What’s The Biggest Challenge Facing You Right Now?

Today’s Courage Exercise

Share a current challenge that you are facing right now (in writing or in life) in the comments below. If I’ve faced a similar challenge and was able to overcome it, I’ll write a post addressing that very challenge, and hopefully it will help! Happy sharing!

(Note: for those commenting for the first time, please review the comments policy on my FAQ page before you post a comment. Thank you!)

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30 comments on “What’s The Biggest Challenge Facing You Right Now?

  1. Georgia says:

    Thank you Ollin for the opportunity to vent. The following is taking away from my life and writing life and not a made up story. The past 3 months have been a challenge. I was in a job that I disliked. Cracked up my car and totaled it. Got fired from my job and have ongoing harassment from my landlord. Let’s start with the landlord situation. The husband and wife who own the building where I live are going through a nasty violent divorce. We (the tenants) are dragged into it too. The short point is for the past 15 months we have had no heat, no hot water, occasionally no water, and now no gas. Yes we have all gone to court, wrote to every conceivable power that might help, the gas company, the electric company, councilman, assemblywomen, mayor, police you name it I’ve spoken to them. I will speak to anyone who will listen. No one seems to help. I even lost my job because of all the days I took off to go to court. The current situation is the husband (who is a master plumber) shut the main gas valve to the building so we can’t cook, heat up the apartments, etc. The gas company came and put a lock on the valve and advised us to get a plumber to test the gas line. The plumber needed to speak to an owner namely the wife. We don’t know if she consented to pay the bill and have the work done. If the work is not done in a timely manner the building will be deemed unsafe we will be evacuated. Then we will all be homeless. The time and energy it is taking to deal with this moronic daily garbage leaves me tired. Every week the husband comes up with something new to harass us with. The tenants will not pay for an attorney or repairs either. I feel trapped because now I don’t have enough money to move and no job as a reference. As far as my car I have already put money down on a cheap used car just to get around in. Concerning a job I have started to apply for writing gigs.

    I have used my writing skills to (try) and get the attention of anyone who might take an interest. I ask myself what am I missing? Why is almost everything going wrong? Am I being pushed in certain direction? Why isn’t the path clear? Is it a payback for bad karma? A test? What is the next step?

    So there you have it. I just want to move away from the stress and drama and focus on my own creative life. Where is the light at the end of the tunnel?

    • Ollin says:

      I’m sorry to hear about this Georgia. I would like to refer to you my post: When You Have Nothing Left To Lose: https://ollinmorales.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/gain/ – here you might find some help in terms of the perspective you want to have during this time.

      But I would say you are not alone. So many of us go through this kind of experience. It is, from what I know, a spiritual experience. Not a test, but a very loving exercise. A training program. Although words fail to describe exactly what it is.

      I am actually working on an eBook that addresses this specific challenge. Please look out for it when it is ready because I am sure you would benefit a lot from it. I’m trying to get it done as quickly as possible, but there have been big changes in my life that have so far delayed.

      But your story reminds me of why it is important to get that eBook out as soon as possible.

      Much love to you and hold on… as long as you remain resilient and open to what this experience is teaching you, it does get better.

  2. Katerina says:

    Hi Ollin,
    Thanks for this great opportunity to share our challenges! And thank you for the open-heartedness and all the useful tips you have been sharing here.
    I have been facing two challenges lately; I hope it’s ok if I write about both? I am not a writer – I’m a visual artist – but I write occasionally: notes on painting and inspiration to order my thoughts, or short stories (fiction) for the fun of it.
    – My first challenge is – don’t laugh – which language to use… I write in three different languages according to what feels right at the moment. Whenever I try to put things together in only one language, they don’t seem right: I miss the tone, hue or special sound of the specific word that I had originally written. I hope you understand what I mean… To make it more clear: I am from Greece, my schooling was in Greek, I started learning English when I was two, at around six or seven years old I found out that I was dreaming in English and not in Greek. Now, I live in Holland and I have been speaking Dutch for more than half of my life. I find the sound and rhythm of words very intriguing and often untranslatable. (To give an example: I find that the Dutch word for ‘bird’ sounds much more like a flying bird than the word for ‘bird’ in any other language I know.)
    – My second challenge is about creating in general; about creativity & time management. Recently, I started a new project called “Receive Create Combine.” It is a group/community project aiming to inspire whoever wants to be inspired; to urge people to allow more creativity in their lives. I started a new blog for this project ( http://receivecreatecombine.wordpress.com -please feel free to take the link away if you don’t want it on your blog) and now I find myself in a situation that I am so passionate about this project, that in my enthusiasm I neglect my own work as a visual artist. In an ideal world I would want to give 100% of myself to both… Well, let’s say that I’m looking for a balance between the two… (and I’m not talking about a balance between creative activity and personal/family life, that’s another story – I think that you have written already about this one.) I guess you could compare it with blogging to inspire others versus your own writing.
    Hoping for any wise advice… thanks!
    Greetings, Katerina

    • Ollin says:

      No, I would never laugh at you! This is actually a challenge I identify with because I am a spanish native speaker, who is now english dominant, and sometimes I speak Spanglish. My novel is a mixture of English and Spanish and Spanglish, though it is dominantly written in English. Thanks for sharing your struggles and I’ll see how I can help!

  3. Dave says:

    Exercising daily, standing up for myself,not caring what other people think of me

  4. Julie Muriuki says:

    Hi Ollin.

    My challenge concerns a book idea I have. I have great trouble deciding whether to develop the idea as a fiction or nonfiction book. I’m torn between the two. This will be my first book.

    • Ollin says:

      Which one calls to you the most? If they both call to you, which one do you feel you are more capable of writing at this moment of your life? Choose the one that you are more capable and more called to write.

  5. Nermine A K says:

    Hi Ollin!
    I don’t know if its a challenge or a normal phase I need to go through, but it seems like as I’m getting older I get more confused at the same time!
    I get lost in the battle between writing and running, good or bad and giving up or fighting! Many other issues too! I feel guilty thinking of both, once my choice is satisfying me the other will be giving blame.
    Many issues nowadays take up most of my energy and time just fighting that battle and I’m always left wondering, doubting and lost.
    Which also ended to a huge problem, I’m not writing anymore! Even when I write I quit in the middle!

    • Ollin says:

      Ah, sounds like a mind block to me. I would recommend a daily meditation exercise, about 15 minutes, as well as a weekly walk through nature. You need to reconnect with your spirit. Your mind is too much in control of you right now.

  6. I’m currently going over the first draft of my manuscript. I’m angry and upset, I want to sound so much different than what I am doing. I like the plot, but there is some deliciousness missing, you know? It doesn’t have that stamp of approval yet from me, and because of this, I grow frustrated.

    I am currently working on getting out the first draft on authonomy, and from there, I will probably start to edit it even more, and then even more.

    I want to work on other stories I have, but my current obsession with this project is building some intense creative blocks with my other work. 😦

    • Ollin says:

      Sounds like the issue is perfectionism. Can you allow the work to be imperfect? Can you allow yourself to be an imperfect writer? If your knee-jerk reaction to those questions is “no, I can’t allow myself to be imperfect” then I would suggest you be less hard on yourself.

      Can you find love for your writing imperfections? Try it and see what happens!

  7. My current challenge is somehow catching up on my work hours while still leaving time to finish writing my book and spend time with my friends. Ahhhhh!

    • Ollin says:

      A problem a lot of us have. This issue has a post that I’ve been working on for some time. It should be good. Tune in for that!

  8. Hi Ollin,

    I’m pretty sure you’ve not had this challenge – I’ve been sick for nearly 8 years now with a serious liver disease, autoimmune disorder. And I need a liver transplant. The worst think I experience is fatigue. Somedays it’s very hard to get out of bed or have any structure at all to my life. I have, in view of all of this, continued writing. But it’s very difficult to take on truly creative work – writing is no. 1, of course.

    I really want to revise a memoir I’ve already written and put it out for publication with a small press. And I very much want to be working much harder on a second version that includes my journey through graduate school (I got sick at the end of my first year, and finished as an honors diplomate) and the large and small of illness that gradually becomes very, very serious and life-threatening. And then liver transplant.

    I am looking now for a live liver donor (yes, it is possible) – recommended by my doctor.

    I journal daily. No matter what. But I really want to, in the words of Cheryl Strayed, Write Like a Motherfucker. That’s my story. I really am a mofo because I’m a Most Serious Survivor.

    Thanks for opening yourself up to all of us. You are Fabulous. And you write like a motherfucker. With love, Dana

    • Ollin says:

      Thank you so much Dana, and thank you for your courage in revealing your struggle. I am inspired by you as many of my readers probably feel the same way after reading your comment. I will do my best to help, but it seems to me that we would all benefit more from your wisdom than the other way around. Much love to you and thank you for sharing!

  9. Celina Baylon says:

    Hi Ollin,

    What incredible timing. I have just created a blog post declaring that I will be more proactive in transforming my ruminations into concrete action. I have always loved sharing my thoughts on writing, productivity, and travel, but this year, I realized I needed to go a notch higher, and get involved in initiatives that are actually relevant. So, I’m planning to get in touch with local bloggers and movers in the same field, and learn about how I can use my passion for writing for something bigger.

    I could definitely relate to your post on discovering what moves any passionate individual. I just can’t help but feel utterly excited and scared at the same time, knowing I’m walking along the path naturally made for me.

    Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to share our personal challenges.

  10. Foxy says:

    I have been staring at the title of this email since I got it. I just opened it now. I have read your comments and realize that there are others with more challenging problems. I hope all find a solution and continue on with their lives. My challenge is simple, I need know who people can allow a person to hurt others, and do nothing. Leaving the problem for a stranger to fix. My life is not my own right now because this person has decided that I am the cause of all her problems, and those that could have stopped her years ago, just sit back and do nothing.

  11. Fary says:


    My biggest challenge is to finish my story for first competition. I have time until end of May, and the story is completed, but now I am on rewriting phase, and I can’t handle it.

    It is so hard suddently. I never had trouble with rewriting, but now, every word sounds badly. I love the story, but I am starting to think about giving up. Because I don’t write too much (at all more likely) and I feel so bad about it.

    • Ollin says:

      Sounds like you need to go out and play for a bit. Go out on adventure. You’ve made writing way too serious for you and you’ve lost the fun–the reason you love it. Bring the joy back into the writing by leaving it for a period of time, and have an adventure!

  12. vanillabean says:

    My challenge right now is actually a good one to have. I feel like I am coming out of a long writing spell that felt a great deal like being Sisyphus. Pushing my words up hill with great expenditures of energy and frustration, only to watch them fall flat into nothing when I got to top, yet compelled somehow to keep trying to put words on the page. Now I feel like I am in this space where the words are beginning to burble up and out and onto the page in a more meaningful way. The challenge is how to translate that new writing energy into a direction of quality pieces of “finished” writing without sending my creative writerly self back to the torture of the uphill battle.

    • Ollin says:

      Sounds to me that the issue is fear. I would suggest releasing that fear by being in the present moment. Forget about how writing used to be, or what you fear it will become like, enjoy this present moment: the fact that the writing is coming out really good for you. Right now your biggest enemy is fear itself. Just become aware of that, and the fear should lose much of its power over you. Then keep writing!

  13. Joycelyn says:

    I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. If you go to this link, you’ll find the rules for accepting the award. http://givemeadaisy.com/2013/03/30/accepting-the-very-inspiring-blogger-award/.

  14. milkfever says:

    Dearest Ollin, your blog is such a bright light of inspiration. Strong and steady. It’s lovely to visit and it makes me smile to see that you’re still reaching out and offering a helping hand to readers.
    Well done.
    xxx Lisa

    • Ollin says:

      Lisa! Great to hear from you, my heart leapt for joy to see your comment. I’m glad you’re still out there somewhere, writing along…. 🙂 Thanks for your comment.

  15. I’ve completed a novel and want to get it published, but the prospects of that are discouraging. I have two friends who’ve been looking for an agent for over a year with no luck. Should I even try finding an agent or just go ahead and self-publish?

    • Ollin says:

      You are not going to like my answer: the decision is totally up to you. I can’t make it for you. In the end, it is more important what it is you want. It is such a huge decision that I don’t think it would be right for me to recommend either avenue.

      Although I would say if you really want something, one should never ever give up on it unless you try it out first. 😉

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