Ironically, it’s easy to write about why it’s hard to write. It only took me three weeks, a few hundred revisions, and two pounds of M&M’s to create this list.

1-2) It’s hard to write when it is cold inside and hot outside or vice versa. There is no amount of adjusting the thermostat and waiting for a change in the weather that makes it any less hard to write.

3-4) It’s hard to write propped up against pillows in my cozy bed with morning sunlight streaming through the blinds and it’s hard to write in my squeaky office chair at a messy desk under the flicker of fluorescent bulbs.

5-6) It’s hard to write when I’m hungry and, also, when I don’t feel so good after devouring one too many M&M’s.

7-8) It’s hard to write when people are talking in the kitchen or when they’ve finally left and there are no voices in the house at all.

9-10) It’s hard to write in the percolating chatter of a coffee shop and it’s hard to write in the whispering quiet of a library.

11-13) It’s hard to write when I have a sinus headache or a pain in my lower back and it’s hard to write when I feel the best I’ve felt in years.

14-15) It’s hard to write when my phone is buzzing with messages from one of my kids and it’s hard to write when I haven’t heard from any of my kids at all.

16-19) It’s hard to write on a Sunday morning, afternoon and evening and it’s hard to write on any other day of the week at any time of the day.

20-21) It’s hard to write when a piece I submitted gets rejected because then I wonder if I have any talent at all, and it’s hard to write when a piece gets published because then I wonder if I will ever be able to write something that good again.

22-23) It’s hard to write when red squiggly lines appear under the words I just typed, and it’s hard to write when autocorrect changes those words to something other than what I intended.

24) It’s hard to write with good intentions and bad ideas, but it’s harder to get good ideas when I give up and stop writing altogether.

Since I call myself a writer, and that’s a hard label to live up to, I will keep writing, because even though it’s hard for me to write, it’s harder on me not to. But first, I need some more M&M’s.

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