1. rickyd123
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    rickyd123 New Member

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    Hi, I'm new. I have a few question about my writing process.....

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by rickyd123, Oct 22, 2013.

    Here we go. I've always thought of myself as a writer and people have given me positive feedback on my writing, but I never pursued it seriously. Then I had an opportunity. I've always read that if a person wants to be a professional writer, he needs to approach it like a job. Set a minimum word count everyday or a minimum number of hours of writing per day. I chose the later. I decided to write or work on improving my writing skills at least 6 hrs everyday.
    I did this for about 8 months. I wrote two rough drafts of novels. The first one had a serious mechanical problem. I learned from that and completed a finished 1st rough draft on the second. Here's my problem. I also learned I hate writing. At least, long uninterrupted stretches are terrible. I never tried anything else. It's been a year since I've written anything. I'm thinking about trying to write again. I have the free time, but I don't want to do it and hate it. Any ideas on a different writing approach that will fit with the serious writer idea, but not the long stretches, and I don't mean breaks because I took plenty of those.
    Another issue I had was re-writing the rough draft. I waited a month then read the rough draft. I read some books on editing, but I was just spinning my wheels. It seemed fine to me. I didn't have anyone to read it and critique it for me.
    After I finished the rough draft I got to thinking that if this was ever published and they wanted me to write others I would rather drink boiling oil mixed with broken glass.
     
  2. Tara
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    Tara Contributing Member

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    You're contradicting yourself several times in what you've written, mostly about wanting to "approach writing as a job", but not wanting to so things that come with being a professional writer.
    If you think your book is fine after one draft that's great, but a publisher won't think so. If you don't like to rewrite stories or you can't be critical about your own work becoming a professional writer is going to be very hard. People think it will be nice to become a writer because you can do what you like, but the truth is that it takes just as much time and effort as any other job and you may even earn less with it than you would with a regular job.
    If you publish one book I don't think you have to write something to follow up on it if you don't want to, but I can't tell you that for sure, because I'm neither a professional writer, nor a published one.
    If you want to make a living with writing you will have to write a lot, so why would you want to become a writer if you don't even like writing? That's like saying you want to become a doctor when you can't stand blood. Of course that's just my opinion, you may disagree with it.
    Writing a book that will be published is not about writing when you want to, it's about writing when you have planned to write. Just like any other job it's not always fun to write, but you're either a professional writer or you're not and if you are a professional writer you'll have to write x hours a day whether you like it or not. Wanting to become a writer but not wanting to write a lot is like working a 9 to 5, but only when you want to work; it's just not the way you do it.

    Those are some of the things you'll have to do if you really want to become a professional writer (and it's also a list of reasons why I'm not professional). I know it's probably not what you wanted to hear, but I hope you now have an idea of what you choose (not) to do when you choose (not) to become a professional writer.
     
  3. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Well... i don't really do writing as a job. I just do it for the enjoyment aspect of it. And to write for six hours straight... omg i barely even get through one hour sometimes! Just go at your own pace, and make sure the story you are writing is interesting enough that you won't lose your interest even in the long run. (I've been writing my own novel for over four years now and it's still not done)

    now, you may just not be the publishing type, or if you don't want to publish more than just one book, i'd suggest writing only one book at a time -not a series. Plus, if you want to avoid the hype of publishers asking when you will do your next book, i'd suggest self-publishing. That way you can just go your own way. I haven't published anything except for one short story that won a contest thus far, but this is all i know.
     
  4. rickyd123
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    rickyd123 New Member

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    Thanks
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I shoot for three pages a day - nothing too high that I get overwhelmed and nothing too low that it feels like
    I'm not accomplishing anything. But it's all about trying out things that work for you.

    Keep a journal for a week on how your writing is coming along noting all the rough spots - when creativity dried up
    or your interest sagged, and the high moments - when creativity flowed. After going over the results
    you can spot patterns and make a workable schedule or set reachable goals for yourself.
     
  6. rickyd123
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    rickyd123 New Member

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    That's a good idea. Thanks
     
  7. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    There are musicians who love to play but hate to practice.
     
  8. rickyd123
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    rickyd123 New Member

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    That's me.
     
  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    That's fine, so long as you don't long for what is only possible with practice.
     
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  10. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, Ricky, I'm not really sure what it is that you would really love to hear from us. If you really don't enjoy writing, then you shouldn't do it. I understand that you've always thought of yourself as a good writer, but just because someone can do something or is good at it, that doesn't mean that they necessarily must do it. Life is too short to spend large amounts of time doing something that brings you no enjoyment whatsoever.

    There's a very famous saying, and I'm sure someone on here will be able to give it proper attribution, as right now I can't recall who said it or exactly how it is worded, but it goes something like this: Don't write because you want to say something. Write because you have something to say. If you don't have anything that you really want to say, why bother?

    What is it that makes you feel like you need to write? Did you enjoy writing previously? If so, what was it that you enjoyed? Maybe novels aren't your thing. Maybe you should try out short stories or essays, or some sort of non-fiction, which would involve research as well as writing. (Of course, novel writing can require research as well.)
     
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  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Good point. In my case, I longed for years to be able to write novels, but too often didn't have the time because everything I wrote was advocacy. I'm pretty good at it, and I admit that it was always good to see in print, but that didn't change the fact that it wasn't what I most wanted to do.
     
  12. rickyd123
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    rickyd123 New Member

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    I guess that's what I'm trying to figure out. If there's another form of writing I should be doing. I'm going to start with short stories. I know me, and if I don't set some kind of daily quota, I won't do much writing if any. When I said I hated writing, I only felt that way after I had spent 6 straight hrs every day doing it for 8 months. Try having sex that often and see how you feel about it after.
     
  13. Fatback
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    Fatback Banned

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    Writing is art... Art is fueled by passion.... If ya wanna make money write a kids book.... If you want to enjoy art then stick with what works for you. A miserable man with a title is still a miserable man... If you write for six hours and find no joy then you are a fool.... Yet if you write for six minutes and enjoy every second then you might be a genius... Tra lalalala I love spaghetti
     
  14. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I suppose 6 hours of actual sex might get old... but I'm not trying to earn a living through it, either ;-) But, a lot of people might like 6 hours of sex-related activities -- maybe some sex, some romance, lying around in bed, talking, reading, sleeping, watching porn or non-porn, etc. (But no outside interruptions -- no kids, phones, going to the supermarket, etc.) Maybe you could try six hours of doing things related to writing -- if you take a class, for example, or get into a critique group, maybe you could count reading and critiquing the works of others, (or critiquing online pieces at sites like this one), reading books about the craft of writing, reading books that are in the genre you want to write, doing some writing exercises, which may or not involve the characters and specific story you're working on.

    Sometimes, time spent away from your novel, and allowing yourself to ruminate can be more helpful than sitting at a computer.
     
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  15. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's no guarantee this will work. There are a LOT of kid's books published each year, and way more that never make it. And you have to have artistic talent, too, unless you work with an illustrator.

    If it were easy, everyone would do it.
     
  16. Fatback
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    Fatback Banned

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    Percentages... Much more likely to make money from kids books than any other avenue. My point was that writing on a schedule makes no sense if you don't enjoy it
     
  17. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you have some sort of article or chart that shows this? I'm curious as to who put this out and what the methodology was, and what the definition of "make money" is.
     
  18. Fatback
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    Fatback Banned

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    Oh yes the chart. I have charts about the chart. "Make money" means exactly what it says.... Being paid. I find it odd that you are stuck on one sentence of my comment whilst completely ignoring the point of my comment. If you don't enjoy writing on a schedule for prolonged periods... Don't do it... That was my point
     

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