Specifically, obstacles to writing. I have posted in the past about The Swamp, aka writer's block, which is the biggest and baddest obstacle. Environmental factors can also be obstacles, like, oh, for example, say THE SCREAMING BABY IN THE APARTMENT DOWNSTAIRS!!!
Who, when seen, is an otherwise delightful tousle-headed perfect little Gerber baby.
But when heard and not seen (which is 50% of my preferred way of interacting with this nano-neighbor), she becomes Screamer McHelltot. Worse, she seems to follow me from room to room. If I'm trying to write in the spare bedroom, she's directly below me in their spare bedroom. If I move to the back room, she's there, too, underneath the floorboards, howling like a banshee who's lost her banshee pacifier. Living room? Yep, there, too, apparently clinging to the ceiling underneath like some kind of Japanese horror movie stop-action devil baby.
Dear Santy Claus: Please bring Screamer McHelltot a pacifier for Christmas. And her parents the full DVD collection of Super Nanny. And/or, move the entire family to Bora Bora ASAP. Or Arkansas. Your call.
Oh, well, the point is there will always be obstacles to writing. And they must be overcome! Via ear plugs, a vigorous singing along with "Tenth Avenue Freezeout" or whatever works.
Another obstacle to writing is, well, oddly enough, editing. Editing is, of course, a crucial part of the writing process, but it is a very different act than the writing itself. Not too long ago, I finished the first draft of my third novel, ROMEO FAILS. Rewriting then ensued, then the fierce focus of editing my own manuscript.
Having finished that, I'm now faced with a (delightful) decision: Start writing the next novel, which has been patiently waiting its turn in the back of my mind, or return to my very first book, HEAVENLY MOVES, which I know needs some serious editing - especially from the vantage point of now having completed two other novels and learning a lot along the way.
Well, sorry, super awesome post-apocalyptic YA novel! You'll have to wait a little bit longer. Since I'm in editing mode already, the time seems right to revisit HEAVENLY MOVES and do some weeding and trimming.
But first, I'm off to the store to get some earplugs!