1. Being afraid to put your work out there. Like, it’s still scary most if not all of the time, but you get used to just dealing with it and doing it anyway! YAY FEAR!
2. Not knowing what to write about. (You eventually learn to either “just write anyway” or put in many practice hours into refining the art of “just
3. Determining which ideas are good and worth pursuing and which are not. It takes time to get the hang of this one, but as long as you remember that even bad ideas aren’t completely useless, you’ll be just fine.
4. Finishing what you start. There are going to be plenty of projects you start but never get around to finishing, but you’ll learn to make the ones you finish truly count — while also learning from the things you leave behind.
5. Bringing all the parts of a story together to make it “good.” Anyone can tell a story. Not everyone can spin a narrative in such a way that makes it impossible to forget.
6. Writing even when you “don’t feel like it” — because honestly, sometimes you don’t have the option to “not write” and have to get your work done whether you’re in the mood or not.
7. Writing even though you’re not sure anyone else will understand it, relate to it, or care. The truth? There will always be at least one person who understands, relates, and/or cares. Your words are not a waste.
8. Editing your own work. Real talk: It’s not fun, it might never be something you enjoy, but it does become something you have no choice but to tolerate. I have editors and I still have to edit my work before I submit things. It never ends.
9. Handling feedback and constructive criticism. You learn not to take it so personally after a while. Sometimes it still stings, but you figure out how to use it as fuel for productivity and growth instead of letting it tear you down.
10. Managing your time. Truth bomb: It never gets easier. Things always come up and nothing rarely ever goes the way you want or need it to. You learn to Make Writing Happen whenever and wherever you can.
11. Knowing that struggling in certain areas as a writer is not something you “get over,” but instead something you continuously work in spite of.
12. Query letters. You just do them. Over and over and over. It is the way of things. Embrace it.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.