct- I am an ’empathetic’ so I get a feel for the audience and write to them, not at them.

  179. Great! I love how you pointed out that even compliments will make a writer cringe. Is this person just being nice? Have they even read my piece? Do they want something from me? Or maybe they just don’t know any better…? Doubt, doubt, doubt. Writers have taught life 😉

  180. chhavinagpal says:

    there are so many comments here already and i am quite unsure you will read mine. i write too , not professionally but for my self. writing for me is how beautifully, boldly, clearly, i can sketch through words. when these points of yours are added with it, i think it might result into a great outcome.

  181. […] and things about writing and word choice, funny and practical revelations about […]

  182. Akanksha says:

    Hi! I just nominated you for the “One Lovely Blog Award”

  183. rantsandmorerants says:

    This is a great post. I’m glad it’s not just me that is doubting something you’ve written. As a new blogger I’ve found it difficult to find one particular area to blog about and to be satisfied with a post. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I guess practice makes perfect!

  184. Yep. Many of these points and comments are what I remind myself of.
    By the way, try out my blog.

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