The Most Common Obstacles For Writers To Overcome

By on October 25, 2016
The Most Common Obstacles For Writers To Overcome - Writer's

Many people believe that writing is one of those things where you either 'have it or you don’t'. But this is just not the case. It might be tough, but the good news is that you CAN become a better writer, it simply takes courage, persistence, and hard work.

One of the difficulties with really getting into the writing game is that there are many challenging obstacles you have to face. Getting over these obstacles will see you go further and further on your writing journey, improving and learning every step of the way.

Defeating these barriers helps writers grow, develop their skills and become braver, more determined and more likely to success than ever before.

So, what are the most common obstacles that writers must overcome? Knowing what to look for can make all the difference!

Creating a plot that works.

This may seem obvious, yet coming up with a viable plot is harder than one might think. You can have a big idea, be full of enthusiasm and excitement, start writing, get four chapters in a realise it just isn’t going anywhere. All that time and energy has gone to waste, and you have no choice but to retreat, re-think and go back to the drawing board.

Carefully planning and researching before you start any piece of writing is a good idea - even then sometimes you’ll get far into a story and realise that something doesn’t quite add up. However usually (and hopefully) these inconsistencies can be rectified rather than having to start all over again.

Writing something original.

Some say that every single thought you have ever had has been already thought by someone else somewhere else - essentially that nothing can be truly unique. This is rather disheartening for a writer!

Trying to make your story original, and attention grabbing, while also following the rules of the genre you are writing in is tough to get right. The truth is no matter how hard we try we can’t help but be influenced by the stories that we read and however unconsciously we do it, elements of them are bound to come through in our own.

Getting our characters just right

Our characters have to be intriguing and believable; Our readers need to care about what they say and do. They must be rooting for them, or perhaps hoping for them to meet their untimely end! Our characters must go on journey’s and grow and change and interact, or survive or be defeated. Developing the characters in a story is one of the hardest challenges a writer must face, but it is one of the most important too.

Doing your research

Despite all the advice telling writers to ‘write what they know,’ many choose to write about anything and everything, whether they haver experienced it or not. The important point is to do your research. If your main character works in a hospital, go to one - observe how it is laid out, how people talk to one another, and all the different characters that come in and out. If you are writing a novel set in a particular period, find out about it -what did the people wear? What did they eat? What did the world look like then? Don’t be lazy when it comes to research as readers are eagle-eyed creatures and are sure to pick up on anything that doesn’t quite ‘fit!’

Writing dialogue

Normal speech is littered with pauses, people trailing off, and people talking over one another. Getting dialogue right in a book is so tricky. You can't write verbatim as people would talk in real life, yet to have to make the reader believe that they are. Perfecting writing dialogue takes time and patience - practice makes perfect after all.


Learning to edit your work is a massive challenge, and often it takes a good few attempts to get this right. You have to learn not only to be incredibly thorough to ensure you weed out any errors but also to know when you are too involved in your work and need to step back to avoid ruining it! Understanding when to say ‘enough is enough’ is another huge part of the editing process - the temptation to go on forever is one that most writers are familiar with.

As writers, becoming familiar with the obstacles we must face each and every time we sit down to write a new piece of work means not only are we quicker to identify them when they arise, but also learn how to tackle them, and in some cases, eliminate them all together. Doing so makes the creative process easier and more enjoyable, and the resulting work undoubtedly more refined and exciting too.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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