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Author Topic: Slow Writer's Progress Thread  (Read 12687 times)  

Offline Smarte

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #125 on: April 21, 2016, 01:58:47 PM »
Am curious if your day job skills help you to write the blurbs for your books?   
Writing the blurb is my least favorite part of writing.

Good question.  I've worked as a journalist, an advertising copywriter and have ghost written dozens of magazine articles for corporate executives looking to make a name for themselves (amazing how many CEOs and other corporate big shots are poor writers). 

Wish I could say my day job translates into a silver bullet when it comes to writing book blurbs.  It doesn't.  I'm right alongside every other writer that is probably experimenting with their book description trying to find the right promotional copy that is going to land them on Oprah's Book List. 

In advertising, it's all about finding the 'hook.'  Usually that means zooming in on a specific product benefit and spinning it in such a way that it is indispensable to your readers.  Whether it'll make your teeth whiter, help you lose weight, make all your neighbors envious... there has to be something in it for YOU. 

Haven't quite figured out how to translate that into book blurbs, but if I do, will gladly share it here.

Offline geronl

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #126 on: April 21, 2016, 04:49:49 PM »
I keep switching WIPs too.

I am setting aside the novel for the novella because I have a great cover for it now. I want to finish it and polish it and throw it up on Amazon.

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Offline Stevie O

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #127 on: April 21, 2016, 06:07:28 PM »
Good question.  I've worked as a journalist, an advertising copywriter and have ghost written dozens of magazine articles for corporate executives looking to make a name for themselves (amazing how many CEOs and other corporate big shots are poor writers). 

Wish I could say my day job translates into a silver bullet when it comes to writing book blurbs.  It doesn't.  I'm right alongside every other writer that is probably experimenting with their book description trying to find the right promotional copy that is going to land them on Oprah's Book List. 

In advertising, it's all about finding the 'hook.'  Usually that means zooming in on a specific product benefit and spinning it in such a way that it is indispensable to your readers.  Whether it'll make your teeth whiter, help you lose weight, make all your neighbors envious... there has to be something in it for YOU. 

Haven't quite figured out how to translate that into book blurbs, but if I do, will gladly share it here.
aha! Maybe I need to write a book that will whiten teeth, promise neighbour jealousy AND a diet that works...can you get me on Oprah with that? ;) joking aside, the blurb has to be my most hated chore along with the synopsis... I always want to say to people, if you read it, you'll know what it's about! Someone should invent some software to write blurbs :) :)

Offline N. D. Iverson

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #128 on: April 21, 2016, 06:53:20 PM »
Who decides how fast "you should be" writing your third book? Sounds like you're being hard on yourself. Instead, focus on the fact that someone loves your work, and take the writing one day at a time. :)

Good point. I guess the internal pressure comes from all the "cliff" talk around here. I feel like it I don't release promptly that I will lose any momentum I have and perhaps even readers...

But I like the way you put it in a different light-- focus on the fact that someone likes my work. I just hope they're still there when I do eventually finish the 3rd book :P

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Offline N. D. Iverson

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #129 on: April 21, 2016, 07:25:52 PM »
I'm not fond of internal pressures.  When you put pressure on yourself, you're apt to explode.  Rather than putting pressure on myself to write X number of pages in X number of hours, I prefer to set up routines, like I'm going to work on my fiction on Sunday afternoons.  Once such routines become habit, it releases the pressure.

I feel like a routine will help, but it's hard to start one for me. Life just makes things harder than they should be sometimes, you know? Any types on starting a routine and sticking to it?

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Offline AlexaGrave

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #130 on: April 22, 2016, 07:42:16 AM »
I feel like a routine will help, but it's hard to start one for me. Life just makes things harder than they should be sometimes, you know? Any types on starting a routine and sticking to it?

From the advice I've heard (and keep failing to take because I want to do it all!) is to start small. It's all about baby steps. Start by scheduling 15 minutes at a specific time or something similar, and then make sure you successfully do that for 3 weeks straight to form the habit (I think people say it takes 2-3 weeks to successfully form a habit). Then ramp up from there.

Again, I keep failing to take this advice, and it probably doesn't help that my kids completely scramble my brain.  :P
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Offline sstroble

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #131 on: April 22, 2016, 08:30:55 AM »
Good question.  I've worked as a journalist, an advertising copywriter and have ghost written dozens of magazine articles for corporate executives looking to make a name for themselves (amazing how many CEOs and other corporate big shots are poor writers). 

Wish I could say my day job translates into a silver bullet when it comes to writing book blurbs.  It doesn't.  I'm right alongside every other writer that is probably experimenting with their book description trying to find the right promotional copy that is going to land them on Oprah's Book List. 

In advertising, it's all about finding the 'hook.'  Usually that means zooming in on a specific product benefit and spinning it in such a way that it is indispensable to your readers.  Whether it'll make your teeth whiter, help you lose weight, make all your neighbors envious... there has to be something in it for YOU. 

Haven't quite figured out how to translate that into book blurbs, but if I do, will gladly share it here.
About 5 years ago, attended a writers' seminar taught by 2 authors whose books are published by big NYC publishers.  Told them that writing a 70,000 word novel was easier for me than trying to write a short blurb to hook potential readers to the point they would read the story. One of the authors said it's that way for all writers.
Now, 5 years later, writing blurbs is still like going to the dentist for a root canal for me. So, any insights you come up with as time goes on would be great.

Offline Smarte

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #132 on: April 22, 2016, 02:59:55 PM »
aha! Maybe I need to write a book that will whiten teeth, promise neighbour jealousy AND a diet that works...can you get me on Oprah with that? ;) joking aside, the blurb has to be my most hated chore along with the synopsis... I always want to say to people, if you read it, you'll know what it's about! Someone should invent some software to write blurbs :) :)

If your book cures warts and is able to double a person's income, you definitely get a shot on Oprah.  :-) 

Seems to be a common thread among authors that writing the book blurb is a pain in the tail.  Am guessing most of us would rather be expending our efforts writing fiction than on marketing. 


Offline Debra Purdy Kong

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #133 on: April 22, 2016, 08:12:25 PM »
Debra, I've just written an English detective thriller (it's in the KS program right now...cue bitten nails, sleepless nights etc) and now I'm trying to plot the second & third one. I once read of a famous thriller writer who didn't know himself who dunnit till the very end, which sounds fantastic but I'm not sure I could do it!  Thing is I think I would be making a lot of work for myself, it's difficult to know how successful my own thrillers are because I know them inside out..... but thanks for the encouragement, I love this thread! Everyone is so warm and friendly :) :)

You're welcome. :)

Offline L.J.Simpson

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #134 on: April 23, 2016, 05:55:59 AM »
I feel like a routine will help, but it's hard to start one for me. Life just makes things harder than they should be sometimes, you know? Any types on starting a routine and sticking to it?

I'm not really sure if a routine is the best way to go. I can't get much done if I feel I SHOULD be at the keyboard at this particular time or whatever.
What has worked for me is recognizing the times when I am able to get things done. I'm don't suppose it would work for everyone but I seem to write better and faster late at night with a glass of wine at my side. Any free time I have during the day I generally use for checking for typos (on account of the wine), jotting down ideas and so on.
I guess the truth is that everyone is different and the trick is to find what works for you. Stick at it and I'm sure you will! 
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Offline sstroble

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #135 on: April 23, 2016, 06:00:23 AM »
  Am guessing most of us would rather be expending our efforts writing fiction than on marketing. 


Definitely.

Offline Gisele_1169

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #136 on: April 23, 2016, 06:59:34 AM »
I'm not really sure if a routine is the best way to go. I can't get much done if I feel I SHOULD be at the keyboard at this particular time or whatever.
What has worked for me is recognizing the times when I am able to get things done. I'm don't suppose it would work for everyone but I seem to write better and faster late at night with a glass of wine at my side. Any free time I have during the day I generally use for checking for typos (on account of the wine), jotting down ideas and so on.
I guess the truth is that everyone is different and the trick is to find what works for you. Stick at it and I'm sure you will!

That makes a lot of sense to me. I think the trick is to find a "routine" that works for each individual -- but that doesn't necessarily mean sitting down every day at the same time. Sometimes the routine could incorporate non-writing things. For me, because I'm most often at home, part of my routine is getting the housework out of the way first, because if I don't, I won't be able to concentrate when I finally do sit down. Also, when I'm cleaning, my mind is often thinking about my characters and my stories. Doing yoga or taking a brisk walk before also helps to clear my mind.

Right now, this seems to work for me anywhere from 3 to 5 days a week. Some days it's just brainstorming, some days it's just editing, and some days it's just writing poetry. But this is also a huge improvement because I used to go for weeks without writing anything at all. Now, I'm working an average of 4 days a week toward my writing goals, and it's slowly going up every month. 

Most often, I end up writing in the afternoons, but that's not set in stone. It depends on how hard it is to get my mind in the right place, and what else is on my schedule, but at least now I know what I need to do to get my mind to where it needs to be. And I've had many days where all I could do to convince myself to sit down was to set a timer for 5 minutes. When the timer rang, I'd decide if I was up to doing one more, and so on. That little thing got me out of writing funks more times than I can count. And, luckily, those days are getting further and further apart.

In the end, it's a process and it doesn't happen overnight. :)

Offline AlexaGrave

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #137 on: April 23, 2016, 08:43:16 AM »
Finally edited 5k yesterday. But I am behind for the week, so I guess what I know I'll be doing this weekend.  :P It's just been one of those weeks.
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Offline P.A. Woodburn

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #138 on: April 23, 2016, 10:00:30 PM »
I'm still researching rather than writing. My research has led to my deciding I will have to do some major changes to novel in progress. Need to do more research before I write again because don't want to keep making major changes. So rather than my research speeding me up it is slowing me down, but I hope to end up with a better product.

Offline L.J.Simpson

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #139 on: April 24, 2016, 06:45:44 AM »
That makes a lot of sense to me. I think the trick is to find a "routine" that works for each individual -- but that doesn't necessarily mean sitting down every day at the same time. Sometimes the routine could incorporate non-writing things. For me, because I'm most often at home, part of my routine is getting the housework out of the way first, because if I don't, I won't be able to concentrate when I finally do sit down. Also, when I'm cleaning, my mind is often thinking about my characters and my stories. Doing yoga or taking a brisk walk before also helps to clear my mind.

Right now, this seems to work for me anywhere from 3 to 5 days a week. Some days it's just brainstorming, some days it's just editing, and some days it's just writing poetry. But this is also a huge improvement because I used to go for weeks without writing anything at all. Now, I'm working an average of 4 days a week toward my writing goals, and it's slowly going up every month. 

Most often, I end up writing in the afternoons, but that's not set in stone. It depends on how hard it is to get my mind in the right place, and what else is on my schedule, but at least now I know what I need to do to get my mind to where it needs to be. And I've had many days where all I could do to convince myself to sit down was to set a timer for 5 minutes. When the timer rang, I'd decide if I was up to doing one more, and so on. That little thing got me out of writing funks more times than I can count. And, luckily, those days are getting further and further apart.

In the end, it's a process and it doesn't happen overnight. :)

Exercise works for me too. I spend more time walking my dog than writing - in fact the bulk of my ideas come when I'm in the woods of by the sea.
From my perspective (that of a happy amateur)  I think that writing three or four days a week is fine. If you can nudge it up a little, great. Personally I have days when I sit down and it soon becomes obvious that I'm not in the right frame of mind. Just not up for it. It doesn't happen all that often so I don't worry too much.
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Offline Sapphire

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #140 on: April 24, 2016, 09:47:16 AM »
My whole family is intrigued by the subject matter of a certain book I started last year. Life brought my progress to a stop. I started back up by writing other things. I'm only adding short scenes to the book right now. My husband keeps bugging me to stop on the rest and concentrate on finishing this book. He is convinced it is the best writing I have done and that it's a fascinating story. I actually agree with him. Nevertheless, the more he prods, the harder it is for me to work on it.


Offline Gisele_1169

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #141 on: April 25, 2016, 06:22:53 AM »
Finally edited 5k yesterday. But I am behind for the week, so I guess what I know I'll be doing this weekend.  :P It's just been one of those weeks.

You'll get there, Alexa! Hope you had a productive weekend! :)

Personally I have days when I sit down and it soon becomes obvious that I'm not in the right frame of mind. Just not up for it. It doesn't happen all that often so I don't worry too much.
My motto: Enjoy the journey - the destination will come in its own good time.

Yes, I agree! Worrying changes nothing and is so detrimental to the psyche.

~~~

My update: I took the day off last Thursday -- the brain needed a break. It was such a beautiful day that I spent most of my afternoon in my screened-in patio, reading. Finished reading THE LOVELY BONES. Friday I brainstormed a bit and edited a few scenes. I also don't usually write on the weekends--too much going on. Anyhow, Happy Monday, everyone, and I wish you all a very productive week! :)

Offline Smarte

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #142 on: April 25, 2016, 01:50:11 PM »
I'm not really sure if a routine is the best way to go. I can't get much done if I feel I SHOULD be at the keyboard at this particular time or whatever.
What has worked for me is recognizing the times when I am able to get things done. I'm don't suppose it would work for everyone but I seem to write better and faster late at night with a glass of wine at my side. Any free time I have during the day I generally use for checking for typos (on account of the wine), jotting down ideas and so on.
I guess the truth is that everyone is different and the trick is to find what works for you. Stick at it and I'm sure you will!

Agreed.  Writers are all different. 

Whereas it might not be for everyone, a routine time for writing works for me.  Have dedicated my Sunday afternoons to fiction since 2009. 

Initially it was not easy.  I'd get a nervous sensation in the pit of my gut as the pressure to sit down and write mounted.  Hard head that I am, I'd get over that, sit down, and once I put fingers to keyboard, the pressure disappeared entirely, replaced by the god-like joy of creating a  new world.

Over the years, the anxiety I used to feel Sunday afternoons has disappeared almost entirely.  It's morphed into a sense of anticipation.  As it's one of the few opportunities to do the type of writing I love, I look forward to the time I get to spend with my fictional characters.

Offline AlexaGrave

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #143 on: April 25, 2016, 07:04:53 PM »
9.7k edited on Saturday (though my brain was mush by the end of it -- clearly I'm better off sticking to one-hour stretches instead of reaching for that second hour in a row). 5.3k edited today.

No progress on the non-fiction since last Tuesday, so my camp NaNo count is lingering at 7.8k. OK, so I may not hit the 15k goal this month, but it's just the side project. Maybe I'll be less exhausted tomorrow to work on it, but tonight, I'm wiped!

It's lovely to see everyone's progress here, even if slow/small.  :D
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Offline Stevie O

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #144 on: April 26, 2016, 04:15:19 AM »
Agreed.  Writers are all different. 

Whereas it might not be for everyone, a routine time for writing works for me.  Have dedicated my Sunday afternoons to fiction since 2009. 

Initially it was not easy.  I'd get a nervous sensation in the pit of my gut as the pressure to sit down and write mounted.  Hard head that I am, I'd get over that, sit down, and once I put fingers to keyboard, the pressure disappeared entirely, replaced by the god-like joy of creating a  new world.

Over the years, the anxiety I used to feel Sunday afternoons has disappeared almost entirely.  It's morphed into a sense of anticipation.  As it's one of the few opportunities to do the type of writing I love, I look forward to the time I get to spend with my fictional characters.
I love it when that happens, it's like catching up with old friends and hearing their stories!

Offline Smarte

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #145 on: April 26, 2016, 06:23:25 AM »
I love it when that happens, it's like catching up with old friends and hearing their stories!

Yes!  Between 2009-2014, working pretty much only on Sundays, I wrote two novels about ancient Greece.  I used to describe my time writing to my son and friends as, "I'm going off to play with the Greeks."

Offline Gisele_1169

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #146 on: April 28, 2016, 05:14:50 AM »
How's everyone doing? This week has been absolutely awful focus-wise. I've managed to do a bit of editing on Tuesday and Wednesday, but other than that, I just can't get into the right frame of mind. OH, and we woke up to snow this morning! SNOW!!! :o

Offline sstroble

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #147 on: April 28, 2016, 09:58:48 AM »
Am taking slow writing to a whole new level --- took 3 rewrites to flesh out 507 words to 521. Must be because it's Throwback Thursday on Facebook?
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 08:10:28 AM by sstroble »

Offline SakuraMazaki

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #148 on: April 28, 2016, 04:56:38 PM »
Have been getting my minimum, but not much more than that. Came down with a cold. :/

Offline Debra Purdy Kong

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #149 on: April 28, 2016, 05:58:50 PM »
How's everyone doing? This week has been absolutely awful focus-wise. I've managed to do a bit of editing on Tuesday and Wednesday, but other than that, I just can't get into the right frame of mind. OH, and we woke up to snow this morning! SNOW!!! :o

It's a struggle for me too, but because I've had other necessary activities (meetings & appts.) after work....next week won't be much better until Thursday. But at least those will be writing-related events, so that's okay.