Knowing your writing is something that is personal to you. Your voice is unique. Every author has a unique viewpoint.
Every writer has to read widely. How else can you know what you’d like to write? You get two hobbies then for the price of one!
I love reading the How-to books and writing magazines. Loads of good advice, all of which must benefit my work.
Giving different things a try can spice up your main work. I try short stories every so often. Making words count in a short form will pay off when writing a longer one.
The majority of the time being too busy with the minutiae of life so you don’t escape into your own world as often as you like.
Not getting as much time to read as you’d like.
Being rejected for short stories and novels!
Rejection slips that give no clues.
Getting a handwritten note from an agent, which is brilliant, but you then can’t decipher it! I admit to having dreadful handwriting myself and you can’t go back to the agent and ask. It looks desperate.
Feeling desperate to get published. Beware! This is where the vanity brigade strike.