Why Writing a First Book Is the Hardest Thing Ever

One thing I know to be true to this very day is that writing a first book is hard. It is harder because of the fact that it is the first. With the initial book comes high expectations and dazzling dreams. In short, you find yourself enthralled in the prospect of the what if instead of embracing the here and now. This is why somedays I just want to chuck my work in progress into the virtual trash bin. But even though writing a first book is the hardest thing ever, I still keep at it because it is a story that I want to tell the world.

crop person with book in sunlight
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Why writing a first book is hard

I’ve never written a first book before

Writing a first book is hard simply because I’ve never done it before. Because I haven’t written — let alone published — a book, I am just blundering around in the dark. I don’t have years of experience that other well-known, extremely successful published authors have under their belt. And I don’t have the confidence that comes from having published several books. Because really I am just another wanna-be writer with an idea and a dream.

Publishing is the only easy part

Today, publishing a book is the easy part, thanks to services like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and Create Space, as well as many other independent self-publishing companies. It was different in the past when publishing was often a grueling, exhausting and demoralizing process with writers getting hundreds of rejection letters. Now, publishing is at our fingertips and with a click of the button, we are published. Despite how easy it is to just click that button, there is a certain responsibility. There is a responsibility to do right by the readers and the brand in order to craft a book that is virtually perfect and free of criticism.

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It is a make it or break it kind of deal

Because it is something that could possibly be the first book, it really is a make it or break it kind of deal. If the first book turns out to be a success, then it means that you’ve made it. However, if the book ends up being blacklisted on a Worst Books Ever list, then you can probably just hang up your pencil and call it a day. Writing a book is hard enough, but when you think about what could happen, it is enough to stop anyone in their tracks from hustling forward.

Negative what-if questions haunt me

What if my first book turns out to be the biggest flop? What if all of my readers agree anonymously that I am a terrible writer? And what if l just can’t finish writing that first book? When you are writing your first book, it is easy to get bogged down by these terrible what-if questions that never truly leave my thoughts. They are even more prevalent because it is my first time doing it.

Writing a first book is hard, so now what?

So, we’ve agreed that writing a first book is hard. It is hard because it is the first book. When we do something for the first time — it doesn’t matter what it is — we are aiming cluelessly in the dark. We have no idea what we are doing. But, we keep on doing it. We keep on doing it because of hope. We have faith that that first book will be a success because of hope. And we want to believe that it will okay so we keep telling ourselves this until we believe it. So, writing a first book might be hard, but that’s okay. Because anything that is hard is worth doing. And that goes for writing as well.

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What is hard about writing that first book?

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Hi! I'm Helen and I am a 32 year old biracial millennial mom raising two multiracial children. I am a writer, English consultant, and social media manager. I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic.

21 thoughts on “Why Writing a First Book Is the Hardest Thing Ever

  1. Thanx for the warnings, Helen! I never thought about LOOKING for a site that told you what books were NOT worth reading! The blog keeps me busy enough, so I’ll just leave the book compilation to dedicated folks like you and to digital archeologists to discover my brilliance in the next century and publish my works. šŸ˜‚ ‘Course by then, they will probably have plug-ins so people don’t even have to read! Just hook their brains up to the computer and bam, they’ll know everything. šŸ˜‰

  2. If writing a book is your dream, don’t give up on it. For work, I have written and published several non fiction books. Each book takes 1 to 2 years from concept to print/sales. Meanwhile, I have a fiction book I have been working on for 10 years and counting and after several drafts, it is currently an effective dust collector until I have more time…..

  3. I agree mostly, but for me writing the book is the ‘easy’ part but publishing is a nightmare.

      1. Yeah if you choose to publish a book with a publishing company then they will certainly help you. But some writers do handle their own publishing & marketing

  4. What is the hardest part? Getting over the self-doubt for sure! I’m not writing a book but that self-doubt was so blaringly loud in my mind.. It has created barriers for me many times in my writing journey!

  5. Wow, didn’t know there was such a list! Interestingly, some of the books on there ended up being best sellers and even got a movie treatment… That would be the dream šŸ˜

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