1. TereIsMyName
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    TereIsMyName New Member

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    Why do I struggle with writing?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by TereIsMyName, Dec 29, 2014.

    Hi!
    I need some advice, I've been wanting to writing a book since I was a teen, and I am now 30. lol I decided that I wont put it off anymore. I constantly get ideas for books, and characters that I want to write about. I spend time planning the book out.... But then I never write anything!

    I tend to procrastinate with school, and pretty much everything in my life. I get so overwhelmed planning my book, that I start questioning everything that I write down. I don't know if its a lack of confidence?

    How can I fine tune my outline, and actually sit down and get this book written?
     
  2. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    There's a thread just below you titled:
    The courage to write.

    May help you.
     
  3. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    you will when you take ACTION and DO IT.

    until then, you will post the same message in another 30 yrs only this time it will read
    ...I am now 60. lol....
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    May not be about courage, may be about desire.

    Having ideas is easy. Outlining stories isn't much harder. The hard part is actually writing the book. Hard in terms of creativity and inspiration and talent, but also just in terms of effort and time.

    How bad do you want this? Chances are that even if you finish an MS it will never be published; even if it's published, it probably won't make you a lot of money. There are very, very few people making a living as novelists.

    If you still want to write, you need to get your ass in your chair, sit at the damn computer, and write. Set goals for yourself - half an hour a day, two thousand words a week - whatever. Then stick to the goals.

    I really think it's that simple. If you want it, do it.
     
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  5. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Dreams and desires can only take you so far. You must will it into existence with your brain and action. Otherwise, like aguywhotypes said, you'll be sixty-years-old and still wondering why you're not a writer yet.

    Here's something you can do:

    (1) Write what you find to be interesting, what fills you with excitement every time you think about it.

    (2) Sit down and write it to the end. Consider it you getting to be with your characters on a personal level.

    (3) ???

    (4) Be proud that you wrote something.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
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  6. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    You struggle because you think of the work as a whole. You get overwhelmed by the idea of creating the whole.

    Focus on writing one paragraph. One really good paragraph that sums up part of your idea. It doesn't have to be the start. Just write a great moment that pops in your head. Before you know it you'll write a chapter, and then a book.
     
  7. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Procrastinators are great planners - because that's as far as they ever take anything. Quit worrying about fine-tuning the outline and write the damn story. Until you want to write badly enough to do that, you'll remain one of those people who wants to be a writer ...
     
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  8. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Yes, watch over planning as procrastination really feeds off it. And truth be told a lot of stories don't need that much planning - they only look as though they do ( of course there are exceptions like Dune and Lord of the Rings and well, historicals. ) I like what Selbbin said - just work on something simple like a paragraph. I'd take it a bit further - one scene. Write and polish one scene. What will happen is when you write one scene your brain is already daydreaming what happens next and the next thing you know you're writing another scene and another. Being you're new don't be overly worried about plot holes, flaws, inconsistency - all these things can be fixed later. What you want to do is just get words on paper/screen and get in the habit of doing so.
     
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  9. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I struggle as well with the writing part. I can plot out the entire story in my head while working or cleaning or whatever but once it comes to actually put words to screen the flood of ideas just doesn't seem to flow out, its more of a slow leak. but I try not to let that effect me.
     
  10. karmazon
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    karmazon Member

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    What helped me personally was taking the time to study the craft. It's extremely overwhelming when you want to write but simply do not have the tools in your mind to do it.

    Once I started learning the craft of writing, the structure of stories, and breaking down books and movies for myself with the techniques I learned I woke up every morning with an intense desire to write which translated into the actual action of writing. Creating stories was no longer an overwhelming experience.
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Hi welcome to the forum.

    What worked for me was starting with the idea and then I began writing. When I got to chapters that were vague or gaps in the story, I wrote notes and outlines, or just put in a filler space and skipped ahead.

    I didn't worry I was writing something too dorky to share at that point. After I got the story out, I started writing it in a readable form. Again, when I struggled with a section I skipped it with a place holder.

    Now that I go back over some of the chapters I wasn't happy with but re-wrote, I'm very happy with how they turned out. I'm definitely a writer that has to write, think, rewrite and then edit/revise. It takes me a lot of thinking to get it on the page the way I want it.
     
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  12. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am admittedly not very good at English and grammar an stuff, but I am loads better than I was. Practice! A few things I noticed. When you start you may fin your mind gets tired long before you want start. I had many a nights when I sat down with two hours ready for writing and I felt tired after forty five minutes. Don't be afraid to find when you start that you may have less stamina at it. It gets better, or at least it did for me. I can go four hours now and still have energy ;). Also remember that anything you start new, its not about breaking from the gate a genius. You may look at your early work and think its bad. Its about getting better, not starting great.

    Also be aware of yourself when it comes to burn out. If you do too much to fast you will burn out. occasionally stepping back, taking a break is needed. One time I pushed myself (8k a day for 2 weeks straight) and once it was over, I didn't want to look at written word for like a month. As a rule to me I say. "This is supposed to be fun. So if it isn't being fun then I need to step back and let myself miss it." Usually works for me.

    Hope it helps.
     
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  13. TereIsMyName
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    TereIsMyName New Member

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    thanks everyone! What everyone says makes a lot of sense. I ran across this quote on pininterest that really resonated with me.
    "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." ~ Walt Disney.
     
  14. Gawler
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    Gawler Contributing Member

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    I was the same as you, I am 53 but 6 months ago I had the time and took the leap and started writing. 320k words later I have 1 first draft done and a few close to completion. As others have already said, just write. The more you write the more you will improve like anything else in life.

    As a new writer you can plan as much as you like but once you begin writing you will find that you will deviate from the original plan as more ideas come to mind and your imagination gets a workout.
     
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  15. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'd add my voice to those who advocate not over-planning or outlining. You've done this, and it's not actually helping you get started. In fact, the size of your 'plan' may be so overwhelming that you don't actually know where to start, or are afraid to start because the task seems so BIG.

    Just write a scene that intrigues you. Just sit down and write it. Don't plan it. Write it. It's the flow of writing that will make your confidence rise. Planning is easy, once you've got off the ground. In fact it's fun, to make what you've just written fit in someplace.

    Don't worry about starting at the beginning. Start anywhere. Just after the beginning. In the middle of the story ...don't worry about how the characters got where they are, just write where they are. You'll figure out the rest later.

    If you have a stonking ending in mind, write that. Just write a scene, complete with your favourite characters doing something in a setting. Make it as complete a picture as you can, but don't worry about the previous pictures or the ones to follow. Just see what you can do.

    And above all, have fun!
     
  16. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Another thing that helped me and still is, is to read articles on story structure, charterer development, outlining, grammar, I have even read a few on the passive voice vs the active voice. Like others have already stated, you don't have to follow the advice given in these articles or make an outline or but just gaining that additional insight on multiple point of views has helped me a lot.
     
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  17. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Fine-tuning an outline seems a contradiction in terms - all you're doing is making excuses not to write, as you've admitted. This fine tuning sounds like a fully-formed plot with characters in strait-jackets that you don't want to deviate from your line. You must stop there.

    Put your outline to one side and don't look at it again. Clearly it's a distraction.

    Do you know your ending? Write it. If not, do you know how you want to start? Write it. If not, pick a scene and write it. You must stop messing about. If you want to be a writer, then write. Stop messing about.

    No-one will see your work. No-one will to see it until you're happy with some progress and seek either a review, or you'd like questions answered and perhaps enclosing a sample of what you mean.

    Can't remember who said in response to 'How do I start writing?' First, sit down.

    What do you read, and how often do you read? Have you read anything on the craft of writing? Do you read reviews?

    Sage advice on forums like this is there to help you. Heed it.

    Now, off you go, and write (before you get to thirty-one.) ;)
     
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  18. Bradley the Buyer
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    Bradley the Buyer Member

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    One trick I've started using to address my procrastination concerns my smartphone. Every time I unlock my phone (within reason) I open up a little note I've started for myself called 'One Sentence' and I do just that. The sentences don't have to follow each other or add up to anything but the cumulative effect of constantly adding little bits of writing to a stockpile is that it leaves you feeling like someone who writes rather than just someone who thinks about writing, someone who does instead of just dreaming. The hardest bit of writing is getting in the doing mindset and this way you can trick your brain into it without even trying!
     
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