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Author Topic: Slow Writer's Progress Thread  (Read 12680 times)  

Offline Gisele_1169

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #200 on: June 02, 2016, 05:20:20 AM »
Happy to have been pointed toward this thread (thanks!). I am slow and part of the reason is I cannot create if I engage in ANY kind of organizational logistics. I like what you've said above about a writing schedule and I like the idea behind it, but I just know I can't do it. The millisecond I try to self-impose a schedule, no matter how un-rigorous it may be in its construct, is the moment my muse flits away into the ether. Sure, I'd be able to crank out some words for a while and follow the schedule to the letter, but it wouldn't last, the crash would occur and then I'd be back to square one (think: crying in the fetal position in the shower).

All of that said, I've learned that I'm a pretty fragile feather of a writer. Every little thing has to be alright (to kinda sorta quote Bob Marley) and I can't worry about a thing if I'm to write well or pretty much keep writing at all.

On the day writer's skins were being passed out, I wound up with tissue paper.  :-[

Ken, I understand that completely. It took me years to realize that the stricter I try to set a schedule, the less it works. My writing coach helped me to discover this by the way -- I don't think I'd be this far ahead in my novel without her help. She's been a godsend, and I highly recommend her to anyone who is really struggling with their writing. You can check her out here: http://laurensapala.com/

Anyhow, yeah, writing at the same time everyday just isn't for me. I've tried it so many times, and after a couple days I always freeze up and seem to do everything BUT write at that particular time. My routine has to stay VERY flexible or it just won't work. Right now, I'm aiming for one session of 20 minutes, at least three times a week. This helps me sit down, and then I'm okay for several sessions. But, if I try to make it anymore specific than that, or aim for more sessions, it ends up being very counter productive.

On days that it's really hard, those sessions may be shorter. Whatever it takes to make it easier for me to sit down at the computer.

I've also realized that aiming for a particular number of sessions works better than aiming for word count goals. Word count goals DO NOT work for me. It's the quickest way for me to stop writing completely.  :-[

Some of us just need more time to process our stories, and I don't think anything can be done to change that -- but when we start being hard on ourselves because of it, it just makes things worse. So now, I don't worry about writing my stories faster, I am just aiming on writing more consistently. I think what I need to do more though, on days where I can't seem to sit down, is perhaps work on something different: another novel, short stories, nonfiction, or poetry. Chances are my inability to write is due to my subconscious needing time to work things out. Free-writing also helps during those times, too.

In the end, we just have to be kinder to ourselves and accept that our process is what it is. And we have to stop comparing ourselves to fast writers -- I believe that is one of the most negatively impacting things we can do to ourselves. 

Offline jaehaerys

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #201 on: June 02, 2016, 08:51:37 PM »
Ken, I understand that completely. It took me years to realize that the stricter I try to set a schedule, the less it works. My writing coach helped me to discover this by the way -- I don't think I'd be this far ahead in my novel without her help. She's been a godsend, and I highly recommend her to anyone who is really struggling with their writing. You can check her out here: http://laurensapala.com/

Anyhow, yeah, writing at the same time everyday just isn't for me. I've tried it so many times, and after a couple days I always freeze up and seem to do everything BUT write at that particular time. My routine has to stay VERY flexible or it just won't work. Right now, I'm aiming for one session of 20 minutes, at least three times a week. This helps me sit down, and then I'm okay for several sessions. But, if I try to make it anymore specific than that, or aim for more sessions, it ends up being very counter productive.

On days that it's really hard, those sessions may be shorter. Whatever it takes to make it easier for me to sit down at the computer.

I've also realized that aiming for a particular number of sessions works better than aiming for word count goals. Word count goals DO NOT work for me. It's the quickest way for me to stop writing completely.  :-[

Some of us just need more time to process our stories, and I don't think anything can be done to change that -- but when we start being hard on ourselves because of it, it just makes things worse. So now, I don't worry about writing my stories faster, I am just aiming on writing more consistently. I think what I need to do more though, on days where I can't seem to sit down, is perhaps work on something different: another novel, short stories, nonfiction, or poetry. Chances are my inability to write is due to my subconscious needing time to work things out. Free-writing also helps during those times, too.

In the end, we just have to be kinder to ourselves and accept that our process is what it is. And we have to stop comparing ourselves to fast writers -- I believe that is one of the most negatively impacting things we can do to ourselves.

Great post. Thank you very much for sharing that. I like the idea of the 20 minute sit-down sessions you've mentioned. Might have to try that.


Offline Gisele_1169

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #202 on: June 03, 2016, 04:52:09 AM »
Great post. Thank you very much for sharing that. I like the idea of the 20 minute sit-down sessions you've mentioned. Might have to try that.

On days you really struggle, aim for 5 minutes. I can't count how many times it's gotten me out of writing slumps. And, if all you can get on a particular day is one 5 minute session, it's still better than nothing. Most of the time though, it's that first 5 minutes that's the hardest. 

Actually, I think that's what I'm going to do today. I've been really struggling the last few weeks. Just too many things in my head.  ???

My update: All I managed to do yesterday was submit a flash fiction story. I also started reading Dean Wesley Smith's Writing Into the Dark. Really enjoying it so far. The construction on our patio is still ongoing. Think it should be wrapping up today though. Yay!

Anyhow, wishing everyone a lovely weekend!  :D

Offline The_Empress

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #203 on: June 03, 2016, 06:34:25 PM »
It would probably be good for me to hang out here. :) I'm not that slow when I get going, but all my writing time and energy has been going towards work for the last 2-3 months, and I've been stalled. It's good to hear from people who also have ups and downs.

Offline jessie520

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #204 on: June 07, 2016, 08:19:24 PM »
Hope everyone's having a good writing week  :)

I managed 300 words today. Started a new short story with a character I created in a previous short story. I like her, so hopefully this goes well!


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Offline TeiranSmith

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #205 on: June 08, 2016, 08:59:25 AM »
I have spurts where I can crank out 5,000-8,000 words a day when I am able to dedicate an entire day to writing and am not suffering from dreaded writers block. When I started my debut novel, first two chapters were done in the blink of an eye. Then, BAM. Nothing. I couldn't get back into the groove for nearly two months. I literally didn't write a word for two months. It was torture!

I struggle with writers block. If I can't connect with a story or the characters, I can't write. I'm very character driven in my writing, so if the characters aren't "speaking to me" it's impossible for me to write. Call me crazy, but when I write, it's almost as though it's the characters telling the story and I'm just the vessel putting it on paper, or rather onto the screen.

I am half way through the third novel in my NA romance series and I've hit a wall. This is like the fiftieth one!

So while I have days where I can write 5,000 words, I have weeks and even months where I'm lucky to write 500 words. Those weeks and months are pure agony! The past month has been nothing but torment for me. I think I've only written 300 words this week. I'm currently staring at my screen begging for anything. I'd be happy with a sentence.

At this rate, the book might be done a year from now. It's very frustrating. I'm envious of the writers who are putting out multiple books each year. I'd be lucky to finish one at my pace.

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Offline Gisele_1169

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #206 on: June 09, 2016, 05:49:47 AM »
Well, I'm still in editing mode on my YA paranormal -- am adding bits and deleting bits, and my word count is staying the same (around 65k) which means I am making slow but forward progress. I've managed to work a bit on it every day this week, so yay! The construction on the patio is almost done -- ended up taking a lot longer than we expected it to.

Our house has been on the market now for a little over 4 months and I'm starting to feel like it will never sell. We've gotten so close several times, but something always intervenes. I try to stay positive and tell myself it's just a timing thing, it will happen, but we haven't even had a showing in almost three weeks. :(

There are just SO many houses on the market right now. It's ridiculous. Ah well, maybe with the patio redone it will help. The backyard looks awesome, too, with all the plants starting to bloom. So, fingers crossed!

Also, I love reading everyone's updates. It's nice to know we're not alone. 

I wish you all a productive end of week and a lovely weekend! :)

Offline Gisele_1169

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #207 on: June 09, 2016, 06:20:45 AM »
It would probably be good for me to hang out here. :) I'm not that slow when I get going, but all my writing time and energy has been going towards work for the last 2-3 months, and I've been stalled. It's good to hear from people who also have ups and downs.

Glad you found us, and we can totally relate. I hope you find your creative flow again soon!

Hope everyone's having a good writing week  :)

I managed 300 words today. Started a new short story with a character I created in a previous short story. I like her, so hopefully this goes well!

That's great, Jessie! I hope it's going well.  :)

I struggle with writers block. If I can't connect with a story or the characters, I can't write. I'm very character driven in my writing, so if the characters aren't "speaking to me" it's impossible for me to write. Call me crazy, but when I write, it's almost as though it's the characters telling the story and I'm just the vessel putting it on paper, or rather onto the screen.

I am half way through the third novel in my NA romance series and I've hit a wall. This is like the fiftieth one!

So while I have days where I can write 5,000 words, I have weeks and even months where I'm lucky to write 500 words. Those weeks and months are pure agony! The past month has been nothing but torment for me. I think I've only written 300 words this week. I'm currently staring at my screen begging for anything. I'd be happy with a sentence.

At this rate, the book might be done a year from now. It's very frustrating. I'm envious of the writers who are putting out multiple books each year. I'd be lucky to finish one at my pace.

I have been working on my current novel off and on for years. I'd get overwhelmed and then stop working on it completely for months, sometimes years. I'd work on other things in between, short stories, nonfiction, poems, etc. About a year and a half ago I started working with a writing coach, and I've been actively working on this novel again since. I'm learning to trust my characters, trust the story, and trust my writing abilities and process.

I know what you mean about your characters telling the story. They totally run the show for me as well. It's like I'm watching a mini movie in my head and I often have no idea what's going to happen until it does. That's why too much outlining doesn't work for me. I start to write and then the characters take off on their own -- and I've realized that the story is usually better if I let them. ;) I've also realized that my stories need to percolate every so often and trying to force things during those times doesn't work. My process is what it is. What I need to practice more is to train myself to work on other projects during those "percolation" times.

Have you tried freewriting when you're blocked (about the block), or just interviewing your characters to find out what's on their mind?  Freewriting gives a chance for your subconscious to voice its concerns/thoughts and can be very helpful.  :)

I hope the words start to flow again for you soon! Hang in there!

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #208 on: June 09, 2016, 07:00:04 AM »
The best thing ever: when hubbie takes both of the kids to swim lessons and doesn't make you come with.

I'm up to 3.2k words for the week already! And that was just between Monday and Wednesday.

It's one of those things where he's purposely letting me have some writing time, so if I didn't write I'd feel as guilty as snot - lol. Which means I may be writing most of the day on Sunday because he may be taking both kids with him to a water park (he may not take the toddler, though - still up in the air).

So, this is making up a little bit for a few unproductive weeks. Though A Very Grinka Christmas is quickly changing from a short story to a novelette. 6.6k in already and I have at least 3 more scenes (minimum), one of them being a huge one. Plus I just gave Grinka a tree nymph to crush on. This has been a blast to write.  ;D
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Offline Sarah Shaw

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #209 on: June 09, 2016, 07:03:04 AM »
Diving in at this late date because I seriously need motivation and I'm away from my usual motivators- coworking space, writing groups etc. and I've set a deadline with my editor for July 19th! Yikes! I'm more than 2/3 of the way through a 140,000 word novel, but while I have most of the rest written, it needs a lot of rewriting- and then I still want to go over it all for language and accuracy (it's a historical novel) one last time. Got sidetracked and didn't write for two days. Today I've set the pomodoro and cranked out one 25 minute session. My goal is at least 4 every day.

That said... taking a deep breath and diving in for another...

Offline matt5ki

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #210 on: June 09, 2016, 07:20:29 AM »
I wrote more of my novel last night, The Fantastical Gregory Shortbread.

While it's now onto its second draft, I am so slow at writing it. I know I need to write more and I managed to maybe add another 300/400 words last night. If I can just get to the end of the 2nd draft I can go back to the start and make the 3rd round of edits.

Probably sounds like I'm doing this fast but I started it over a year ago and had the idea 2 years before that.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2016, 02:05:30 AM by matt5ki »


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Offline Sarah Shaw

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #211 on: June 09, 2016, 07:24:47 AM »
If I can't connect with a story or the characters, I can't write. I'm very character driven in my writing, so if the characters aren't "speaking to me" it's impossible for me to write. Call me crazy, but when I write, it's almost as though it's the characters telling the story and I'm just the vessel putting it on paper, or rather onto the screen.

Yep. This is me. For that reason the idea of being able to outline a novel before you've even started writing it just sounds like something off an alien planet to me. Does.Not.Compute.

Offline jessie520

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #212 on: June 09, 2016, 09:53:25 AM »


That's great, Jessie! I hope it's going well.  :)


Thank you, it has been! I got a total of 2,600 words yesterday, which is the most I've written in a single day in a looong time. And it felt really good.


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Offline Gisele_1169

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #213 on: June 09, 2016, 07:49:18 PM »
Thank you, it has been! I got a total of 2,600 words yesterday, which is the most I've written in a single day in a looong time. And it felt really good.

That's FANTASTIC, Jessie! Way to go!!! Woot! :D

Offline Queen_of_Shorts

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #214 on: June 12, 2016, 05:34:17 PM »
  I did this for my FB status, but I'll add it here, too, since I don't have a lot of FB friends who are writers.

   So I am a short story writer and I'm okay with that. A very sloooooow short story writer. *teehee* But I'm working on that. I have published 8 books since Aug, 2013 - all short, 4 non-fic, 5 short stories. My publishing schedule has been 2 books, 2013, 3 books, 2014; 2 books 2015; and so far 1 book in 2016.

If I publish just 2 more stories, this year, I will make my first goal, which is "do better in 2016 than I have in 2013,14, and 15." My next goal will be 1 short story a month, then after that, one short story a week, then finally my ultimate goal, one short story a day. By the time I reach this goal I shall be totally self-sufficient and living on my own. Or if the money doesn't come, I will at least be very productive and be able to impress people with how prolific I am. "giggles"

I put so much pressure on myself to write, but when I'm in the zone it's really fun. I need to get back to fun!
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 10:19:11 AM by Queen_of_Shorts »

Offline M T McGuire

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #215 on: June 12, 2016, 11:35:55 PM »
Mwahahaaargh! My most recent was about a lesbian. One of my best mates from school is gay and she said she wished there were more books where there were gay characters that were gay incidentally in the way other characters were short or tall or had brown or blonde hair, so I did that.

Sorry it's been ages since I posted on here! Yesterday,  I was reading back this year's output so far, about 20k, and was delighted and surprised to find it wasn't as pants as I feared. Now I just have to figure what happens next. Onwards and upwards.

Also wanted to share this. A few months ago I was saying, glumly, that I'd only written three words that day and my mate said, 'that's three words that weren't there yesterday.' Which could be a good motto for writers like us!

I so agree that comparing ourselves to faster writers is a sure fire path to misery. I think it's best to not think about how far there is to go, only what I've done and what happens next. That way I don't get depressed by the amount I have to do and finishing almost comes as a surprise!

Cheers

MTM

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Offline matt5ki

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #216 on: June 13, 2016, 02:25:01 AM »
Managed to do a good chunk of my novel over the weekend. Having to pick chapters apart but got through some tricky ones. They're not perfect, that can be done on the third draft. For now I've managed to make it make more sense but I will have time to think on how to get it right on the next draft. Not quite got the idea yet, but there's time, I'm aiming for a 2017 release so I have a lot of time to make sure I get the chapters I finished this weekend working properly :)


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Offline Gisele_1169

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #217 on: June 13, 2016, 02:38:17 PM »
Great updates!

Queen_of_Shorts - Good luck on your goals. You're doing great!

MT McGuire - That's fantastic on the 20k so far! Woot! And yes, the only writer you should be comparing yourself to is the one you were yesterday.  ;)

matt5ki - Good luck with your novel and its 2017 release!

My update: Last week, I worked on my novel every day from Monday to Friday, and averaged 2 writing sessions of 20 minutes each day! That's fantastic for me because I very rarely am able to focus for more than 3 or 4 days a week. And, I also worked on it yesterday and today, so that means I only missed one day out of the last 8!

The going is slow (editing), but I don't care, it's the consistency I'm aiming for, so I'm super happy with my progress.  ;D

Wishing everyone a productive week!

Offline M T McGuire

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #218 on: June 13, 2016, 03:13:13 PM »
Woot! Go us. Clearly we are all creeping forward. Seconded, too, here's to a productive week folks!

Cheers

MTM
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Online AlexaGrave

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #219 on: June 13, 2016, 04:12:56 PM »
Last week was a fantastic week. I wrote almost 5k on A Very Grinka Christmas.

This week has started out not so great. It's swim lessons right now, and hubbie took them again, but I have no energy at all to write.

Been trying to market my release today (which has come in at zero sales or reads so far - blah), but the toddler has been determined to make life miserable. It took her over an hour to fall asleep for her nap. Then after her nap, she pretty much refused to eat lunch in a timely manner (chewing on the patty of a hamburger for at least 45 minutes).

I just want to crawl in bed because I don't even have the energy to market my story anymore. I am seriously thinking marketing on anything is going to have to be put on hold until the toddler is in school. Which sucks because I still have a release per month July through October, then a release end of November, and that's just this year. Oh, yeah, and a free run scheduled for the end of the month.

The toddler makes it so I can't think straight. I keep screwing up on everything I'm doing, so it takes me twice as long to do it!  ???
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Offline M T McGuire

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #220 on: June 13, 2016, 11:25:53 PM »
Last week was a fantastic week. I wrote almost 5k on A Very Grinka Christmas.

This week has started out not so great. It's swim lessons right now, and hubbie took them again, but I have no energy at all to write.

Been trying to market my release today (which has come in at zero sales or reads so far - blah), but the toddler has been determined to make life miserable. It took her over an hour to fall asleep for her nap. Then after her nap, she pretty much refused to eat lunch in a timely manner (chewing on the patty of a hamburger for at least 45 minutes).

I just want to crawl in bed because I don't even have the energy to market my story anymore. I am seriously thinking marketing on anything is going to have to be put on hold until the toddler is in school. Which sucks because I still have a release per month July through October, then a release end of November, and that's just this year. Oh, yeah, and a free run scheduled for the end of the month.

The toddler makes it so I can't think straight. I keep screwing up on everything I'm doing, so it takes me twice as long to do it!  ???

My lad is now 8 years old but the twilight zone between the ages of one and three is still very fresh in my mind! Having my son about the place is still like having your brain stirred constantly with a huge wooden spoon but it's getting easier to live a normal life with the brain damage. We all feel like that sometimes. For what it's worth I find it best to step away from the book for a week or two but then I burn out quite easily. Sympathy, empathy etc from casa McGuire, anyway.
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Offline MarcusPeterson

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #221 on: June 14, 2016, 12:20:42 AM »
This thread was designed for me!  I've been working on my first book (a novella, the first in a series of five) for about 5 years.  I've been editing it since September.  I'm a slow writer, and I sometimes take months between working on it.  Sometimes I get distracted by other things (book 2 is about 50% written and book 3 is in process, along with the first page of about 10 other stories), sometimes work is just too busy to focus on anything else, but mostly it is just lack of dedication. Maybe this thread can inspire all of us to get off our asses and get our writing done!
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Offline TheLemontree

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #222 on: June 14, 2016, 03:33:55 AM »
Last week was a fantastic week. I wrote almost 5k on A Very Grinka Christmas.

This week has started out not so great. It's swim lessons right now, and hubbie took them again, but I have no energy at all to write.

Been trying to market my release today (which has come in at zero sales or reads so far - blah), but the toddler has been determined to make life miserable. It took her over an hour to fall asleep for her nap. Then after her nap, she pretty much refused to eat lunch in a timely manner (chewing on the patty of a hamburger for at least 45 minutes).

I just want to crawl in bed because I don't even have the energy to market my story anymore. I am seriously thinking marketing on anything is going to have to be put on hold until the toddler is in school. Which sucks because I still have a release per month July through October, then a release end of November, and that's just this year. Oh, yeah, and a free run scheduled for the end of the month.

The toddler makes it so I can't think straight. I keep screwing up on everything I'm doing, so it takes me twice as long to do it!  ???
I hear you. I have a toddler. 2 words: teething molars.  Ugh.

I am moving at a snail's place on my wip. So sleep deprived these last few days that if he wakes more than once tonight I'm going to ban myself from driving the car tomorrow. So yeah, no writing.

BUT. I posed a question on my own Facebook feed this evening asking for expert opinions on a scenario that arises in my wip (what the process is for an older person with an injury to be released home from hospital etc), and got lots and lots of helpful feedback, including 3 health professionals offering to phone and talk to make sure I got it right! Including a senior geriatric specialist doctor whom I used to flat with back when we were students.

So that was pretty cool.

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Offline David E Steele

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #223 on: June 14, 2016, 09:45:48 AM »
Hi all, newbie here.
I'm finding that the more free time I have to write, the less l get done. Give me a couple of hours to write, and I go like the clappers. Give me a full day, and I'll spend it nit-picking every other word. Does anyone else have that problem?

Online AlexaGrave

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Re: Slow Writer's Progress Thread
« Reply #224 on: June 14, 2016, 03:19:43 PM »
My lad is now 8 years old but the twilight zone between the ages of one and three is still very fresh in my mind! Having my son about the place is still like having your brain stirred constantly with a huge wooden spoon but it's getting easier to live a normal life with the brain damage. We all feel like that sometimes. For what it's worth I find it best to step away from the book for a week or two but then I burn out quite easily. Sympathy, empathy etc from casa McGuire, anyway.

Thanks! My youngest's antics will forever remind me why I never want a third child. My eldest was bad, but never quite this bad (unless I purposely gave myself amnesia) - she's 8 now, too! And yes, the brain scrambling with kids is crazy! I really do hope I can eventually put the pieces back together because trying to complete a thought in my head right now is few and far between.

Today, no progress again. Once the toddler napped, I had to get other stuff done (since we went to the park in the morning). And then she had an hour long tantrum after she woke up from the nap. She's upping her game on me. I need to come up with better countermeasures.  ???
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