Monday, July 16, 2012

What's the Most Challenging Part?

A few weeks ago, I asked for topics you wanted me to post about. You came up with some great questions, because you're geniuses like that.

Today, I'm answering a question posted by Randy Lindsay. He asked:
"As a published author, what is the most challenging part of the process? Is it writing, or promoting, or something else?"

I think it absolutely depends on the author. My book isn't out for several months still, but I think I can give you an answer anyway. For me, this answer has been the same since the first day I started writing. The hardest part is balancing all of the roles involved in this job. As I move closer to my release date, it doesn't get any easier.

To be honest, I think I've gotten pretty good at balancing. And I work on it every day. As an author, we wear so many hats. Creator, out-liner, drafter, editor, reviser, reader...and then we move into marketer, social-media-expert, public speaker, presenter, teacher, mentor...all of this on top of anything outside of writing. It's a massive balancing act.

For me, I take one day at a time and I have a plan. I've grown to know my own strengths and limitations. I understand that I can only spend one hour drafting for every 3 hours editing. I know that I work better with a very loose outline and some time to mull it over before I dig in.

Most importantly, I understand that I can't do it all by myself. I have an amazing family and friends that help me and have my back. And even if everything else falls apart, I know that I will still have them. This is what gives me the strength to keep balancing, to keep putting on all my hats day after day, and to keep doing what I love.

What about you? What do you struggle with and what keeps you going?


  1. For me, the hardest part of writing is knowing when to stoping editing. It's like shaping your eyebrows, you never know when it's perfect.

    Great post!

  2. For me (although I am not a published author, so I can't speak to that aspect), the hardest part is not beating myself up over word count. I tend to start out thinking my book will be shorter than it is. So for the first half I allow myself to indulge, and really linger in certain scenes. Then, come 60K or thereabouts, I realize HOLY SHIT THIS BOOK IS GOING TO BE LIKE 110K!!! And then I freak out, and my writing starts to suffer because I don't give myself permission to explore characters/scenes. I end up with a first half that could use some snipping here and there, and a second half that's super rushed.

  3. I love this blog post, Jenn. I also struggle with the balancing act. Another thing is patience while drafting. Most of my CPs draft super fast, and I'm a LOT slower. I usually crank out 250-500 words per hour. I did 60k last November for NaNo, but it meant writing from morning until night, and was pretty hard on my family. Now I'm trying for 5k a week, and that's a lot more reasonable!

  4. I think I have to say I have two problems- one is BICT (butt in chair time) and the other is second guessing my own work. The self-doubt I think is the hardest to over-come for me.

  5. I struggle a lot with the revision stage. All I want to do is write something new, not go over a story I've already told. But until I manage to write a perfect rough draft, I guess editing is here to stay.