Author Topic: Strugglers' support thread  (Read 3908 times)  

Offline P.A. Woodburn

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #50 on: February 08, 2018, 01:17:17 AM »
This is a good thread for me. I thought my second novel was near ready, and I am now getting a lot of ideas for changes. I am reading "Story Trumps Structure" by Steven James and when I do this more and more changes come into my head. I think it's good. I'm certainly not one of those book a month people. Published my first novel in 2010 and this is my second but I'm now thinking that is okay if that is my pace. I'm 75 next month so I'm not expecting a wildly interesting career, but my grandmother lived to be 100 so you never know.

There is nothing in my home environment that prods me along. No writers' groups or anything like that. I don't even know one person in the flesh who writes. I have been extremly healthy all winter no colds, 'flu nothing to present me with an excuse.
I've started riding 20 miles per day on my stationary bicycle an effort to keep mobile. I'm losing weight very, very slowly, but I am looking more firm. Often I'm awake all night or half the night and then nap during the day.
 I read about one book a day. Either stuff about writing, exercising or fiction relating to the kind I'm aspiring to write.

I seem to have to relearn Scrivener every time I open it up. I'm not very techie. Just got two grammar programs - Grammarly and WordPro. Not sure what I think of them yet. It's odd that they find totally different things wrong. 

I bought our little local newspaper tonight on a whim. Haven't bought it for a year or two or three and would you believe there was a photo of me with a bunch of others taken outside the jail when I did the Police Academy Course. That was kind of weird. I'd love to repeat that course. It was a lot of fun.

I feel very lucky to be healthy so many my age are not. I spend too much time on Facebook chatting to writers I met here eight years ago. Most of them are quite successful. I spend way too much time lamenting about the political goings on. I try to keep thinking young because I want to keep writing for the young or middle aged. Spend hours reading about animal issues since that is my area of interest. Don't think you'll have more time when you retire. You'll  find numerous ways to whittle it away.

I'm enjoying myself and I guess that's what matters so I'll continue the struggle.

Online EllieDee

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #51 on: February 08, 2018, 03:19:15 AM »
Quote
I feel very lucky to be healthy so many my age are not.

Health and fitness are a really undervalued part of the creative process.  I find it so hard to be creative when my physical or mental health isn't doing so well.  Oh, and I get some of my best character ideas and plot twists while taking long walks. 

Offline C. Rysalis

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #52 on: February 08, 2018, 05:46:57 AM »
I get distracted far too easily, so some weeks I average zero words. But I've got a deadline looming, so I really need to up my wordcount. Instead I seem to be writing fewer and fewer words. Even though I know what's supposed to happen next. Sigh. :/

I feel you, I'm in the same place right now. The words just won't come and when they do, they're of terrible quality and I end up deleting them.

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Offline Jessie G. Talbot

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #53 on: February 08, 2018, 08:43:34 AM »
Did I mention I hate rewrites?  >:( Just when I think "BY GEORGE, I'VE FINALLY GOT IT!" along comes a beta reader who points out my story needs, oh, just a tweak here and a tweak there and could I expand on this and whittle this character down and etc...etc...

My worst fault as a writer is leaping ahead without thinking things through. I liked to make notes of my plots but I never outlined. Now that I've converted to outlining everything and its dog I feel a little more hopeful of getting stories right the first time. You live and you learn. Especially from this comm.

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Offline Lyle 007

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #54 on: February 08, 2018, 08:57:11 AM »
This is a good thread for me ... I have a couple small things out now. It's all less than a month old.

I just need to chill and continue to write.  Spend a little time navigating how to make these works visible within Amazon.  That is the real frustration for me. 

Best of luck to everyone here.

Offline ruecole

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #55 on: February 08, 2018, 11:03:08 AM »
I feel you, I'm in the same place right now. The words just won't come and when they do, they're of terrible quality and I end up deleting them.

I had a good day yesterday. I wrote 500 words and only deleted 200 of them. Lol

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Offline Douglas Milewski

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #56 on: February 08, 2018, 12:38:49 PM »
Once you get rolling, it's not so hard. Over the last year, I've written about 250k words in about 270 days, and that's with few rounds of polishing. There's no secret to it, you just have to make it a priority, like doing the dishes.

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Offline ruecole

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #57 on: February 08, 2018, 03:00:40 PM »
There's no secret to it, you just have to make it a priority, like doing the dishes.

People prioritize doing the dishes? Well, there's my problem. Lol

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Offline rebeccaroyce

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #58 on: February 08, 2018, 03:11:36 PM »
So I find that I am struggling pretty consistently with the second to last book in a series. Not the last book, but the second to last, every time it happens. And I have really lost my focus this time.  I paid bills to not have to write today and that is really, really awful.  Anyone have some great find your focus techniques?

Offline dunkleosteus

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #59 on: February 08, 2018, 03:29:11 PM »
That's easy. You were channeling Snoopy and "It was a dark and stormy night...

On a serious note, I struggle with time. I make the time to write 1k words a night between 10pm and midnight, then run exhausted the next day. If I'm too tired and can't meet the goal, I feel like crap until I can meet it the next night. Thus, I run on a cycle of exhausted physically or emotionally. Because of that, I hit a wall around day 20 and begin doubting everything I've done.

Boy, do I ever hear you on this one. Even if the writing does go well, the loss of sleep still enervates me until I can catch up on it. My schedule is a bit different in that I get up at 5:00 AM and write until 6:45, then head off to work. What I've found is that even if the writing went well the day before, I sometimes arrive at my keyboard the next morning feeling like I don't have any arrows in the quiver. And that is a bleak feeling, because it's either go back to bed and admit failure (which I don't permit myself to do), or sit there and try to MAKE something happen with the writing (which it isn't always possible to do).

What has been working for me is to do the 5AM thing four days a week, sleep in the other days, and write on those nights. Using that schedule has, so far, knock on wood, not run me into a wall.

The only thing I can say to you about the doubt is that actually showing up to do the work is itself a victory. So maybe when you hear that voice of doubt on day 20, redirect your attention to the fact that you frigging showed up for those 20 days and give yourself credit for that. Throw the gold of your attention at the feet of the victories, not into the palm of that other nimrod...

Hang in there, pal. Keep after it.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 03:55:14 PM by dunkleosteus »

Offline Tara KH

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #60 on: February 08, 2018, 04:08:42 PM »
My chronic back pain is really starting to interfere with my productivity. It's hard to concentrate when I feel like someone has taken a sledgehammer to my spine every hour of the day. I have noticed that it makes me do things like try to distract myself from the pain by playing little games on my phone and stuff, when I really need to write to meet my deadlines.

Offline Norman Steele Taylor

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #61 on: February 09, 2018, 12:27:50 AM »
I'm currently struggling with coming up with an overarching theme for my next HARD SCI FI title.

Action-packed scenes can only go so far.

Also, I have to come up with a plot twist


Offline Douglas Milewski

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #62 on: February 09, 2018, 07:08:56 AM »
Plots twists usually have to feel right and yet feel surprising. They usually do not come out of left field because I want my reader to say, "I should have seen that coming." That's when I look at what's on the table. [This technique is more useful when you're pantsings and you have lots of extraneous detail to mine, but it can work with outlining, too.]
  • What characters have I lost track of?
  • What items have I lost track of?
  • What situations have I lost track of?
  • What unpredictable things could exist in the environment?
  • What B-Plot could stroll in to derail the scene?
  • Who makes a mistake?
  • Who changed their mind?
  • What information gets contradicted?
Somewhere in those questions is a plot twist that works without having to invent anything new, is already set up in the narrative, and acts as a payoff. Twofer! Score!

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Offline kdiem

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #63 on: February 09, 2018, 07:19:49 AM »
I've got Book 3 in my superhero urban fantasy at the betas and am trying to outline Book 4. I'm stuck on the outline.

Book 4 focuses on a murder mystery as the primary plot, that needs to be appropriately twisty (and action-packed because superhero), plus I also need to insert a kaiju and a pyromaniacfor thematic reasons. It's not tidy yet. I've got the who done it and part of the mystery plot written, but I want it tidy. Grr. I'll get it, but...

It's especially frustrating because my usual process demands I write out a detailed outline, which I then proceed to ignore whenever the plot takes me another direction, but I can't write without it.

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Offline RRodriguez

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #64 on: February 09, 2018, 07:30:04 AM »
Oh boy, can I join in? Because I am super struggling right now with my edits for my first novel and getting this thing actually polished up. I'm currently in my second round of edits (the line edits) and I just barely reached halfway through my manuscript yesterday. It's been weeks! And after this, I STILL have a third round for grammar, and then the long hunt to find beta readers, and only then can I finally send it out to a real editor. Omgosh. To think I was hoping to release this into the wild by fall. Not at this pace.

Most disappointing, I had a bunch of other writing goals I wanted to accomplish as well, and right now all my time and energy is being poured into edits. I had no idea it would take me this long.
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Offline AliceS

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #65 on: February 09, 2018, 07:30:46 AM »
Sinus infection. I'm all fuzzy headed and tired. Makes the writing very hard.


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Offline SaraConklin

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #66 on: February 09, 2018, 07:37:15 AM »
Thank you for posting this thread! Im a long time lurker here on kboards so I thought this would be the perfect place to make my first post.
Im currently struggling with finding the time to write. Im a full time pre med college student going after two undergraduate degrees, I work full time, and my husband and I are trying to have our first child. It just seems like if its not one thing its another these days. My goal before I hit publish was to have several books completed, ideally they would be a series, but that just hasnt happened yet.
Writing is something that Ive always loved doing, and one day I would like it to be all that I do. I just feel so discouraged by my crazy schedule. I feel like I never have time to write, and when I do manage to carve out the time something comes up.

Offline Jessie G. Talbot

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #67 on: February 09, 2018, 08:00:58 AM »
I paid bills to not have to write today and that is really, really awful.  Anyone have some great find your focus techniques?

AIIIGH! Bills. Don't get me started. But I find I focus best when I turn off the TV, phone, and internet (anything that wants my attention) and turn on classical music. A public station lacks commercials so it's non-intrusive. I just drift away and type my story while I lose track of time and pressure.

And my heart goes out to the sick and pained writers out there. It's hard to get going when you're aggravated by your health but once you get into your writing groove your pains will recede. (Mine did, anyway.) Just think of word counts as medicine that does you good.

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Offline Douglas Milewski

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #68 on: February 09, 2018, 08:14:51 AM »
Im currently struggling with finding the time to write. Im a full time pre med college student going after two undergraduate degrees, I work full time, and my husband and I are trying to have our first child.


God bless you from the bottom of my soul. That's absolutely insane. Any two of them is a big commitment. All of them? Wow. Just wow.

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Offline RobMartin

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #69 on: February 09, 2018, 11:18:36 AM »
Sinus infection. I'm all fuzzy headed and tired. Makes the writing very hard.

I'm just getting over 3 days of the flu. On the bright side, I managed 2500 words. I also managed 400 pages of jkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkl, so there was that.

Offline SaraConklin

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #70 on: February 09, 2018, 01:03:05 PM »

God bless you from the bottom of my soul. That's absolutely insane. Any two of them is a big commitment. All of them? Wow. Just wow.

Thank you. Yeah it is definitely quite the challenge, but Im lucky to have a very good support system.

Offline Lorri Moulton

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #71 on: February 09, 2018, 01:11:58 PM »
I'm just getting over 3 days of the flu. On the bright side, I managed 2500 words. I also managed 400 pages of jkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkljkl, so there was that.

LOL  We've been working on the same story! :)

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Offline Lynn Is A Pseudonym

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #72 on: February 16, 2018, 02:38:28 PM »
I can relate to so many of you!

Someone asked about getting past the confidence issues. For me, I don't. I just accept that most of what I write sucks. It makes me happy when I can get myself to do it, so I do it anyway.

I do think if I could get myself to "just do it" I would have already done it. I mean, it's really not that hard... right?

Anyone else laughing at that one? ;)

Offline A.D. Collins

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #73 on: February 16, 2018, 06:28:34 PM »
Because I take care of my mother who is constantly ill, I struggle with finding the time to write.  Lately, I have been having some back problems, but I did manage to write out two chapters today that's something I haven't done in a long time.

Offline Christa_Tomlinson

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Re: Strugglers' support thread
« Reply #74 on: February 18, 2018, 07:06:47 AM »
Thank you for posting this thread! So many things shared here that I've dealt with myself. Especially the one on procrastinating writing all day, then staying up all night to get words in. It took a lot of work, but I finally managed to kick that habit. Well, half of it. I still procrastinate too much, but I don't stay up all night anymore.

I have two current struggles. The first is getting organized with the business side of things. I know what I need to do, but I get so overwhelmed at everything that I end up finding a hundred ways to avoid doing any of it. I know that I need to break the tasks down into manageable chunks, but I can't seem to stay focused enough to do it and that's when I get overwhelmed. Going to try yet again to get organized this week.

The other struggle is deciding what to write next. I had a plan. Finish my current series. Then write series #4. Once that was done, I'd start series #5. The problem is, my brain is really into series #5. I feel like I should take advantage of all that excitement and skip series #4 to write series #5. But how do I know this isn't just another case of getting distracted by the shiny new plot bunny? I've had that happen before and I know tons of other writers have been in that same boat.

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