1. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    Stressed

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by CrystalDreamer59, Aug 1, 2012.

    I feel like I've got to get a story done and published by tomorrow. I already got started writing a story idea that I've been really obsessing over lately, but I'm kind of stuck on the action scenes as I'm not the best at action scenes yet. Anyway I'm starting to feel really stressed out and exhausted. I really want to make a career out of writing and I feel as though I need to start my writing career as soon as possible. What should I do? I really want to be a writer instead of doing some boring odd job that I hate.
     
  2. QDesjardin
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    QDesjardin Member

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    So do I.

    Writing shouldn't feel like you're under giant pressure though, like competing for an assignment deadline. You should feel more like you're on an imaginative journey through the reaches of your subconscious, and seeing it that way should make it a little better for creativity.

    If a scene though gives you trouble, ask yourself - is it really that interesting to write, the way you have it mind? Maybe it doesn't make sense when you're putting it into writing. It's better to realise that you should try to change it, while you still have the chance, and to create something new. It's a moment when your most imaginative ideas can come into play. And if all else fails, Anne Rice tells you to force yourself to write it out until it gets exciting.
     
  3. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    The reason I feel under so much pressure is because my parents don't think writing is a serious job that makes enough money. They keep giving me the excuse that they could die tomorrow and then what am I to do. I really want to prove to my parents that I can be a good writer, but as stressed out as I am right now I'm too exhausted to think of how to make my action scenes better.
     
  4. QDesjardin
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    QDesjardin Member

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    Ask them if they like reading books - and if they do, who are their favourite authors? Ask them to imagine the authors' parents saying -- "I could die tomorrow! What about working hard at serious jobs(TM)!?" Then tell them if their favourite books would ever exist today if that happened.
     
  5. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    That I know of my parents don't read much and have no appreciation for literature. However, I do have an older sister who loves to read, but I would hate to get her into an argument between me and our parents.
     
  6. QDesjardin
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    QDesjardin Member

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    Then to paraphrase Yukio Mishima regarding people who only care about how much money they're making: Imagine for a moment you're living with ants, who can only see a few inches ahead, whose sense of responsibility is overbearing and that their overall life objective seems to primarily centre around 'not starving' and 'safe living'. This is understandable to an extent, and it's only natural to feel some vileness in the fact that people like that can really consider themselves.. satisfied. But if you don't acknowledge in your heart the things that go beyond mere contentment, you would condemn yourself to a state where your existence remains meaningless.
     
  7. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    You can't just "get published" and make a career out of writing. It takes years and years of practice. Writers who are serious about the craft write eight hours day.

    If you want to be a writer you better have you heart set on it and invest the time, and make sure your parents know that's what YOU want to do.

    My parents don't take it very seriously either. I spend six hours a day in my room including breaks so I'm basically in my room all day. They keep asking me why I hide out all the time and what it is I'm doing even though I've explained it to them more than once.

    ,: \
     
  8. EldritchDwarf
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    EldritchDwarf New Member

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    Care less about trying to get published ASAP and showing your parents that writing books is a viable job.

    You should be spending your time writing and finding out what you really enjoy writing.
     
  9. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    I'll have to post this on my facebook for my mom to see though I don't think she'll understand it. It took me a while to understand it myself. I do have to agree that money is not everything. However, my parents don't seem to understand that.
     
  10. QDesjardin
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    QDesjardin Member

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    Tell your parents that Yukio Mishima was a kick-ass Japanese author and activist, ranked as one of the most important authors of the 20th century and having nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature. They'll know. Just don't tell them the part where he committed Seppeku after a failed coup d'etat.
     
  11. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Don't let it stress you, just relax, close your eyes, count to ten and go back to work. As for action scenes, close you eyes, visualize it like you would a movie, and then describe it. Maybe that'll help you with the action scene problem.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Rome was not built in a day. However, it could be destroyed in a day.

    It takes time to develop writing skills. It takes as long as it takes. Don't let anyone try to push you to failure.
     
  13. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    No, money isn't everything, but we all need it to survive. You live with your parents now, but what about going to university? And after when you have debts from the school loans. Rent? Bills? Food to eat? Clothes to wear? I know I never thought of these things as a teenager.

    Most people can't make a living off writing, they have to have another job to pay for all of that, and write on the side. If you do get published that's great and you will get money of course, but probably not enough to live off of. That's what your parents are worried about.
     
  14. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Steph. I'm not sure how old you are, Crystal, but I assume you have not yet gone to college. If you love writing so much, get a degree that is related to writing. There are many jobs you can have that would enable you to write -- journalist, English teacher, editor, etc. Most writers, even relatively successful ones, don't earn enough from their books to live on, so they have to take other jobs. Many of them take jobs that are related to writing, such as teaching writing classes, or writing for newspapers/magazines, etc. Take college level classes that will help you write. After college, if you are still interested in writing, you could consider getting an MFA. Find jobs that allow you to write as part of the job. That's what you can sell your parents on -- not shutting yourself in your room (in their house) for 8 hours a day to work on your masterpiece.
     
  15. Hettyblue
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    Hettyblue Member

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    I can understand your frustration Crystal, of course you should continue to write regardless of what else you do. If you need your parents financial support, then you will have to accept that they have a reason to be concerned about your future plans. Independence and a means to keep body and soul together will take the pressure off. No one should prevent you pursuing your literary ambitions but unless you can earn your own way you will forever be dependent 'on the kindness of others' an uneasy position to occupy.
     
  16. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sweetheart, saying that you might not earn enough to live off of writing is NOT the same as saying you're a bad writer. The truth is, you could be the greatest writer in the world and still not earn enough to live, or still not get published til you're 80.

    They're not excuses - they're simply worried about you, and with good reason too. Writing is unlikely to support you until you get very famous, and it could happen and you certainly should work for it and continue - but until you get famous, you do need an alternative that's gonna pay your way in life.

    You don't have to be published tomorrow. These things take time. Imagine a fruit - it'd be silly and a complete waste to pluck the fruit before it is ripe - but how to make the fruit ripe? You just have to nurture the tree, and wait patiently. It's worth the wait. And you shouldn't feel guilty if you're not "ripe" as of right now. If you tire yourself out too much, you will run dry of inspiration. There is wisdom in resting.

    It doesn't mean you have to give up your dream - never give up your dream - but at the same time, until you do get famous and can live off of writing, you must find an alternative. Unless, of course, you want to live with your parents forever :)

    Or do what I did. I married an IT guy who loves being in full-time work - so I can afford to work freelance (I teach) which gives me like 20 hours a week to write :D (I'm kidding, I'm not really telling you to marry a rich guy to support you - but it does show you that you need some form of support, or else your own full-time job that pays your way while you're writing)

    And also, from experience, not doing anything other than write usually drains you. I had a lot more inspiration before the summer holidays (no lessons right now) because I could always look forward to writing. Having too much time is as much of a curse as having not enough time sometimes.

    Your parents love you. Don't dismiss them. Teenagers are better at seeing the possibilities - something beautiful that we tend to lose as adults. But then adults are better at seeing the reality of suffering, of struggling, which you don't see as well now because you're being supported, you don't have to worry about food and bills really. They're both valid perspectives. Don't dismiss one or the other - learn to see both. (btw if you're not a teenager, then I apologise, but from your post I imagine you're quite young?)

    Why don't you check out Miyazaki's Japanese anime called Whisper of the Heart? It's about a 12-year-old girl who longs to write a book, and she decides to stop "wasting" her time studying and instead focus on writing. It's about her struggles as a child, and the things that she learn from the experience. I'm not saying you're 12 - but I think her passion and frustration is something a lot of us can resonate with.

    Just never forget, even if your parents say hurtful things, they love you. You will not find anyone else who would love you more (other than God). Your parents are people you know you can always go to when disaster strikes - they'll never turn you away. Appreciate and honour such love. Don't dismiss them, rather just talk, and some to a compromise that would help them worry about you less.
     
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  17. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hear! Hear!

    A lot of writers' have or have had a day job - writing in whatever spare time they had.

    Do you have a Job? If not, then if you start to look for one that may steer your parents off your case.

    In any job - no-one ever walks in to the top posts (unless their family own the firm- that is) They have to work their way up, whether by fair means or foul.
    Even those managers that turn up on the shop floor, out of the blue - have probably spent X amount of years studying at college/uni doing menial jobs to help pay their way through those uni years.
    Writing is much the same, a writer has to chip away at it until they break through - in the meantime they have to eat.

    Try to relax and good luck.
     
  18. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    A couple of thoughts. First, if they really did die tomorrow, you would make your own choices as to how to move forward with your life (unless you are under 21, in which case someone else's choices would be involved, at least for a while). And once you were in that position, you would do what you had to do to keep yourself fed, housed and clothed. Once those things were settled, you would then set yourself on a course to do what you most wanted to do. As Cogito so eloquently pointed out, becoming a writer takes time. Circumstances help shape how much time it takes (assuming you have the talent to accomplish it, and for the sake of this discussion, I assume you do). My experience is that circumstances ALWAYS make it take more time than you think it should, so the first thing you need to do is to tear up the timetable. Some things just can't be scheduled out.

    You don't tell us your age or what, specifically, has prompted the controversy with your parents. I see three main possibilities: 1) you are in or entering college and trying to decide on a major, you want creative writing and your parents want business; 2) you have just graduated from college and you want to take the time to try to establish yourself as a writer, while your parents want you to get out there and get a "real" job; 3) you are still in high school and just having the first serious "what I want to be" discussion. Whichever it is will have an impact on what constitutes appropriate advice.

    In the meantime, I leave you with something I believe Mark Twain said: "When I was 14, I ran away from home because my parents were so stupid I couldn't stand them. I returned four years later, and I was amazed at how much they had learned."
     
  19. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    You've gotten some very good advice. I would say don't give up your goal of being a published writer, but recognize that you really don't have a likely road to your goal right now. Very few successful writers started out doing nothing but writing. It is possible, but the odds are about the same as deciding you will become rich by buying lottery tickets. The competition is fierce - there is no shortage of aspiring writers.

    Wide experience is a benefit for writers. Another job gives you experience besides earning your living while you hone your craft.

    I think of James P. Hogan (I like his SF, not so sure about his political thrillers). He worked for industry and wrote on the side with the self-imposed rule of having five books published before he quit his day job. He succeeded and published perhaps two dozen books in his career.
     

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