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Challenges For Writers

Updated on November 12, 2013

There are many different types of writers and unfortunately many of them tend to criticize one another. Writers are some of the most critical people you’ll ever meet. Seriously.

Novel writers don’t believe that bloggers are real writers, authors that have been published with a publishing company don’t believe self published authors are real authors. Then there is the editing that goes on when one writer reads another person’s work. They think they could do better, look at those errors, blah, blah.

We have enough difficulties in this field without being at another writer's throat but it happens. I've been to conferences where one writer got their feelings hurt because of another person's words. I wish I were making this up but I'm not.

When you tell a person you are a writer, the first thing that comes to their mind is an author of books. People who are not in the field of writing don’t realize the many different aspects of the career. You can be a journalist, a copywriter, text book writer, play writers, lyricist, how to manual writer, fiction writer, non-fiction writer and today we have online article writers as well as bloggers. All are writers and make their living sitting in front of a keyboard.

Look at anything in print you have in your home: all written by a writer.

If you make money writing, you are a writer.

As far as I'm concerned even if you don't make money writing you are still a writer if you write but some get all caught up in the details and like to nitpick the issue to death.

What have you written?

Some writers never see their name on the work they do but they consistently get jobs and stay in work. I know a woman who writes those beautiful textbooks for young children with gorgeous photography and information about animals around the world. Once she’s paid it’s turned over to the textbook company and her name never appears in print but she’s put kids through college, paid for family trips and remodeled her kitchen with money she’s made writing these books.

Telling people you are a writer but then trying to explain where they can read your work isn’t always easy. Some of us write under a pseudonym and even others want their vocation kept under wraps. I wrote an article about a school teacher that writes erotica a while back. I’ll add the link below just in case you haven’t read it. She makes more money selling books than she does teaching English to high school kids but she had to keep that portion of her career a secret, only it got out and some tried to get her fired. Being a writer isn’t always an easy way of life.

Fiction or Non-Fiction?

Most writers excel at one or the other but there are some gifted people that can do both with great skill.

Fiction writers feel that making up information as they go along is much easier than continually giving instruction or writing about people, places or things.

Some have trouble making up stories and prefer to stick to writing what they know.

Still others love to write and put together pieces of written work but prefer someone else give them the ideas and information. Tell them what to write and they’ll write it.

What kind of writer makes the most money?

They all have the potential to make a lot of money. You simply have to find what works best for you and stick with it. That's not to say you may change your mind about what you write or the rules may simply change in a few years. Look at ebook publishing and how it's changed the publishing world.

There are millionaire bloggers as well as those that write fiction so don’t let anyone tell you one way is better than another. Finding your style and favorite kind of writing will work best.

Don’t think you have to write a novel to be considered a “real writer.” I know some fiction writers that don’t own their own home and struggle to pay their bills. They put out a book every year just to make ends meet.

Then there are bloggers that appear to be playing online everyday, travel all of the time staying in expensive hotels and eating in fancy restaurants. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

I'm not saying you have to own your own home just showing that just because someone has published a book or more doesn't mean they are rich or even middle class.

Making a difference in the world

Whatever you write, if it brings enjoyment to your readers and yourself, mostly yourself then you are making a difference in the world.

We live in a messed up universe with turmoil, bad weather and sickness. Writing a few words that makes someone smile, teaches them something or helps a person is well worth the few minutes or hours you put into that piece whether you get rich or not.

I wrote for years online for fun not realizing I could be making money doing it and still would whether I got paid or not. It makes me happy and sometimes it makes others happy too.

What do I write?

I write articles, blogs and fiction. So far I haven’t published a novel but may someday. I’ve published short fiction in magazines under an assumed name but nothing with my well known pseudonym or real name.

I’m very picky about novels and want to make sure what I publish is the best I can do so I haven’t yet sent out anything. I’ve read some really lousy books that were a disappointment. I don’t want to attach my name to anything that people won’t enjoy reading.

Challenges for me as a writer

Hopefully someday I will have a book with my name on it. So to answer the question of what is the biggest challenge for me as a writer? I’d say completing an entire novel. I admire anyone who has the focus to be able to do that. The difficulty for me is staying focused with one story long enough to see it through to the end.

Other challenges are the ongoing changes for online writers. Writing for Internet publication is one of the most difficult for any writer due to the continuous changes that take place. We not only have to write, but we have to network, advertise and keep up with all of the changes that Google and the websites we write for make.

Being a writer is no picnic and if you decide this career choice you have to love it or you’ll go crazy and even then you still might.


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    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      PDX, novels aren't as easy to write as it looks. I've got several started on my hard drive but none in print...yet.

      Audrey, it's not easy some just give the illusion of ease.

      Thanks for reading, Kashmir.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Pamela, great well written and thought out hub, with all good positive points on writing and being a writer. This is so encouraging to us writers here on HP. Well done !

      Vote up and more !!! SHARING !

      Have a awesome weekend my friend !

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      This is such an inspirational article Pam--and I do think that being a writer is difficult---such a great read--thank you

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 

      6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Nice work, Pamela. And good pointers. I've been making money as a ghost writer and editor, but most stuff under my name just gets me a little beer money. I write cuz I love it and want people to enjoy it... if the money comes later, that would be fantastic.

      I've had a novel in the works for five years. I know I'll finish it... just not sure when :-)

    • Mit Kroy profile image

      Mit Kroy 

      6 years ago from Georgia,USA

      Pam, your article was inspirational! Thanks

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Writer20, if you submit to an agent or editor it won't cost you anything but postage for a query letter.

      That's wonderful, Vincent. Congratulations.

      Thanks everyone for reading.

    • Skarlet profile image


      6 years ago from California

      I just stumbled upon this hub, and it drew me in. Very nice job. Everything you said rings true.

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 

      6 years ago from Tucson, Az

      .this is how I have felt for yrs :) so nice to be validated!! thank you

      "Writing a few words that makes someone smile, teaches them something or helps a person is well worth the few minutes or hours you put into that piece whether you get rich or not."

    • profile image

      Vincent Moore 

      6 years ago

      I never until joining hub pages two and a half years ago found I had any skills as a writer let alone a poet. I since have published two poetry Ebooks on Amazon and Smashwords.

      Grant you the sales have not been spectacular, however it has put my pen name out there and I have recently had a few very interesting emails from positive critics.

      I have found my Muse and as a writer I write, regardless of interest in fame or success. I write from my soul and I know readers have enjoyed my work. Having said this, I would never talk poorly towards another writer. I leave all my work as a legacy to my children first and foremost.

      Excellent hub, you stimulated and inspired many of us.

    • LABrashear profile image


      6 years ago from My Perfect Place, USA

      I love that you are so unbiased in your hub! There are a lot of snobs out there...and a lot that are uneducated about the craft. I really don't tell a lot of people I write. I am my own worst critic since I haven't published any of my novels, but I am learning to love where I am at - especially with the HubPages community support. Voted up and thanks for shedding some light to others!

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Great hub full of good information. I've have 2 novels ready to go, but at the moment money it an issue.

      Voted up and awesome, Joyce.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Becky, writing about your experience can be very therapeutic and can help other people going through the same things. Glad you are recovering. Keep writing.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      6 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      I just started writing about three years ago. I found out that I had breast cancer and I had things to say about it. I could not talk to my friends because they were all so worried. My family was the same. I did need to get it off my chest though (pun intended). I wrote in a journal and then, so that someone didn't find it, I burnt it. It was terribly depressing and no one but God needed to hear it. It also made me less depressed so that was a good thing. Now I write mostly about happy things and am really enjoying it. I yearn to write fiction but do not seem to have that in me. I guess I will justy keep writing whatever I find.

    • Talullah profile image


      6 years ago from SW France

      A great hub! I write because I love words, and I love the English language. I write for private clients, and for companies, and I am currently writing a book - non-fiction, this time, but I hope to produce that novel one day!

    • Lydia Jones profile image

      Lydia Jones 

      6 years ago from U.K.

      Great hub. Thanks! Writers write because they can't help it but it's great to get paid! I'm currently hubbing on how to write and sell to the women's magazine market, but there are so many different markets out there. Keep going everyone! :)

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Rob, it's not an easy way to make a living so we have to love it. Good luck selling your novel.

    • Robwrite profile image


      6 years ago from Oviedo, FL

      Hi Pamela; Good points.As someone who has been struggling to make a living as a writer, I find all kinds of work. None of it has paid particularly well or made me famous, but it least i can say I've been paid to write. many people don't get to say that. I've been everything from an article content writer, to an on-line reviewer, to a short story writer. There's freelance work out there, but you have to scramble for it.

      There are all kinds of writers. As you say, there is a lot of prejudice against writers unless you're wiritng for a big newspaper, magazine, TV or movie company. Or if you're writing novels. (I've actually written a novel, I just haven't sold it.)

      Very good hub. Well said,


    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks, lobobrandon.

    • lobobrandon profile image

      Brandon Lobo 

      6 years ago

      Great hub! Lovely description and it's not just a great hub for writers to read - Non writers should read it ;)

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks, Dilipchandra.

    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 

      6 years ago from India

      Great writing Pam, i like your articles.

    • The Marker profile image

      The Marker 

      6 years ago

      This hub inspires me. Thanks Pam!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Ghaelach, humor is laced with truth.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Morning Pamela.

      An interesting hub.

      Listened to the Lewis Black video on you tube. Not bad, although not nowing he is a comedian I was expecting something else.

      Take care LOL Ghaelach

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Jenubouka, I have gotten quite a few of those myself. We must persevere if want to be in this business. There is a lot of rejection along the way.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I found this hub very motivating and loved your part that states if you get paid for your writing then you are a writer...I tend to get wishy washy on the "not what we are looking for" yet as one very successful novelist hung hundreds of rejection letters on his wall, he too prevailed.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Sergs_pogi, a large part of online writing is Internet marketing. I am a writer first and foremost and second a marketer.

    • sergs_pogi profile image


      6 years ago

      Perhaps it depends on our motivation. My long-term goal in writing online is to become an Internet Marketer. As with network marketing, no one can say he or she is a network marketer if a certain level of success in terms of position, network breadth, and income is not reached. The same is true in Internet Marketing, I believe.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Incomeguru, first and foremost we should write for ourselves.

      Scribenet, practice makes perfect or at least better.

    • Scribenet profile image


      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I enjoyed this Hub and all the comments.

      I think writers fall on a spectrum. Even great writers have to begin somewhere and improve their craft. Not everyone is of the same caliber and that is quite fine with me. There is always room for improvement.

      The craft of writing requires time and effort. Much like a painter's craft. I doubt the first paintings of the Masters were masterpieces! Writing takes practice!

    • incomeguru profile image

      Oyewole Folarin 

      6 years ago from Lagos

      Being an online article writer makes me proud. It's not all that easy to get published article in the first page of google. Am not bothered about the negative comment from others like the novel writers that sees me less as a writer.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Brian, I hope so too.

      Sophia, glad you have been surrounded by great people. When you have a chance look up a video on YouTube by Lewis Black on blogging and writing. I've known good and bad. At conferences people often let their hair down and speak what is on their minds and it's not always nice. So far no one has said anything crude to me but I've witnessed a few hurt feelings.

      Writer, glad your husband is doing better. Poetry is good for the soul.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      6 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Pamela, I used to write children's until 2011 when my husband was told he had cancer, which has gone thank goodness now he's on a maintance program. All this means we haven't had a short vacation or gone anywhere interesting so my writers brain is dead that's when I started writing poetry, Joyce.

    • profile image

      Sophia Angelique 

      6 years ago

      Actually, I totally want to disagree with this. The only people who don't think other people are writers are the idiots who have published books that sell 2000 or something. One of my very good friends had an internationally best selling book that sold for a decade or more, and I never heard her say a word about another writer.

      My late father was published (journalist) on three continents and wrote for Reuters, plus in German and English. I never heard him mutter a word about a writer ever.

      Yet another one of my friends is one of London's best known financial writers. Never heard him mutter about writers either.

      Yet another friend was a top notch columnist in Greece. Never heard her say a negative word about another writer.

      I also have numerous film producers as friends - never heard any of them ever say a thing about a writer.

      Let me tell you what I have heard. When I started going to writing courses - either for college credits because it was easy for me, or to find wider publisher markets, I started coming into contact with people who were wannabe writers. They weren't particularly successful. There were the jerks that had something to say about writers.

      Also, I have come into contact with some highly successful writers through San Diego Comic-Con International. No bad mouthing of other successful writers either.

      I will stick to my guns here. The only people who look down their snotty noses at other types of writers are the ones that aren't successful - and I don't count selling 2000 books or been published in a literary magazine as successful.

      One thing I will say is that I have found that highly successful writers do believe that writing is a talent and one either has it or one doesn't. Also, if one cannot spell or write grammatically, then one isn't a writer. Writing isn't about expressing thoughts or imagining scenarios and expecting someone else to do the writing. That's rather like a bricklayer imagining what a house is like and then claiming that he doesn't have to be able to lay the bricks.

    • BRIAN SLATER profile image

      Brian Slater 

      6 years ago from England

      Pam this is a very well thought out article. In any team you have attackers, defenders, goal keepers, wingers, full backs, midfielders you name it, but all have a common purpose to succeed, to be the best they can and share their passion with others. A bit like writers really. Hope you get to finish that book sometime, voted up and shared :)

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks, Cre8tor and Pandula.

      Angie, a second opinion is always a good idea. Look for a book doctor that can help you polish it to perfection.

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 

      6 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Hi Pam ... much needed hub (damn, wish I'd thought of it!) Voted up etc.

      It is so nice of you to do the 'standing up for writers' thing ... and even nicer to see that our wonderful Hubcommunity totally agree with you.

      Like many of them I feel that if you write regularly you are a writer, it is what you do, it is a compulsion, whatever you write about and even if you don't get paid for it.

      I have a completed novel that I am still revising. I paid an editor for an assessment and she felt it was irrevocably flawed. I really don't agree so I am making changes and will put it out as an ebook. Some of the things she said make me wonder if she actually read it ...

      Whatever the truth I have no option but to keep on keeping on ... I am a writer.

    • pandula77 profile image

      Dr Pandula 

      6 years ago from Norway

      A truly inspirational hub as it encourages and motivates me to continue writing blogs and hubs although it may not give me much to showcase in the short-run.

    • Cre8tor profile image

      Dan Robbins 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Very good topic. I like the encouragement you give in this hub.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      RHW, I can't sing or dance so I better stick with writing.

      Meow, "The elders eat their young," interesting analogy and so true. We need new blood and yet many see them as competition so they try to keep their secrets locked away so the new recruits don't pass them by.

      JLBowden, jealousy is a terrible thing.

      AEvens, I have a hard time explaining to people what I write. It's not always easy.

      Michael, that would make me a professional writer.

      Thanks for reading, Teaches.

      Antony, poetry has never been my thing. I enjoyed Mother Goose rhymes as a child.

      Good to see you here, Joe. Welcome to HubPages.

    • scuffer12345 profile image


      6 years ago from CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH

      Published or not, blog writers or novel - short stories? what makes them great? Hidden Greatness There is much emphasis on notoriety and fame in our society. Our newspapers and television keep giving us the message: What counts is to be known, praised, and admired, whether are a writer, an actor, a musician, or a politician. Still, real greatness is often hidden, humble, simple, and unobtrusive. It is not easy to trust ourselves and our actions without public affirmation. We must have strong self-confidence combined with deep

      humility. Some of the greatest works of art and the most important works of peace were created by people who had no need for the limelight. They knew that what they were doing was their call, and they did it with great patience, perseverance, and love.

      I am glad I read about the teacher and erotica, I have been having great sex 2 times a week on paper. I love to write and have a passion for it. Any of my Afghanistan blogs were actually research papers, more of presenting information to others. I enjoy movie reviews, nice one page highligts of the movie good or bad. I often write relationship and romance. But I ONLY PUBLISH a certain quality of writing, like being graded by an English teacher, if i get a B or A I can publish. Hubpages has great information on writing, even titles are important. Different than blogs, blogs had to be one page or less. If you have a passion to write - you are a writer, do it because you do NOT know you might be a HIDDEN TREASURE waiting to be found.

    • Antony Nick Britt profile image

      Antony Nick Britt 

      6 years ago

      I encounter the snobbery all the time and it frustrates the hell out of me. I've been in a room full of stuffy poets who write pieces that nobody has the slightest clue what they are about, yet they look down their noses because others don't understand them.

      I prefer the 'entertaining the reader' approach and yes, no matter what you write, if you do, you're a writer.


    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Your hub gives support to all writers regardless of the extent or segment of writing for which they have a passion. Thank you for defining the term as you did and with the understanding that we bring happiness to others. Voted up.

    • Michael J Rapp profile image

      Michael J Rapp 

      6 years ago from United States

      I very much enjoyed this Hub. I've written several novels, a bunch of advertisting copy when I worked a 9-5 job in marketing, many articles for newspapers and newsletters, and now a few Hubs. I've been the same writer and the same person for every task. I have little patience for the nose-in-the-air crowd who try to dictate who should be called a writer, because I know there is no difference between the me that writes novels versus the me that writes Hubs versus the me that writes a pleasant note to my wife to send her off for the day. If you write, you are writer. If you write and make some money, guess what: you're a professional writer. Don't let anyone tell you different, and keep on writing.

      Thanks for a great Hub!

    • AEvans profile image


      6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      You hit the nail right on the head, when you said being a writer is hard. It really is complicated. When I tell people I am a writer, they always ask what type? I love doing what I am doing and would not change it for anything. Your hub has said it all! Another well written hub! :0

    • Jlbowden profile image

      James Bowden 

      6 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Hi Pamela:

      I call this one great summary of what it's like to write for different genres. And you cannot really define a writer because whether we are accomplished masters of the craft like Stephen King, or James Patterson for example, or even lesser pawns within the writing universe, that put words into motion in a form of poetry or online blogging site. We can all say that we have a desire for the written word without being jealous of the other, or else we wouldn't be doing what we love in some form or the other. Thanks for sharing an inspiring read which I also voted up as well as awesome.


    • meow48 profile image


      6 years ago from usa

      someone once said that professional jealousy is the greatest form of compliment. i am in a profession where the elders eat their young, so to speak... i liked this hub, as I am no writer, since i don't get paid. hee hee... so no competition from little old me, take care.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Pamela - you have raised some very interesting and valid points. In my mind - if we get paid as a result of what we are writing - we are writers! For instance writing for hub - what else would they pay us for? lol Excellent article!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks, Jennifer and Billybuc for reading.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very good hub with a great perspective. I always love reading about our community of writers.

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 

      6 years ago from Idaho

      A wonderful Hub to read for someone who is new to writing. I love the idea that writing is what you say it is for you. Voted up, awesome, and shared.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading, Sam.

    • sam209 profile image


      6 years ago

      A great hub for any writer to read! I'm so glad to have found hubpages because this site has helped inspire me to want to write again! Hubs like this are also inspirational! Another excellent hub Pamela!


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