Friday, September 17, 2010

Struggling to Write? READ THIS

I've struggled a bit with the writing this week. 

Now, bear in mind that I've written a lot, by which I mean several rough draft chapters and a whole lotta awesome backstory research. 

I don't struggle to have motivation to write: I'm always motivated. If you lack motivation, READ THIS, and then tell me you don't want to sit down immediately and start typing. (p.s. Scalzi is awesome)

So, if I've been writing and I've been motivated, what's the problem?

I'm not always exactly sure where my story wants to go. That's the only thing that can keep me from accomplishing forward movement on an MS. And basically, it's my personal tell that I need to step back and do some more research/thinking. Or simply sit down and see what comes out on the keyboard. Just because I fancy myself a plotter doesn't mean I'm not really a pantser (I am, actually).

What are your writing struggles? And what do you do to overcome them?



  1. Hey, Sue, didn't you just submit a manuscript?

    I always hit a dead zone after I submit. That next project that looked so rosy and full of promise now has to become a reality. Meanwhile, in the back of my mind I'm wondering what's going to happen with that last manuscript. I get a little stuck between the two. Sometimes I find I have to make one or two false starts before I settle in to my next project.

    With my newest project, I went into it with such high expectations it was hard to let it be free enough to take any falls. Like a parent who is demanding six hours of violin practice a day from her child prodigy. Some day the kid might throw down the violin and stalk out, swearing to never touch a musical instrument again.

  2. I think my desire to not think about my MS out querying helped fuel my mania with this MS! Which perhaps is why it's stomping a fit right now! :) Actually, I think it's just the normal grind-through-this-part-and-it-will-be-fine thing.

  3. Distractions kill me. Kids coming in every two minutes to ask/tell me something, the internet, real life obligations, all these things and more pull me from my story world. Each time I exit that world it takes even more time to re-enter and that gets uber frustrating after awhile. Sometimes I think my subconscious just rebells and says, "No more!" Then I have to wait for it to stop throwing a fit.

  4. @Leisha You just described my entire summer. Almost lost my mind. Seriously.

  5. Yes, I found it absolutely necessary to carve out some quiet time for myself (not now, mummy's writing...). I am fortunate to have a sympathetic teenage daughter who can take the little ones upstairs or outside for a couple of hours.

  6. I like to multi-task, but that doesn't work well with writing. I think the two best bits of advice I've gotten are: one, to go for a certain word count each day (make it realistic) and keep backside applied to seat until accomplished (unless the house is burning down), and two, work in 50 minute increments with a 10 minute break (to check e-mail, make phone calls, take a walk or throw in the next load of laundry). Of course, this is possible only AFTER the kids go back to school.

  7. @Rebecca The kids are getting better about respecting the writing time, but I still have a hard time doing serious drafting when they're in the house (awake!).

    @Jonene Those are great ideas - I follow all except the word count goal. I work better with flexibility, but getting myself to write has never been a problem - more like keeping me away from the computer!


What be on yer mind?