Tag Archives: writer’s block

August 11 – Keep on Keepin’ on

Today wasn’t a good day for me. Nothing terrible, but I was turned down for a job promotion that I interviewed for last week and it kind of bummed me out. Sometimes all it takes is one little thing to ruin the whole day.

So let’s try to think of something positive, shall we? We’ll start with a link to the Big Book of Bizarro, now available on Amazon.com for $19.99. I know the publisher would love it if you would go pick it up. I wouldn’t mind either. I need to build a fan base somehow!

 I have been reading this book, and let me tell you, the title says it all. There are some really freaky stories in there. The book is divided into three sections: Horror, Sci-fi and Fantasy, and Erotica. My story is the last one in the Sci-fi and Fantasy section. Just before the Erotica, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

I finished reading the Horror section today, and started on the Sci-fi stories. Some of my friends have been commenting on how weird the cover art is, but I found out today that it actually depicts a character in the first story in that section. I’m not sure if the picture was taken because of the story, or if the story was written to fit the picture, but either way it is a direct link, and I like it.

So help spread the madness and pick up a copy of this book. You may have nightmares for a year or so, but at least you can cut back on the psychotropic drugs without going into withdrawal! If your dealer complains, buy a copy for him too. Revenge is sweet!

 

So as the title says, it’s time to keep on keepin’ on. Like I said at the start of this word vomitation, my day kind of sucked. I actually am working on a nice little headache right now. Good thing to get going just before bed, right?

Anyway, my point is that this sort of thing happens. Life sucks, you don’t get the promotion, what little hair you have left is turning gray, you’ve got aches and pains in places you didn’t even know you had, friends let you down, the guy you gave your hit list to just got arrested…. Know what I mean?

For writers, there is writer’s block, plot holes, characters that are so flat they may as well have been run over by a steamroller, dialogue that sounds like you overheard it in the high school locker room, and the black hole of editing hell, where you get sucked in and feel like you are never going to be able to get out alive.

I’ve been feeling a bit like that myself lately. I stopped editing my novels, primarily because it seemed like there was simply too much to change. I was starting to think that I may as well just start from scratch instead of trying to fix the first draft. Every time I looked at it I kept thinking of different ways to write it.

So that’s one of the reasons I have been working on my short stories instead. The other reason is because I was told by “experts” that it was also the best way to get published. The problem is that I am having the same trouble with editing the shorts that I was with the novels. I have been through three drafts of “The Hunt” so far, and each time I show it to someone I end up rewriting the whole thing from the beginning. And I haven’t even figured out how to end it yet.

But I keep on keepin’ on. I’m not giving up. I WILL finish this story. And then I’ll send it out to see if I can sell it. And then I’ll write another one. And another one. And another one. And maybe someday I’ll have enough experience to actually start some serious rewrites on those three novels in my “trunk”.

Because that’s what writers do. They write.

I’ll be back with some more writing on Monday. See you then.

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Filed under Fiction, The Writing Experience

Having trouble getting the words out

I don’t know if I’m getting burned out or maybe it’s a struggle against writers block, but lately I’ve been having difficulty getting the words on the page. I’ve still been hitting my goal of 500 words of new fiction every day, but I have to admit that it has been a struggle.

So what you do when the words don’t come? Probably the only answer is to keep trying.

I’m not giving up. I’m continuing to write. I’m still going to get my 500 words a day, at least for this week. This week marks the end of the ROW80 challenge. I’m going to tough it out to the end, then I’m going to rethink my goals. For the next round of the challenge, I think I will set some more modest goals. I’ll still have a goal to write every day, but it will be a lot less than 500 words. And I think I’m going to give myself more leeway on the type of writing that I do. For example, I still have a lot of editing to do on Dragons At Dawn. I’m going to count the rewrite time that I spend as my writing for the day.

Another goal that I have for the next three months is going to be to read through the increasingly large stack of writing books that I have, and that I continue to purchase. It’s extremely frustrating having all of these wonderful books on writing, that I know would be a huge help to my craft, and not having the time to read them. So another goal that I’ll have is going to be to read through at least one writing book a week. I’ve also been thinking that some of the writing that I do may simply be from the exercises in the books.

So that’s how I’m going to deal with my burnout. I’ll still keep writing every day, because I feel it’s important to stay in the habit, and because I know that any writing I do is going to help me improve as a writer.

Please share your own experiences with burnout and writers block. How do you deal with it when you’re having trouble getting the words to come out?

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Filed under About Me, ROW80, The Writing Experience

Finding Your Story

I have said before that the best reason for you to become a writer is because you have a story that demands to be told. But what do you do if that isn’t the case? What if you suffer from the dreaded writer’s block? I have always felt that I had a story that needed to be told. The problem was that I didn’t know what it was. Sometimes I still don’t, but I write anyway.

I only recently started writing seriously. I loved to read, and wanted to write, but I didn’t think I had a decent plot idea. I would read tons of books and love the stories of others, but then I would think that either my idea had already been done, or it wasn’t nearly as good as someone elses. It’s pretty easy to see how this type of thinking makes it impossible to be productive.

When I started writing I still thought that the plot wasn’t very good. But it was a plot, and I had made a commitment for NaNoWriMo to write 50,000 words, so I started writing anyway. And as I wrote, I found that the story started to take on a life of its own. Things started happening in the story that I hadn’t thought of before. And I started thinking of other ways that I could have started the story that might have been better. As I look at the completed first draft now, I know that the story is good. It just needs a bit of polish before it can be published.

When I started my second story I was only thinking that I wanted to do a paranormal romance. It took a while before I figured out what the “paranormal” part of the romance was going to be. But once I did it was a bit easier to come up with the rest of the story. The very nature of the character determined most of the story. I even had the ending figured out before I was even halfway through. Now all I have to do is fill in the middle.

I am currently working on a Young Adult novel that I started for the sole purpose of having something to write on Sundays. My only thought was that it should be spiritual. Something that reflected my faith. I have now written over a thousand words of this story, and I still have no idea what it is about. I am constantly asking myself, “What am I doing?”

So how do I answer this question? How can you push past the uncertainty and self-doubt to find your story?

The best advice I have read about writing is that the best way to be a writer is to write. Write something every day, even if you don’t have anything to write about. If nothing else, it is a good way to hone your skills until you do find that story. Sometimes your characters will start to tell you their story on their own.

The other thing to remember is that stories are everywhere. You can find a story watching television, reading the newspaper, listening to the radio, watching your neighbors, parking your car, at work (it doesn’t matter what the job is), literally everywhere. Eavesdropping is fun. A great way to find a story is to listen to only half of a conversation, because then you can make up the other half of the story on your own. When you see someone on the street, you don’t need to know what they are doing or where they are going, you can make it up yourself.

So what am I going to do about my YA novel? I am going to keep writing. I am going to keep thinking about my characters and eventually they will tell me their story. I know it’s a good one, and I can hardly wait to find out what it is.

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Filed under NaNoWriMo, The Writing Experience