1. Watching other people succeed. You can be happy for your friends, family, and writer acquaintances and still battle feelings of discouragement. It’s pretty normal. You shouldn’t let it knock you down, but it will try. You have to let yourself feel those feelings and then continue moving forward.
2. Being told you’ll never reach your goals. Yes, people will say hurtful things to you and try to crush your dreams. Even if you don’t let them change your trajectory, words still hurt.
3. Wanting results “right now.” We’re used to getting the answers we want and checking off boxes ASAP. Writing doesn’t work like that. It’s a slow, but satisfying, burn.
4. Waiting. Writers do a lot of this, and it’s hard even when you’re distracting yourself with new projects while you wait to find out if the one you just finished will ever go anywhere.
5. Rejections. Not just the first or second or tenth, but the many that will inevitably come after. There comes a point where all writers almost begin to believe they can’t handle one more “no.” But you can.
6. Negative feedback — different from constructive criticism in the sense that some people don’t have anything positive to say and just want to tear you down to make themselves feel better. Their words don’t matter.
7. Feeling “blocked.” Creative blockages happen for a number of reasons, and some writers just haven’t learned how to handle one of the most frustrating barriers to productivity (yet).
8. Issues with confidence and self-esteem. If you’re not actively working to deal with these things, you’re just going to have a much harder time believing you can achieve great things — which is important, since sometimes you’re the only one you can rely on to drive your dreams forward.
9. Bad habits. There are many writers who can’t break their own cycle of quitting halfway through something because they’ve never been taught to persist when things become difficult. You have to work to break those habits that make writing impossible for you.
10. The fear of failure. You might be tempted to quit before you even start because you don’t want to emerge unsuccessful. Even though failure is just a part of the game, and if you want to win, you have to let yourself mess up.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.