1. hatari
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    hatari New Member

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    I'm writing a book ..... seriously!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by hatari, Jan 4, 2012.

    I have often thought about joining a 'support' forum to help with my book writing. I finally took the plunge this afternoon!

    I've often written little short kid stories for my kids with illustrations just to amuse them. I have somewhat of a creative streak despite my 'science' job and enjoy writing and drawing. So writing a book always has been in the back of my mind. One day in April 2009, I had amazing epiphany of a plot for a kids/young adult book that just took me by storm. This never happens. It stuck in my mind, begging to be developed. I discussed the idea with my wife who really loved it. For the first time in my life I began to seriously consider writing a book. My concern, initially, was about finishing it. I was old enough to not be stuck in an infatuation stage where a book seems like something to easily churn out with minimal effort. If I started this book, it was going to be an undertaking. Eventually, I decided to go for it.

    My first order of business was getting some writing software. I discovered Scrivener and fell in love with it. Without it, I seriously doubt I would have a chance at finishing this thing. My first problem was that I didn't own a Macintosh. My job skills provided the necessary expertise to build a 'hackintosh' desktop - but I outgrew that quickly and realized I needed a laptop to write on. I decided on a Macbook Air and bought one used on eBay for a good deal some time mid-2010. It has been wonderful. Macbook Air + Scrivener is the ultimate writing platform (for me anyway!). Over those years I have written a fair amount of notes - on paper often enough - all incorporated into Scrivener. I have some great characters, about 6 chapters written, and a lot of good plot lines. Things are great, creatively. The couple people I've allowed to read what I've got so far have begged me for more - a nice ego boost :D

    But wow has it been slow.

    I have a full time (plus) job. I have 4 kids age 7 and under. I have numerous interests that constantly interfere with writing like guitar, video games, computer building/tinkering, reading (although I'm told a good writer reads a lot), and lots of other stuff.

    I find that I really write best with 2 hours of completely uninterrupted time - that doesn't happen too often (never). Strangely there are times when I've cranked out a chapter in just a week. This always happens when my family goes out of state on vacation. Wherever we are staying - I always use my free time to write. The pages often fly. Its really amazing. But if I'm going to finish this thing, I'm going to have to find other ways to write other than the 2-3 weeks out of the year I'm away on vacation!!!

    I've been really stuck recently. I don't think I've written in 4-5 months. I've typed up some notes, worked on some plot ideas, but I can't take another 3 years to finish! I would like to really get it done within the next 18-24 months. Gotta be done so my kids can read it when they're old enough!!!

    I'm not sure what I'm looking for here. Maybe wondering if anyone else is in a similar boat? I know I need discipline. I need to parcel out some hours during the week that are writing time. My family would be completely supportive of this and helpful. I need to get motivated - maybe that's not quite it. I am motivated but I know that unless I have a nice block of time and a quiet environment (and a cup of coffee!), I'm not going to accomplish much. I've tried just writing amid the ruckus in my house and I just get discouraged at the end of a session.

    I figured there's got to be some folks out there that are operating in an environment like mine - or close to it. There's not going to be one magic fix, but I'm hoping I can work out a few things to get myself writing consistently. If anything, I'm really anxious to see what ultimately happens in my book! Its a great feeling to be caught up with an awesome story where you're being entertained by writing just as much as (hopefully) someone is by reading.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Dyes
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    Dyes New Member

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    Hi :)

    I really enjoyed reading this, unfortunately i cant provide you with ant tips, but let me tell you if your on that boat then im sitting right next to you. :) By the way im a 15 year old :p, but i love writing. Im writing a book of my own, seriously! And i have encountered the same problem that you have, a lack of time. As a teen i need to attend 7 hours of school, this makes my schedule very hectic. AP and honors classes do a young author no justice. Most days all i do when i come home is homework until i sleep. Weekends, although also chalk full of homework, are the only time i get. Not to mention extended family and friends who like to drop by every weekend. So i too am strained for time. And look at you with a mac book air, and writing software (that i didn't even know existed, so thanks), im on a Toshiba satellite using word 2010 XD. Another interesting thing, that i assumed only i had (i wish), is the "writers high" as i like to call it. You mention being able to randomly pull off a chapter in a week, and i can relate. Sometimes i feel extremely excited about a certain character or plot twist and manage to completely immerse myself in my writing, the hours pass away with the clicks of my keyboard. I feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins while i write page after page, words spilling upon them. And before i know it i snap out of this rush and realize how much i have written. Anyways, yeah i wish i could consistently write and not be lazy, but alas the life of a 15 is too demanding. :) And i completly agree with your last line, your know your writing something good when you enjoy writing it just as much as someone will reading it.
    Just for some more info, im writing a young adult book, i tried to deviate from the annoying occult theme that is so prevalent in modern YA books, but as hard as i tried i couldn't and ended up involving some occult like themes in the end. And i haven't had anyone else read my writing, my primary reason for coming on here, i rather not show friends and family just doesn't care so why not show random people online XD.
     
  3. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    I sympathize. It is really tough. For years, I knew I wanted to write. I view the world as a series of stories, and everything I see or hear I think will make a great story, but I never did it until recently. Always busy, always on the go. Lately, I've been on this forum and some others and I started my own blog to have selected family and friends view my writing and give me feedback. The little contests on here and another forum I've been on have really kicked me into action. I think in the last few months, I have knocked out eighteen short stories. So, although I'm stuck on my two novels that I have started the past two years, and I haven't returned to them just yet, I'm glad to say I'm somehow finding time to write at least once or twice a week. My sleep time is suffering, but I am most motivated at 3 am. Can't help it! Let's just all win the lottery so we can write full time, eh?
     
  4. Dyes
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    Dyes New Member

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    haha agreed, wining the lottery and writing for the rest of my life would be amazing!
     
  5. Deleth
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    Deleth Member

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    Personally I find "writing software" annoying, I just use Word 07. But good on ya all the same.
     
  6. hatari
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    hatari New Member

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    Thanks for the commiseration :D I know I just need to buckle down and do it. When I was in high school, I was a writer full time as well! But my writing was a little different back then - I would spend hours and weekends writing computer code for fun. Go figure. Yeah, check out Scrivener, its pretty cool - at least you have a nice laptop to write on. I find its portability makes a big difference. I never know when/where I'm going to feel like writing. That reminds me - I'm going to have to take back that I haven't written in 5 months. In October sometime I was taking the train out of Philadelphia and I actually had 60-90 minutes to myself and I wrote a few paragraphs! Its funny how that works for me. Always needing to be away from home.

    Although I studied science in college, I took enough English/Writing courses that I was 3 credits away from a minor! My adviser thought I was a nut. I always enjoyed writing but never really went for it. I'm glad to hear that you're making good progress. You should get back to those novels.

    I think 'writing software' is probably the wrong description. Its more like organization software. I needed something to keep track of my thoughts on plots and characters - something digital that was organized in one place. I started out with Google Docs but I realized that whatever I used, unless it was able to be organized neatly, was going to turn into a big mess of paper, digital files, folders, etc. I needed something more. Scrivener was an amazing find for me. Keith has done a fabulous job with it. I love how I can have character cards to remind me what peculiarities I've given them or facts about them. Its neat to be able to mark chapters or sections with any statuses I create or create a section for specific thoughts on that chapter or plot. It just organizes me in a way I would never be able to find time to do otherwise. That's not to say I don't sometimes prefer plain old paper! I bought a spiral bound sketch pad with some pockets in it. I often pull that out and put pen to paper, sketching out ideas, making lists, and the pockets are full of scrap paper notes that I've written during meetings at work, at church, or at some relatives house. I really love thinking out-loud with my pen. Then I'll occasionally take everything new in the sketchbook and enter/organize it into Scrivener. This always helps me be able to refine the thoughts I've had and flesh them out a little more by doing a sort of 'double-entry' with them. Scrivener has a free trial, so its definitely worth an install just to poke around in it.
     
  7. TheSpiderJoe
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    TheSpiderJoe Senior Member

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    You have my complete and utter sympathy my friend. I too was in a similar boat. I came up with a great story once while sitting in a movie theater (we've all done that I'm sure). Weeks afterwards I began plotting out ideas, character bios, and various notes to help flesh out this influx of creativity that has swarmed my mind.

    That was 8 years ago. My book did see the light of the publishing day. That was 12 days ago. So yea, I know exactly where you are coming from.

    It sounds like the time thing is a big issue for you plus your plethora of hobbies (again, I can sympathize. I've got my hand into everything except for stamp collecting). Start with this, do you really need 2 hours of uninterrupted time? I know what it's like to be on a roll and just start churning out words but would one hour suffice? Or maybe even half an hour? You might be able to find 2 hours in any given two weeks but a half our a day is much easier to manage. Perhaps right before you go to bed. Or even wake up a little earlier and have at it. Luckily, I can write anywhere. I even cranked out a chapter or two during my MBA classes.

    The truth of the matter is, if you're serious about getting this book done it's going to take some sacrifice. Whether it be less time for a hobby or what have you, setting some dedicated time for you to sit down and write is the only way it will ever get done. Sadly, no one can do the work for you (believe me, I checked). If completing this book is a major goal for you, then you'll do whatever it takes to get it done.

    Good luck buddy. We're here if you need us.
     

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