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Author Topic: Writing Issues from Writers Block to Time  (Read 1016 times)

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March 31, 2013, 11:44:24 PM

varza

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I am not sure about anyone else but my biggest issue with writing is momentum. Something almost always happens to get in the way of my writing or I just get into a valley of doubt and can't find the inspiration to continue. I have piles and files of writing from the time I was in middle school to now. As for my poetry - I can barely get inspired anymore.

Write now, pun intended, I just don't have the time to write and haven't had a chance to work on my novel for almost 4-6 weeks due to my school schedule and a very active toddler.

So! I thought it would be fun to have an area to talk about those blocks, stops, and um... something else goes here but my mind blanked moments. Then find some support from our fellow writers.

What is your biggest issue when it comes to writing.


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April 01, 2013, 04:48:36 AM
Reply #1

HealerOne

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One of my biggest issues is time. If I try writing during the day, I am constantly being interrupted by phones calls, neighbors and friends. They all seem to think that because I am retired I have all the time in the world to fix their problems or listen to their drivel. Sometimes I just want to turn off the phone and hide in a closet so that people will think I am not home. Most days I just go out to eat at noon and use that time to write or read. There are several fast food places that don't care if I sit in their comfy seats, nursing a cup of Diet Coke while I write. People don't interrupt you and you can get some inspiration from the conversations and interesting people around you! The other time I write is late at night or early morning. Most of the biggest offenders for my time are in bed so I take advantage of that!

My other issue with time? Not saying 'no!' I'm a sucker to help people out, organize activities and act as a sounding board for plenty of friends. Those activities suck up my time!

I seem to be a writer that has to mull things about in my head until I hit upon something that strikes me as a possibility. Even then I have to rattle the idea around until I really get inspired enough to start planning to write.

Like others here, NaNoWriMo was helpful because it challenged me to write every day and to hit a word count every day. On top of that, I informed a huge group of my friends that I was writing in the month of November and they were to ask about how it was going in order to encourage me to continue writing. Having people know I was writing, cut down on the interruptions and also gave me a perfect excuse to say 'No!'. Now with the writing group I've started, I am having a similar experience. It really does help to have people out there that you are accountable to for continuing to write.
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April 01, 2013, 07:14:07 AM
Reply #2

varza

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Yeah, I found one of the best places for me to write was at school. I could go to one of the cafes, order a coffee then just sit there and write for hours. Alas last semester I had much more time on my hands to do that. Now every moment I have free is school or wasting time zoning out cause I'm exhausted.
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April 01, 2013, 07:29:42 AM
Reply #3

Maraudingdon

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One of my biggest issues is time. 

Seconded. Oh, to have the luxury of being a full-time writer...alas. I have a full time job in the public service, three kids, a big house that won't clean itself, and a dog that doesn't understand the concept of sleeping past 4am.

So, I have a routine and, for now, it is working. But something had to give and that was sleep. I exist on about 5 hours a night. I write before work. It is amazing what you can do when the house is quiet. It is also the perfect time to catch up with my lit agent in NY because our time zones are not compatible during my normal hours.

One thing I have seen with other writers is if you let it fall by the side, it is very, very difficult to get into the habit again. Because writing is great fun when you have a brand new idea and you are full of enthusiasm. It's the cold mornings when you can't think of how to advance that story when it gets hard, and then the rot sets in and before you know it, you have gone a whole month without writing.

Try to write every single day. Even if its only a paragraph. Writing has to be a way of life and part of your routine.
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April 01, 2013, 07:40:48 AM
Reply #4

varza

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I just went and blocked all my facebook games. I waste so much possible writing time on playing those things instead of using my brain efficiently.
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May 02, 2013, 05:36:01 PM
Reply #5

HealerOne

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Bringing up another major problem for me - Formatting. I was never taught how to type, I just made up a system of typing for myself - that also means I really don't know my way around a keyboard well. I just look stuff up as I go along. And to format something? Lordy, I am terrible at it! That means when I starting writing, I had no idea I had to format or that there was a difference in how Americans formatted vs British methods. (I used my British books as examples of how to do quotes.) Sigh, there is so much to learn. Then once my manuscript was done I had to worry about the format for submitting to agents - by email, i.e., do you compress the file so that the 20 or 25 pages they want does not take up so much space? (They don't want it as an attachment just as part of the email ...)
Anyway I have been terribly confused by all that. Recently I found a great little resource from Amazon - that I downloaded (free) called Building your Book for Kindle that gives a step by step tutorial as to how to make your manuscript ready to submit for them. I love it because it shows you step by step how to prepare your manuscript both before you write and afterwards. (I'm so bad when It comes to anything technical that I need a step by step!)  If anyone else has some little gem for formatting please free to share! 

varza, my downfall is Solitaire. I spend too many hours doing that! However I do find that it clears my mind a bit when I have been taxing it too much!
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 05:38:46 PM by HealerOne »
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May 04, 2013, 08:53:37 AM
Reply #6

Maraudingdon

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HealerOne, I hear your pain! A writer/author needs to know the various ways of formatting manuscripts they write/publish.

The general rules for manuscripts that are being submitted to an agent are double-spaced, indent the first line of every paragraph, Times New Roman size 12 as your font, and page numbers. Agents like it readable and simple. If they ask for 20 pages, you give them 20 pages double spaced.

I actually published a free guide on my Blog for those formatting for Amazon's Kindle program. It's been used in several publishing guides and I am happy to share my info here. Just follow this link:

http://musingsofapennilesswriter.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/how-to-format-for-amazon-kdp-in-few.html

Formatting for paperback publication is a whole new ball game and I find standard templates and using the format painter key really helps. The important rule is take your time.
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May 05, 2013, 02:33:05 AM
Reply #7

HealerOne

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Fabulous,  Maraudingdon! A great resource! Just a few questions do you keep a copy of your manuscript in the original format? And if you do where do you keep it? I have been using Google Docs. And it does appear that if you rename the file, different versions will remain there...
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May 06, 2013, 08:01:02 PM
Reply #8

Maraudingdon

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I write all of my manuscripts formatted in double spaced in a standard word doc. Every month (but I should do it more often) I email the manuscripts to my gmail account and just store them there as back up. I used to use Google docs, but I found it rather unreliable, and there was one occasion when I couldn't access them at all.

Every so often I do into my Word files and clean out because I have so many copies of the same ms. 

As long as you have the original and at least one back up, you'll be okay.
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May 10, 2013, 10:44:45 PM
Reply #9

RiverSpirit

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I write all of my manuscripts formatted in double spaced in a standard word doc. Every month (but I should do it more often) I email the manuscripts to my gmail account and just store them there as back up. I used to use Google docs, but I found it rather unreliable, and there was one occasion when I couldn't access them at all.

Every so often I do into my Word files and clean out because I have so many copies of the same ms. 

As long as you have the original and at least one back up, you'll be okay.

That is a great idea. I used to do that with my assignments when I was studying. I would email them to two different accounts.
  
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May 11, 2013, 11:05:38 AM
Reply #10

Evreka

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I write all of my manuscripts formatted in double spaced in a standard word doc. Every month (but I should do it more often) I email the manuscripts to my gmail account and just store them there as back up. I used to use Google docs, but I found it rather unreliable, and there was one occasion when I couldn't access them at all.

Every so often I do into my Word files and clean out because I have so many copies of the same ms. 

As long as you have the original and at least one back up, you'll be okay.
That is a great idea. I used to do that with my assignments when I was studying. I would email them to two different accounts.
It does sound like a really great idea, as it also means your manuscript is then also stored outside your own house and on different servers to boot.  :bravo:

Just one word of caution, be very careful when you send those emails so you do not by mistake address them to somebody else. You wouldn't want your unpublished manuscript mistakenly sent to just about anyone of your contacts.  :madeye: Make sure to be vigilant as you address them!

This is coming from someone who has now had two different co-workers send a lot of emails intended for her on a round-about fashion to two different customers first, just because they and I share a first name.... Neither customer is particularly pleased, I might add. Nor is it always messages that are meant to reach customers, so....

« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 11:08:33 AM by Evreka »
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May 12, 2013, 02:12:49 AM
Reply #11

varza

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Never thought about emailing myself copies of my writing - I have some things I wrote in the past lost on discs that I have no computer to read anymore because of old formatting. Smart idea! Especially if you just email yourself in the same email and only use it for that.
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June 14, 2013, 02:05:26 PM
Reply #12

Kickassnoodle

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One of my biggest issues is time. 

Seconded. Oh, to have the luxury of being a full-time writer...alas. I have a full time job in the public service, three kids, a big house that won't clean itself, and a dog that doesn't understand the concept of sleeping past 4am.

[...]

One thing I have seen with other writers is if you let it fall by the side, it is very, very difficult to get into the habit again. Because writing is great fun when you have a brand new idea and you are full of enthusiasm. It's the cold mornings when you can't think of how to advance that story when it gets hard, and then the rot sets in and before you know it, you have gone a whole month without writing.

Try to write every single day. Even if its only a paragraph. Writing has to be a way of life and part of your routine.
Oh, that's totally me, only it's now been years since I lost the habit of writing. I used to write all the time (when I wasn't reading or painting or doing after-school activities) during my high-school years, even if it was just silly poem scribbles. I wrote for my own enjoyment (though my lit teacher would get me to submit my pieces for various competitions). But once I started university, something happened and it's not that I didn't have time - I spent hours posting in various forums and rewatching House my first year - but I somehow lost my inspiration. I know that it's silly to always expect to write with real inspiration but that's how it always was for me when I was a teenager, and I just couldn't adjust. I tried getting back into the writing habit multiple times - I completed ScriptFrenzy and NaNoWriMo (each of them once), but the experience was rather too intense - I got so obsessed with writing that school work took quite a blow and catching up was a real pain afterwards. After that, I decided that risking like that wasn't worth it. I got into blogging (blogosphere fascinates me) for a while, but again, fell out of the habit.

However, since I completed NaNo in 2011, inspiration started striking again once in a while and I even got a notebook where I quickly scribble my ideas down. But with that I'm facing a new problem - I have short snippets, premises, ideas jotted down and I need to make myself work on them further/complete them and it's proving rather difficult when all my brain wants to do after studying/work is watch TV. I think, having buddies who write (in the vein of NaNo's writing buddies) would be very nice, yet I often feel out of place with writing folks as I'm writing (at least for now) with no intention towards publishing and I don't think about such things as formatting, what length a chapter or a book should be, often I don't even think about structure - maybe I should  :crabbegoyle: But I feel like that would take away from enjoying and expressing myself.

I also have trouble with editing (the aforementioned NaNo 2011 novel requires an almost total rewrite and is sitting untouched, for instance), but that's another story :fredgeorge:

ETA:
After posting the above I suddenly realised that I sound kind of self-contradictory, but that's how it is for me  :fredgeorge: I enjoy writing immensely (and I do hope maybe to publish my fiction some day), but, dunno, I'm just lazy in that regard, I guess :ashamed: So, it takes some effort to start, and apparently it's most often more effort than I care to spare. If that makes sense.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 03:26:33 PM by Kickassnoodle »
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June 16, 2013, 07:16:13 PM
Reply #13

HeleneB

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I write all of my manuscripts formatted in double spaced in a standard word doc. Every month (but I should do it more often) I email the manuscripts to my gmail account and just store them there as back up. I used to use Google docs, but I found it rather unreliable, and there was one occasion when I couldn't access them at all.

Every so often I do into my Word files and clean out because I have so many copies of the same ms. 

As long as you have the original and at least one back up, you'll be okay.

I guess I'm ultra paranoid. I email it to myself everything finish an editing session. I'm just too old to re-create the stuff I write. lol

My biggest problem is that I think about what I want to write all day while I'm working on other responsibilities and as soon as I sit down my brain refuses. I have to unwind before I can focus. It's frustrating.
Author of the Safe Harbors series and "Second Chances 101", a Ripple Effect Romance.
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