1. Slytherin
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    Slytherin New Member

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    Double-edged sword

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Slytherin, Nov 22, 2012.

    Hello, my name is Kate and I am new to these forums. I decided to join because a particular issue surrounding my writing has been plaguing me for quite some time now. The problem is that I can't seem to find a happy medium between rigid deadlines and endless slacking.

    I've been writing long enough to know that both of these attitudes always end up sabotaging my work. On the one hand, there's the rigid deadlines. While this approach has consistently produced pages and pages of work, the quality of the writing always suffers. The passages end up sounding robotic and contrived. Additionally, such stringent rule-making always sucks the fun and creativity out of the writing experience.

    On the other hand, I have tried the opposite approach of allowing myself to relax and go with the flow. Without any scary deadlines breathing down my neck, I feel free to write when I want to write, and I consequently produce a consistently better quality of work. The sentences flow much better, sound more natural, and reflect the state of joy I was in while writing. However, this lackadaisical approach also has a history of turning me into a slacker. I sometimes find myself playing video games for hours and hours before I get any writing done, and by the end of the week, I have 3 pages of work or less to show for it.

    Has anyone else ever encountered this problem? How in the world can I find balance? I don't want to suck the joy out of my craft by creating deadlines that remind me of university. I want to relax and have fun, and produce natural-sounding work that reflects my positive emotional state. However, I'm still so envious of the writers who are endlessly productive -- those who produce pages upon pages every day. If anyone has any advice at all for me, I would be eternally grateful! This is a conundrum that neither I, nor any author I've spoken to, has been able to solve. Thank you! :D
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    your own?

    it hasn't been a problem for any of the famous writers i've known and never was for myself...

    since it's a problem of your own making, you can solve it... self-discipline is the most vital requisite for becoming a successful writer... without it, you might as well pick another career to pursue...

    if you have the passion to write [another 'must'], then you'll stop wasting time with video games and get serious about writing... no one can do that for you and there's no magical forumula that will do it for you, either... each of us has our own way of making time to write... you must find the one that works best for you...
     
  3. alijanness
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    alijanness New Member

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    I am facing about the same problem. Although I am not a professional writer and don't have any rigid deadlines that I have to follow but I feel that I can't take out time for my writing. The free time I do get I waste playing video games or watching T.V. I do want to be published someday and although it has been a long time dream I feel like I have never been able to take the first step. I thought that somehow I'll naturally begin to write and write well. Now I realize that drastic steps must be taken to make my dream a reality. Can someone guide me on what my plan of action should be?
     
  4. Slytherin
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    Slytherin New Member

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    your own?

    Yes.

    "it hasn't been a problem for any of the famous writers i've known and never was for myself... "

    I'm not saying it was a problem for them. I'm saying it's been a problem for me. I only meant that the authors that I've asked for advice haven't been able to give any, until today actually. I spoke to two new people who were able to help me a great deal.

    "since it's a problem of your own making, you can solve it... self-discipline is the most vital requisite for becoming a successful writer... without it, you might as well pick another career to pursue... "

    As I've said, I have implemented immense self-discipline many times -- it's how I finished my 40-chapter novel and it's how I published two short stories. If you read what I said, the problem wasn't having no self-discipline. The problem was that the self-discipline was compromising the quality of my work. Pick another career? No thanks.


    if you have the passion to write [another 'must'], then you'll stop wasting time with video games and get serious about writing... no one can do that for you and there's no magical forumula that will do it for you, either... each of us has our own way of making time to write... you must find the one that works best for you...

    I do have a passion and I wasn't simply trying to waste time. I tried a different approach where I allowed myself to choose when to write based on how creative I was feeling. When I wasn't in the mood, I indulged in leisure. I wasn't looking for a formula, but I am terribly sorry for turning you off with my highly controversial question. Thank you for the sarcasm that I'm sure you intended as a warm welcome.
     
  5. AGWallace
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    AGWallace New Member

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    Hi, Kate. I'm new here, also, but haven't experienced the sarcasm yet. (I'm sure there's some waiting for me, though, this being the Interwebs and all.)

    You're asking a great question, but it has a thousand answers. Here's mine.

    I'm 120,000 words into a new novel and happy to report that I blew past my first self-imposed deadline early in November. The book just isn't ready.

    This probably won't help you: I don't find "joy" in writing. I love it. I want to do it. Even when I'm in the zone I don't find "joy" there. I lose myself in the story, in the complexity of the word choices, in the intellectual challenge of creating a world that others will enjoy. When I'm not in the zone, I try to write anyway. In either case, I accept the fruits of my effort as they are ... and the words either stay or get cut. (I do anticipate experiencing great joy when the book is complete. It has been a lifelong dream of mine, and it is finally coming true...)

    This might help: I found great encouragement in a short book by Steven Pressfield called "Do the Work."

    Best wishes as you figure this out.
     

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