Hard.. no .. time consuming, yes. If you are truly going to make them from scratch.. like make the masa yourself and everything. I have never done it because I am not that ambitious ;) but I have had several friends who did, you have to cook the meat in the sauce for a long time too and it seems like everyone I have known who makes them from scratch says it takes 2 days (one whole day to slow cook the meat)
The first time is always the most difficult. I would suggest that you ask any latino friend of yours if they make tamales for the holidays. If they say yes, then ask if you could help them make them so you could learn from them. I learned from my aunts. My experience is tamales are made "assembly line" style. Someone gets the cornhusks ready. Someone else spreads the masa on the cornhusks. Etc, etc until the tamales are put in the steamer pot. It's actually kinda fun making tamales. Good luck and save a tamale or two for me.